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Academy Awards puts emphasis on music

Pharrell Williams celebrates his nomination by the Academy
Pharrell Williams celebrates his nomination by the Academy
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris

As the buzz from the Grammys begins to die down, the music world is preparing to watch the Academy Awards and their performances. Although this prestigious award show serves as recognition for noteworthy actors, in recent years it has become another milestone for musicians.

The Academy Awards offers a Best Original Song category that has become surprisingly competitive. The Oscars are going above and beyond to recognize smash hits that contributed to certain motion pictures. Eclectic music listeners know that 2013 offered a wide variety of pop music hits. In a Billboard article, last year’s pop music scene is compared to the music scene in 1984, when Stevie Wonder won an Academy Award for Best Original Song with “I Just Called To Say I Love You”, which he wrote and produced.

Academy members who are songwriters and composers nominate artists for the Best Original Song award. The ultimate winners are chosen by the Academy membership as a whole. The rules are relatively simple; a song must appear in a motion picture from the previous year and the song cannot rely on sampled material.

This year at the Oscars, Pharrell Williams is competing with his smash hit “Happy”, which is currently No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song is also the feature track from the film “Despicable Me 2”, which was popular among younger audiences. U2 is also competing with their song “Ordinary Love”, which was featured in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and garnered considerable chart attention. The awards air March 2nd and promise performances for music and movie lovers alike.