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The nominees for the Oscar for best original song could make for a star-studded category, as several of the leading contenders — representing films like Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Sony’s Devotion, Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick and Pixar’s Turning Red, among others — were written and performed by some of our leading pop stars.
From new songs from Oscar winners Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and Finneas to the long-awaited new track from Rihanna, these original compositions will aim to land on the category’s short list (which is announced Dec. 21) before making it to the home stretch when the nominations are announced next January.
Rihanna – “LIFT ME UP”
The singer (and fashion mogul) returned from a years-long hiatus from music with this ballad for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, co-written with the film’s composer, Ludwig Göransson, writer-director Ryan Coogler and Nigerian singer Tems.
Lady Gaga – “HOLD MY HAND”
Written with Michael Tucker, this power ballad from Top Gun: Maverick was interwoven into the Paramount film’s score (she shares composing credit with Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer and Hans Zimmer) and could earn Gaga a second Oscar for original song after A Star Is Born‘s “Shallow.”
Jazmine Sullivan – “STAND UP”
The legacy of Emmett Till is honored with this emotional song by Sullivan and co-writer Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II (an Oscar winner for Judas and the Black Messiah‘s “Fight for You”), who collaborated on the featured track from United Artists’ Till.
Taylor Swift – “CAROLINA”
Written for Sony’s Where the Crawdads Sing, this folk ballad from Swift has already reaped a Grammy nomination and could see the singer-songwriter earn one of two possible Oscar noms (the other for directing All Too Well: The Short Film).
Joe Jonas & Khalid – “NOT ALONE”
The Devotion actor did double duty on the Sony war drama about naval pilot Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) by performing the emotional ballad that plays over the final credits alongside Khalid. They wrote the song with Bernard Harvey and Ryan Tedder.
Selena Gomez – “MY MIND & ME”
The singer and actress offers an intimate look at her life offstage and off-camera in the Apple documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me, and the title song from the film delves into her personal struggles with mental health.
Doja Cat – “VEGAS”
The rapper’s song from Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis interpolates vocalist Shonka Dukureh’s recording of “Hound Dog,” also featured in the Warners film when Presley (Austin Butler) hears Big Mama Thornton (played by Dukureh) perform the classic.
Billie Eilish & Finneas – “NOBODY LIKE U”
The brother-and-sister songwriting duo wrote three tracks for the soundtrack to Pixar’s Turning Red — the others being “1 True Love” and “U Know What’s Up” — in the style of the fictional boy band 4*Town (which features Finneas as one of the vocalists). The pair could land their second consecutive nomination after last year’s “No Time to Die” from the James Bond film of the same name (which earned them an Oscar win).
This story first appeared in a December stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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