“City of Stars” from “La La Land” won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2017, so it stands to reason that it would also be the Grammy frontrunner for Best Visual Media Song, right? Maybe, but maybe not. There is a lot of overlap between the two corresponding awards, but there have also been some marked disagreements. It’s hard to make direct comparisons since the Grammy and Oscar eligibility years don’t line up perfectly, but in the last 10 years only five of the Grammy winners in this category have also won Oscar. And “City of Stars” faces stiff competition from some established Grammy favorites.
“City of Stars” was written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, all of who have multiple chances to win Grammys this year. Hurwitz is also nominated for the “La La Land” score, compilation album, and arrangement, while Pasek and Paul also contend for their “Dear Evan Hansen” musical theater album. So voters may feel free to check off their names elsewhere and reserve this category for another artist.
That could mean another win for Taylor Swift, a 10-time Grammy champ who previously won this category in 2013 for “Safe and Sound” from “The Hunger Games.” This year she’s nominated with co-writers Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew for “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from “Fifty Shades Darker,” which was a big commercial hit, reaching number-two on the Billboard Hot 100.
Or the recording academy could opt for “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” written by Common, Andra Day, and Diane Warren. Common and Diane Warren are both past winners in this category — Common for “Glory” from “Selma” (2016), Warren for “Because You Loved Me” from “Up Close and Personal” (1997). And Day is a past Grammy nominee, so the three of them make a powerful combo.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has won two Grammys for Best Musical Theater Album (“In the Heights” in 2009, “Hamilton” in 2016), and he’s nominated in this category for “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana,” which was also nominated at the Oscars but lost to “City of Stars.”
Rounding out the category is “Never Give Up” by Sia and Greg Kurstin from the film “Lion.” Kurstin swept the Grammys last year with four wins for his work with Adele on her album “25” and song “Hello,” but Sia has yet to win a Grammy despite eight previous nominations, so voters may want to give her an overdue pat on the back.
So do you think “La La Land” has this in the bag, or will it have to settle for its Oscar?
Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their songs and albums are faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on January 28. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.