Will ‘No Time to Die’ be the third James Bond theme in a row to win the Best Original Song Oscar?

The music of James Bond has been one of the key tenets of the franchise’s success dating back to the ’60s, but it’s only recently that the academy has recognized it. “Skyfall,” the title track of the 2012 film, became the first Bond song to win an Oscar, with the preceding 20 films lucky to even be in the conversation for a nomination. “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre” (2015) continued the winning streak in Best Original Song, and now, Billie Eilish is in the pole position to make it three in a row for her “No Time to Die” theme. But can she do it with a song that will be more than 2 years old by the Oscar ceremony?

While Eilish’s Oscar nomination was practically written in the stars as soon as she was announced as the singer and co-writer of “No Time to Die,” this kind of confidence is a relatively new development. Prior to “Skyfall,” the only Eon-produced Bond films to earn Oscar nominations in Best Original Song were “Live and Let Die” (1973), “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) and “For Your Eyes Only” (1981). Even music legends like Madonna, Tina Turner and Gladys Knight weren’t able to launch into the Oscar conversation with their Bond themes.

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“No Time to Die” is already a winner heading into Oscar nominations, taking home the Grammy last year for Best Song Written for Visual Media — long before the film had even come out. The 25th Bond film was expected to hit theaters in April 2020, hence the release of Eilish’s song in February 2020 to promote it, but the pandemic led to MGM rescheduling the film to November 2021. The understated ballad, co-written by Eilish’s brother, Finneas O’Connell, has also collected nominations from the Critics Choice Awards, the Society of Composers & Lyricists and multiple critics groups.

With all this precursor love, the song is now in first place to be nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars, according to the latest Gold Derby odds. “No Time to Die” will likely be one of the frontrunners to win, especially if academy voters are anything like their peers in the music industry, who have showered Eilish with seven Grammy Awards.

Oscar odds for Best Original Song
What will win?

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