“Hear My Voice” from The Trial of The Chicago 7 won best song written and/or recorded for a film at the 11th annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards, which were presented virtually on Sunday (April 11). The award went to the song’s co-writers, Celeste Waite and Daniel Pemberton, and also to the film’s music supervisors, Peter Afterman and Alison Litton.
The Guild of Music Supervisors Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the craft of music supervision in film, television, documentaries, games, advertising and trailers.
“Hear My Voice” is an Oscar nominee for best original song. However, none of the four songs it defeated to win this award were Oscar-nominated. As a result, its win here may not have much predictive power as to who will win the Oscar. Celeste performed the song to close the event, which is valuable exposure to an audience that doubtless included many Academy members.
Celeste also performed “If I Ever Lose This Heaven,” a song that first gained notice on Quincy Jones‘ 1974 album Body Heat. Andra Day, an Oscar nominee for her performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, performed a song to open the show. The show also included performances by Darius de Haas (the zesty “One Less Angel” from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Angelica Garcia.
Soul won the award for best music supervision for film budgeted over $25 million. The award went to Tom MacDougall, the film’s music supervisor. Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste are Oscar-nominated for composing the film’s score.
Reznor and Ross won here for best song written and/or recorded for television for “The Way It Used to Be,” which they wrote and recorded for an episode of HBO’s Watchmen. The two composers were nominated for an Emmy last year for outstanding original music and lyrics for writing the song. Liza Richardson, the episode’s music supervisor, was also cited in that category. Richardson won a second award here for best music supervision – television drama for Season 1 of Watchmen.
Richardson revealed that “The Way It Used to Be” is “kind of a happy accident. It was a music supervision failure that became a success because we couldn’t clear the song that was intended to be cleared, so we pivoted to Trent and Atticus creat[ing] this incredible song that you would never know came from members of Nine Inch Nails because it’s this perfectly tuned 1940s, beautiful song.”
Quincy Jones received the icon award. Stevie Wonder performed a brief musical tribute to Jones, who he has known since he was 14 (in 1964). Many people from Jones’ long and legendary career spoke about him, both in archival and new clips. They included Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Bono, will.i.am, Will Smith, Colin Powell, Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, Jacob Collier, John Legend, Diane Warren and Gloria & Emilio Estefan. Jones accepted the award wearing a baseball cap which was inscribed “University of the ‘Hood.”
Maureen Crowe, the founding president of the Guild of Music Supervisors, received the legacy award. Crowe has worked on such films as Wayne’s World, True Romance, Chicago, The Bodyguard and Dead Man Walking. Her legacy also includes making it so music supervisors can vote, and receive awards, at both the Grammys and the Emmys, and playing a key role in music supervisors receiving retirement and other benefits. Singing her praises were Kenny Ortega, Kevin Costner, Jay Landers, Dean Pitchford, Debbie Allen, Michael A. Levine, Neil Meron, Rickey Minor and Clive Davis. “I’m not retiring,” she insisted, when the plaudits made the tribute start to sound like a retirement party.
Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, who, between them, have won 15 Grammys in the past two years, were presenters at the ceremony. Other celebrity presenters or participants included Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, Michael Chiklis, Bryan Cranston, Tony Hawk, Marin Hinkle, Regina King, Savan Kotecha, Michael McDonald, Eva Noblezada, Folake Olowofoyeku, Tony Shalhoub and Paul Williams.
There was an unusual three-way tie for best music supervision – television comedy or musical. The winners were Manish Raval, Alison Rosenfeld and Tom Wolfe for High Fidelity – Season 1; Kier Lehman for Insecure – Season 4, and Robin Urdang for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 3.
Joel C. High, Robin Kaye, and Thomas Golubić executive produced the event. Angelia Bibbs-Sanders produced, while Nick Urbom acted as technical producer and Jessica Milten served as talent producer.
There were more than a few technical glitches in the Jones tribute. Let’s hope we are nearing the end of these virtual events, and can soon go back to live events.
Here is the complete winners list for the 11th annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards:
Best music supervision for film budgeted over $25 million: Tom MacDougall – Soul
Best music supervision for film budgeted under $25 million: Dawn Sutter Madell – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best music supervision for film budgeted under $10 million: Susan Jacobs – Promising Young Woman
Best music supervision for film budgeted under $5 million: Dondrea Erauw, Michael Perlmutter – The Cuban
Best song written and/or recorded for a film: “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7; writers: Celeste Waite, Daniel Pemberton; performed By: Celeste; music supervisors: Peter Afterman, Alison Litton
Best music supervision – television drama: Liza Richardson – Watchmen – Season 1
Best music supervision – television comedy or musical (three-way tie): Manish Raval, Alison Rosenfeld, Tom Wolfe – High Fidelity – Season 1, Kier Lehman – Insecure – Season 4, Robin Urdang – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 3
Best music supervision – reality television: Meryl Ginsberg – The Masked Singer – Season 3
Best music supervision – television movie: Warren Fischer, Laura Webb, Lindsay Wolfington – To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Best song written and/or recorded for television: “The Way It Used to Be,” songwriters: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross; artists: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; program: Watchmen; episode: #106 “This Extraordinary Being;” music supervisor: Liza Richardson
Best music supervision for a documentary: Aminé Ramer – Crip Camp
Best music supervision in a docuseries: Rudy Chung – The Last Dance
Best music supervision in a trailer: Mike Lynn – Judas and the Black Messiah
Best music supervision in advertising (synch): Andy Hamm – Apple “A Journey into the Valley of Fire – Shot on iPhone”
Best music supervision in advertising (original music): Mike Ladman – Hennessy “Maurice and the Black Bear School”
Video Games Award
Best music supervision in a video game: Eric Kalver, Brandon Young – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2