famous musicians in fierce fight for best song Oscar
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[March 01, 2014]
By Phil Furey
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A recent
Grammy winner, a legendary rock band, a Broadway star belting out a
girl-power ballad and an impossibly cool indie rocker have found
themselves at the juncture of one of the most compelling Oscar races
of the year: best original song.
It's a category that has drawn big names and some drama of
its own, and a lot of buzz around one song in particular that
many girls and their parents are now playing in their heads;
"Let It Go," from Disney's blockbuster animated film "Frozen."
"The song category is the most interesting category in my
opinion, and it's drawn the biggest campaigning this year," said
Matthew Belloni, executive editor of trade magazine The
The best original song category drew attention early in the race
when Oscars organizers revoked a nomination for "Alone Yet Not
Alone," from an independent Christian faith movie of the same
name, citing improper campaigning by the songwriter.
The remaining four contenders span a wide spectrum of genres:
Grammy winner Pharrell Williams' upbeat R&B ditty "Happy" from
"Despicable Me 2," Broadway star Idina Menzel's inspirational
interpretation of "Let It Go," indie rocker Karen O's dreamy
ballad "The Moon Song" from "Her," and U2's rock-infused
"Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
All four acts will lend their star power on the Oscars stage on
Sunday to sing the nominated tunes.
U2's song benefited from a high-profile television performance
last week on comedian Jimmy Fallon's debut night on NBC's
"Tonight Show," while Pharrell's "Happy" has been heavily
featured in a Fiat television commercial. Both songs have been
getting regular radio airplay, and both acts have been
performing at private parties to drum up buzz during the
two-week Oscars voting period this month.
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Karen O teamed up with Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig for a
duet on "The Moon Song," which received attention from fans online
and was released in a three-song extended play album.
But all three songs may be dwarfed by Disney's "Let it Go," which
has been helped by what Belloni calls "the juggernaut that is
'Frozen.'" The song has become a viral hit with more than 115
million views on YouTube and has helped the film's soundtrack top
the Billboard album chart for five weeks.
In addition to that, Disney has benefited from sing-along versions
of the film, which is storming toward making $1 billion at the
worldwide box office, becoming the second highest-grossing animated
film of all time. "Frozen" is also the frontrunner for best animated
film on Sunday.
"It's in the tradition of the grand Disney musicals," Belloni said.
"I think voters are going to look at that and they're going to say
'This movie is successful in part because of this one song,' and
they're going to vote for it."
(Reporting by Reuters TV, Writing by
Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)
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