For the fourth straight year, someone has been nominated for acting and songwriting Oscars: Leslie Odom Jr. earned bids Monday for Best Supporting Actor for “One Night in Miami” and for Best Original Song for his tune “Speak Now” from the Amazon film. While he’s the fourth person to achieve this simultaneous double, he is the first man to do it.
Mary J. Blige made history in 2018 when she became the first person to be nominated at the Oscars for acting and songwriting in the same year, making the shortlists for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song (“Mighty River”) for “Mudbound.” The next year, Lady Gaga reaped a Best Actress bid for “A Star Is Born” and won Best Original Song for the inescapable “Shallow” from the remake. Cynthia Erivo made it three in a row last year when she contended in Best Actress and Best Original Song (“Stand Up”) for the Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet.”
Odom was widely expected to nab both nominations. He’s been ensconced in the supporting actor top five all season, at one stretch sitting in first place, and “Speak Now” — not to be confused with the Taylor Swift song and album of the same name — has been the frontrunner to win Best Original Song. Odom, who co-wrote the track with Sam Ashworth, nabbed bids in both categories at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, winning song at the latter. If he prevails in either category at the Oscars, he would just need an Emmy to complete his EGOT after having collected a Tony and a Grammy for “Hamilton.”
Odom is up against Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) and Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) in the supporting actor race. In song, he competes against “Io Si (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead,” “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” and “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
We could’ve had two performers earning acting and songwriting nominations this year, but that dream was dashed last month when “Tigress & Tweed,” written by Andra Day and Raphael Saadiq from “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” failed to make the song longlist. Day is nominated for Best Actress for the film.
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