The Grammy Award for Best Visual Media Compilation has been awarded since 1999. Of those 16 past races, a film soundtrack won all but two of them: the exceptions were the Beatles‘ “Love” (2007) from the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name, and “Boardwalk Empire: Volume 1” (2011), which featured music from the HBO TV series.
To date, “Boardwalk Empire” is the only TV series soundtrack to win, but it’s possible this year will be another exception. FOX’s breakout hit “Empire,” a soap opera set in the music industry, features chart-ready hip-hop and R&B songs produced by Jim Beanz as well as Timbaland, a Grammy darling with four wins out of 17 past nominations.
But despite the success of “Empire,” this is the only Grammy nomination for its music. Compare that to rival nominee “Fifty Shades of Grey” (produced by Mike Knobloch and Dana Sano), which received six total nominations. In addition to this award, it’s also up for Best Pop Solo (Ellie Goulding‘s “Love Me Like You Do“), Best R&B Performance (The Weeknd‘s “Earned It“), Best R&B Song (“Earned It”) and Best Visual Media Song (“Love Me Like You Do” and “Earned It”). Will that surplus of support translate to a win here?
And Timbaland isn’t the only music legend in the running. “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” (produced by Julian Raymond) is the soundtrack for the 2014 documentary about the country singer’s farewell tour following his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease. The compilation features Campbell’s last recording, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” which already won Best Country Song in 2014, as well as a cover of “Gentle on My Mind” by The Band Perry, which won Best Country Duo/Group in 2014.
Also nominated is the soundtrack to last summer’s hit a cappella musical “Pitch Perfect 2” (produced by Julianne Jordan, Harvey Mason Jr. and Julia Michels). We shouldn’t count it out; it just won the American Music Award for Top Soundtrack last year, beating “Empire” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” But that award is decided by fans voting online, rather than the recording academy, which decides the Grammys.
Rounding out the category is “Selma,” whose compilation soundtrack was produced by the film’s director, Ava DuVernay. The album features the Oscar-winning “Glory” by Common and John Legend, which is up for three Grammys this year, as well as recordings by Otis Redding, Ledisi and more.
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Photo credits: “Empire” by FOX; Glen Campbell by Owen Sweeney/REX