Bruce Springsteen and Beyoncé, who competed at this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards in the category of outstanding variety special (pre-recorded), may well square off again at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in the category of best music film. Springsteen on Broadway and Beyoncé’s Homecoming both premiered on Netflix.
Queen Bey and The Boss lost the Emmy to Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live in Liverpool. But they don’t need to worry about that title at the Grammys; it isn’t entered.
Springsteen won in this category in 2006 with Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run. Beyoncé has yet to win in the category, despite three nominations for I Am… World Tour, On the Run Tour (with Jay Z) and Lemonade.
Beyoncé co-directed her film with Ed Burke. Should she win, she’ll become just the second artist to win for directing (or co-directing) his or her winning film. The first was Alanis Morissette, who co-directed Jagged Little Pill—Live (1997) with Steve Purcell.
Springsteen’s 14-month run at the Walter Kerr Theatre in 2017-18 has proven to be an awards magnet. He received a special Tony Award prior to the Emmy nom. Thom Zimny, who won a Grammy for directing Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run, also directed the current film.
Bob Dylan is entered with Rolling Thunder Revue, which also bowed on Netflix. The film was directed by Oscar winner Martin Scorsese, who also directed Dylan’s No Direction Home, the 2005 winner in this category.
Ron Howard, another Oscar-winning director, is entered with Pavarotti, about the late opera legend Luciano Pavarotti. Howard directed and produced the music doc. Howard won in this category for his previous music doc, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week the Touring Years (2016).
Madonna is entered with World of Madame X. She previously won for Madonna—Blonde Ambition World Tour Live (1991) and The Confessions Tour (2007). Madonna and Sting are the only two-time winners in the 36-year history of the category.
Coldplay, which is tied with Beyoncé and Eurythmics for the most noms in this category without a win (three), is entered with A Head Full of Dreams. The film features Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Noel Gallagher and others.
Several entered films have the same (or similar) titles as albums that are contenders for Grammy noms in various categories. These include Jonas Brothers‘ Chasing Happiness, The National‘s I Am Easy to Find, Khalid‘s Free Spirit, Solange‘s When I Get Home and Hillsong United‘s People (Live/Visual Album). The National has two films in contention: I Am Easy to Find, a 27-minute film directed by filmmaker Mike Mills and starring actress Alicia Vikander, and I Am Easy to Find (Live from New York’s Beacon Theatre).
Two other entries — Taylor Swift‘s Reputation Stadium Tour and Ariana Grande‘s Dangerous Woman Diaries — share titles with past Grammy-nominated albums by these superstars. Both artists have new albums vying for Grammy noms this year.
Three long-departed music stars — Miles Davis (Birth of the Cool), Amy Winehouse (Back to Black) and the aforementioned Pavarotti — are also represented on the entry list. Winehouse won a posthumous Grammy in this category for Amy (2015).
Two entries, Hitsville: The Making of Motown and Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, focus on two of the most admired record companies in music history.
Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles is a look at the landmark 1964 Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Two former music journalists worked on films that look at the fabled Laurel Canyon music scene. Andrew Slater directed and co-wrote Echo in the Canyon, while Cameron Crowe produced David Crosby‘s Remember My Name. Slater is a Grammy-nominated producer (Macy Gray‘s “I Try”) and a former president of Capitol Records. Crowe won an Oscar and a Grammy for his work on Almost Famous.
Other Various Artists titles on the entry list include Bathtubs over Broadway, Hanging With My Sisters and ReMastered.
Morgan Neville co-directed Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La. Neville won in this category five years ago for directing Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Other notable contenders include Travis Scott’s Look Mom I Can Fly, Michael Bublé’s Tour Stop 148 (from the tour for his To Be Loved album), Josh Groban‘s Bridges Live: Madison Square Garden, Wu-Tang Clan‘s Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, Nas‘ Nasir, Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul’s Soulfire Live!, Thom Yorke‘s Anima, Celtic Woman‘s Ancient Land—Live from Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Ireland/2018, Maluma‘s Maluma: Lo Que Era, Lo Que Soy, Lo Que Seré, Tenacious D‘s Tenacious D In Post-Apocalypto, Trey Anastasio‘s Between Me and My Mind and Flight of the Conchords‘ Live in London.
Just five films will be nominated out of 87 entries this year. (That’s down from 102 entries in this category last year.)