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After 2012’s doozie of a best original song category — only two were nominated, “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets and “Real in Rio” from Rio — the 85th Annual Academy Awards’ five nominated songs seemed an embarrassment of riches.
Narrowed from an initial group of over 100, which included the likes of Katy Perry, Keith Urban and Jon Bon Jovi, the final contenders were “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice (sung by Scarlett Johansson), “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted (lyrics written by Oscar host Seth MacFarlane and performed by Norah Jones), “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi, “Skyfall” by Adele and Paul Epworth, and “Suddenly,” a new composition written for Les Miserables and sung by Hugh Jackman.
But there was little doubt going into Sunday’s ceremony as to who would emerge victorious. And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, “Skyfall” took the honors.
It’s the first time in the 50-year movie history of James Bond that a song from the franchise has won an Oscar.
British chart-topper Adele, who arrived to the Oscars red carpet wearing U.K. designer Jenny Packham, performed the number during the show’s second half to rousing applause, and it’s no wonder: Academy voters, like the 10 million who brought Adele’s latest album, 21, are clearly smitten with the singer.
Accepting the award with producer and co-writer Epworth, Adele, wearing Burberry, could hardly contain her tears but managed to squeak out to her songwriting partner, “Thank you for believing in me all the time.” He returned the favor, telling the audience of A-listers, “She’s absolutely amazing.”
Later in the press room, the two collaborators explained their process. Said Adele: “I go to him with an idea, and you have an idea ready for me as well, and normally we just kind of throw them at each other … Sometimes, it just happens, [like with] ‘Skyfall‘ and ‘Rolling in the Deep.’ … You’ve just got to connect and hope for the best.”
Adele also won a Grammy Award two weeks ago for best pop solo performance for a live version of “Set Fire to the Rain.”
In the best original score category, Mychael Danna‘s win for Life of Pi didn’t come as much of a surprise, either. It won the Golden Globe as well. In accepting the Oscar, the Canadian composer gave credit to director Ang Lee, whom he called “our visionary captain.”
With additional reporting by Sophie Schillaci
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