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Even if it wasn’t/isn’t totally clear who determines the nominees for and winners of the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (its website suggests it is “some of the most seasoned music industry pros in the business today [with a] combined over 50 years experience”), several Oscar hopefuls in the Academy’s two categories devoted to music, best original song and best original score, performed at and/or accepted awards on Tuesday evening at the fifth annual edition of the gathering, which was held at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.
The HMM Awards honor musical work across different forms of media, including TV and video games. In the film-specific song categories, though, the big winners were “Lost Stars” from Begin Again (film) and “Everything Is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie (animated).
“Lost Stars” was performed in the film by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley, but was co-written by former New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood. Alexander, accompanied by Brisebois, was on hand not only to accept the best original song (feature film) honor but also to give his first public performance as a singer since he disbanded his band 15 years ago and turned his back on fame and fortune. (You can watch it for yourself in the video at the top of this post.) “Everything Is Awesome” was written by Shawn Patterson, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Joshua Bartholomew and Lisa Harriton and was performed in the film — but not at the HMM Awards — by Tegan and Sara featuring The Lonely Island.
Meanwhile, film scores were recognized across four genres: feature went to Birdman (Grammy-winning composer Antonio Sanchez also opened the show on the drums); sci-fi or fantasy went to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (the film’s composer Howard Shore was in attendance and received a standing ovation); animated film went to How to Train Your Dragon 2 (composer John Powell volunteered, “I stopped working live action because they’re all assholes — you ask Howard, he’ll tell you,” and then accidentally thanked Disney rather than his own film’s distributor, DreamWorks Animation, the Mouse House’s chief competitor); and documentary went to Merchants of Doubt (composer Mark Adler noted that he has now worked with filmmaker Robbie Kenner for 20 years).
Two summer blockbusters also took home prizes: outstanding music supervision went to The Fault in Our Stars (Season Kent) and outstanding soundtrack album went to Guardians of the Galaxy (which features a plethora of hits from the 1970s and 1980s).
Finally, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented, in-absentia, to Glen Campbell. The beloved country-pop singer and subject of James Keach‘s new doc Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, which chronicles Campbell’s efforts to finish his last tour even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, now resides in a facility, but Trevor Albert, Keach’s co-producer on the doc, picked it up on his behalf. Before heading across town to participate in a Q&A about the film following its screening at the Billboard + Hollywood Reporter Film and TV Music Conference, Albert noted that he had witnessed and his doc chronicles “one of the most heroic musical adventures anyone has ever heard about.”
Best original score and best original song are two of the few categories presented at the Oscars that aren’t first presented at many earlier awards shows. The categories are represented at the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe events, but do not have an event of their own in the way that many others do via corresponding guilds and societies. So the HMM Awards are perhaps the biggest showcase for Oscar-contending songs that we’ll have until those others come along next month.
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