I’ve highlighted the many tunes from animated features and documentaries that could contend for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. Now we turn our attention to the musical numbers from feature films vying for one of the five slots in this jam-packed category.
Damien Chazelle‘s musical romance “La La Land” is the clear front-runner to take home the Best Picture Oscar. Chazelle looks formidable in Best Director while his leading lady, Emma Stone, is far ahead as well. And “La La Land” looks like a sure bet to land the maximum two Best Original Song bids for composer Justin Hurwitz and lyricists Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. The trio crafted a half dozen original songs and the two likeliest nominees are “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” sung by Stone, and “City of Stars,” performed by Stone and Ryan Gosling. Also in contention are “Start a Fire” performed by John Legend; the ensemble pieces “Another Day of Sun” and “Someone in the Crowd”; and another Gosling-Stone duet, “A Lovely Night.”
Among the other Best Picture hopefuls, “Pharrell Williams: “I See a Victory” and “Runnin’.” Williams contended in this category in 2013 for his smash hit “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2.”” has two toe-tapping tunes by
In “Rules Don’t Apply,” Lily Collins croons “The Rules Don’t Apply,” a song composed by Lorraine Feather and Eddie Arkin.
And “Lion” concludes with an original tune, “Never Give Up,” performed by Sia and produced by Greg Kurstin.
“Sing Street” has a pair of strong contenders in “Go Now” and/or “Drive It Like You Stole It,” both composed by director John Carney and Gary Clark.
Not to be underestimated is three-time Oscar-winner and six-time Grammy Award winner Burt Bacharach, who returns to the Oscar race this season with “Dancing with Your Shadow,” a composition performed by Sheryl Crow in the picture “Po.” Bacharach, whose last appearance in this category was his win for “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” from “Arthur” (1981), has six career Oscar nominations under his belt. His other two Oscars came in Best Original Score and Best Original Song, for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” both from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969).
Grammy-winner Alicia Keys penned “Back to Life” for “Queen of Katwe,” a film that features a strong performance by Oscar winner Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave,” 2014).
In 2008, Peter Gabriel reaped a bid for “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E.” He could be back in the race with “The Veil” from Oliver Stone‘s “Snowden.”
Bluesman Gary Clark, Jr. could contend with “Take Me Down” from “Deepwater Horizon,”
Andy Samberg shared in an Emmy in 2007 for the “Saturday Night Live” song “Dick in a Box” and could reap an Oscar bid for “I’m So Humble” from “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.”
And don’t discount Oscar-nominated actor John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”) who composed “Down with Mary” for the film “Too Late,” and Grammy-winner Pink, whose “Just Like Fire” appeared on the “Alice Through the Looking Glass” soundtrack.
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