Beyoncé and Jay-Z are both represented on the shortlist of 15 songs competing for best original song at the 2022 Academy Awards — Beyoncé with “Be Alive” from King Richard; Jay-Z with “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall. If both stars are nominated, this will mark the first time in Oscar history that a married couple has competed against one another in any category.
Shortlists in 10 categories were announced on Tuesday (Dec. 21). Members of the music branch voted to whittle down the initial list of 84 eligible songs to the 15 shortlisted songs. They will also vote to determine the five nominees. All Academy voters will make the final selection. The 94th annual Academy Awards will be presented on March 27, 2022.
Scott Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi, has two songs on the shortlist. He co-wrote both “Guns Go Bang” and “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up. If both songs are nominated, it will mark the first time a songwriter has been nominated with songs from two different films in the same year since Lionel Richie doubled up 36 years ago with “Say You, Say Me” from White Nights (which won) and “Sister” from The Color Purple.
All of the nominees for best original song at the Golden Globe Awards and the Critics Choice Awards are on the Oscar shortlist. “Be Alive,” “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto and “No Time to Die” from the movie of the same name are up for best original song at both of those other shows.
The two other nominees for best original song at the Golden Globes are “Down to Joy” from Belfast and “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” from Respect. The two other nominees at the Critics Choice Awards are “Guns Go Bang” and “Just Look Up.”
The shortlist includes three legendary songwriters whose hit-making careers date back to the 1960s — Brian Wilson (“Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road), Carole King (“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)”) and Van Morrison (“Down to Joy”).
Beyoncé has won six Grammys for songwriting, including song of the year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” She has also performed on the Oscars on multiple occasions, but has yet to be nominated for an Oscar. That could change with “Be Alive,” which she co-wrote and co-produced with Dixson, and sings over the end credits. King Richard, a likely best picture nominee, stars Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is shortlisted with “Dos Oruguitas” from Disney’s Encanto. Miranda, who just needs an Oscar to score an EGOT, was Oscar-nominated five years ago for “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.
Billie Eilish and Finneas are shortlisted with “No Time to Die,” which won a Grammy in March as best song written for visual media. The song is vying to become the seventh from a James Bond film to receive an Oscar nod. It would be the fourth title song from a Bond film to receive a nod, following “Live and Let Die,” “For Your Eyes Only” and “Skyfall.”
H.E.R. is shortlisted with “Automatic Woman” from Bruised, which she co-wrote with Van Hunt and Starrah. H.E.R. won best original song in April for co-writing “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah. If she is nominated again this year, she’ll become the first best original song winner to return to the finals the following year since Benj Pasek and Justin Paul four years ago.
Pasek and Paul are shortlisted with “The Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen, which they co-wrote with Amandla Stenberg. Pasek and Paul won a 2017 Tony for best original score for Dear Evan Hansen. This would be their fourth Oscar nod for best original song. Stenberg, 23, sings the song in the film in her role as Alana.
Oscar season perennial Diane Warren, a 12-time nominee in this category, is shortlisted with “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days. If Warren is nominated again this year, this would make five years in a row with a nomination, which would be the longest stretch of consecutive nods in this category for any songwriter since Marilyn and Alan Bergman were nominated six years in a row (1968-73).
Also of note, two pairs of siblings are shortlisted for best original song nominations – Ron and Russell Mael and Billie Eilish and Finneas.
Highly touted songs that failed to make the shortlist include “Every Letter” (Matt Berninger, Carin Besser, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner) from Cyrano (MGM/UA) and “My Father’s Daughter” (Glen Hansard, Eddie Vedder) from Flag Day (United Artists Releasing/MGM)
Here’s a complete list of the 15 shortlisted songs, listed (per Oscar custom) alphabetically by film title.
“So May We Start”
Ron Mael, Russell Mael
Annette (Amazon Studios)
“Down to Joy”
Belfast (Focus Features)
“Right Where I Belong”
Jim James, Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (Screen Media)
H.E.R., Van Hunt, Starrah
Idina Menzel, Laura Veltz
Cinderella (Sony Pictures/Fulwell 73)
“Beyond the Shore”
Nicholai Baxter, Matt Dahan, Sian Heder, Marius deVries
CODA (Apple Original Films)
“The Anonymous Ones”
Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Amandla Stenberg
Dear Evan Hansen (Universal Pictures)
“Just Look Up”
Nicholas Britell, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Taura Stinson
Don’t Look Up (Netflix)
Encanto (Walt Disney Pictures)
“Somehow You Do”
Four Good Days (Vertical Entertainment)
“Guns Go Bang”
Jeymes Samuel, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Shawn Carter (Jay-Z)
The Harder They Fall (Netflix)
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Dixson
King Richard (Warner Bros.)
“No Time to Die”
Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell
No Time to Die (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)”
Jamie Alexander Hartman, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King
Respect (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
“Your Song Saved My Life”
Sing 2 (Universal Pictures)