The Grammy for Best Visual Media Song awards music from all forms of visual media, but often closely reflects the Oscar race for Best Original Song. The last two winners of this award, “Let It Go” from “Frozen” (2014) and the title song from “Skyfall” (2013), also won Oscars, as did “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” (2010), “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” (2009) and “Into the West” from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2004) in recent years.
But the recording academy doesn’t always agree with the motion picture academy. Consider 2012, when the Oscar winner, “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets,” lost this prize to Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars for “Safe and Sound” from the first “Hunger Games” film. The Oscars weren’t as smitten with Swift and company; they weren’t even nominated.
This year there are two current Oscar nominees in contention and one winner. Last year’s Oscar-winner, “Glory” from the Martin Luther King docudrama “Selma,” might be considered a presumptive favorite here having already gotten the Oscar seal of approval. Its writers and performers Common and John Legend are also Grammy favorites, with a combined 11 past victories between them.
Joining them are 2015 Oscar-nominees Lady Gaga and Diane Warren for “Til It Happens to You” from the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” about the epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. Both women are music industry heavyweights; Lady Gaga has six past Grammy wins, and Warren has nine previous nominations and one win (“Because You Loved Me,” 1996) in this category alone.
Two songs from “Fifty Shades of Grey” made the cut. The Weeknd‘s “Earned It” is up for both a Grammy and an Oscar and is written by Weeknd along with Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio and Jason Quenneville. It’s also up for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.
Also from “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Ellie Goulding‘s “Love Me Like You Do” was snubbed by the Oscars but did make the cut at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. Written by Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami and Ilya Salmanzadeh, the song also earned Goulding a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.
But all those other nominees might be at a disadvantage against “See You Again,” written by performers Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth along with Andrew Cedar and Justin Franks. The song, a tribute to the late Paul Walker for the film “Furious 7” was unexpectedly snubbed at the Oscars, but unlike its rivals in this contest it’s also nominated for Song of the Year, the Grammys’ top songwriting award, which may indicate that it has more support than its rivals.
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Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth photo credit: Matt Baron/BEI/REX