The dawn of a new millennium and the music awards keep changing.
In past years, award-winning songs from movies invariably topped the charts: “The Theme from Exodus", “A Summer Place", “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing", “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", “(Everything I do) I Do It for You", “The Eye of the Tiger"," “Flashdance, What a Feeling, “The Way We Were", and of course “My Heart Will Go On". The list is endless.
But in this century it’s happened only twice, once with Eminem’s “Lose Yourself", the Academy Award winner for Best Song which went on to top the charts for12 consecutive weeks, and again with “Let It Go” from Disney’s animated feature Frozen, which sold over 10 million copies. What the new millennium has accomplished, however, it’s attracted luminaries from the world of pop, country, and rock & roll to write songs for the screen.
So 2000 began with a win for pop star Phil Collins, whose song from Disney’s Tarzan, “You’ll Be in My Heart”, won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe, but never topped the charts. The Golden Globe for Best Score that year went to Ennio Morricone for The Legend of 1900, but once again the Academy refused him that honor, instead giving their award to classical composer John Corigliano for The Red Violin. 2000 was also the year the Academy decided to drop their Adapted Score award, and give only one award for Best Motion Picture Score.
2001 was the year of Bob Dylan. The song he wrote for Wonder Boys, “Things Have Changed” won both of the Golden Globe and the Academy Award, and he was there to accept both of them. Even though it wasn’t a chart-topper, it served the movie brilliantly. Michael Douglas, the star of Wonder Boys, told the HFPA of being fortuitously introduced to Bob Dylan by George Harrison the night he won his Golden Globe for Wall Street. The awards for music score, however, were divided; the Golden Globe going to Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard for Gladiator and the Academy Award going to Tan Dun for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
2002 was even more divisive. The Golden Globe Best Song was Sting’s “Until” from Kate and Leopold, the Oscar’s was Randy Newman’s “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters, Inc. Randy, whose uncles, Lionel and Alfred Newman, were two of Hollywood’s greatest composers, has been nominated a record 20 times by the Academy. His only other win would be for Toy Story 2. Sadly he has never won a Golden Globe. The Golden Globe Best Score was Craig Armstrong’s for Moulin Rouge!. The Academy singled out Howard Shore for Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring.
2003 was the historic year a musical (Chicago) finally won both the Best Picture Academy Award and the Golden Globe. The last time that happened was 1969 (Oliver). To celebrate, both the HFPA and the Academy honored Eliot Goldenthal’s masterful Frida as best score, but they split Best Song awards with two pop artists, the Golden Globe going to Bono and U2 for “Hands that Built America” from Gangs of New York, and the Oscar to the aforementioned Eminem for “Lose Yourself”, from director Curtis Hanson's 8 Mile, which he shared with Jeff Bass and Luis Resto.
2004 was the year of Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, the last film in Peter Jackson’s monumental trilogy. After two nominations the series finally won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture- Drama, and it would also win Best Score, for Howard Shore’s epic contribution. Shore was a double Golden Globe winner that year, his song “Into the West” with lyrics by the director’s wife, Fran Walsh, and singer Annie Lennox won the Academy Award as well.
Shore would win again in 2005 for The Aviator, but the Academy preferred Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s Finding Neverland. The HFPA gave its Golden Globe for Best Song to Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart for “Old Habits Die Hard,” from Alfie, but the Academy preferred "Al otro lado del río" from The Motorcycle Diaries, with music & lyrics by Jorge Drexler. 2006 was the year when Brokeback Mountain not only won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (the Academy preferred Crash) but Best Song as well, “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” music by Gustavo Santaolalla and lyrics by Bernie Taupin, sung by Emmylou Harris. The Academy’s choice for Best Song was "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow, music and lyrics by Frayser Boy, Juicy J, and DJ Paul, which the HFPA never even nominated. Reversing winners, the Oscar for Best Score went to Santaolalla, while the HFPA preferred John Williams’ lush score for Memoirs of a Geisha.
For the next three years, the Hollywood Foreign Press favored a rock star for its Best Song award. Prince, Eddie Vedder, and Bruce Springsteen won consecutive Golden Globes for “The Song of the Heart” from Happy Feet (2007), “Guaranteed” from Into the Wild (2008) and “The Wrestler” from the movie of the same name (2009.) The Academy ignored all three. The Best Score award in 2007 went to Alexandre Desplat forThe Painted Veil, and the Academy choice was Santaolla again for Babel — but then, turn around, in 2008 and 2009 both Golden Globe winners Dario Marianelli for Atonement and A. R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire were the Oscar choices as well.
In 2010 the Golden Globe for best song went to “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart and best score to Michael Giacchino for Disney’s Up. The Academy followed suit. 2011’s Golden Globe best song is Cher’s “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” by Diane Warren from Burlesque; the Academy preferred Randy Newman’s previously noted “We Belong Together.” For Best Score, the HFPA championed Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ innovative The Social Network, and again the Academy followed suit.
For the next three years, once again, three pop icons sweep the Golden Globe for best song, Madonna, Adele, and Bono. Madonna’s win is for “Masterpiece” from the movie she directed, W.E. Adele’s is for Skyfall from the James Bond movie of the same name, and Bono’s is for “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Only Adele would go on to win the Oscar. For Best Score, Ludovic Bource won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe in 2012 for The Artist, but the Golden Globe choices for Best Score in the next years- Mychael Danna for Life of Pi (2013) and Alex Ebert for Robert Redford’s All Is Lost (2014)- failed to convince the Academy.
In 2015 the Golden Globe best score was Jóhann Jóhannsson’s The Theory of Everything, in 2016 it was Ennio Morricone’s The Hateful Eight – his eighth nomination and third Golden Globe - and in 2017 Justin Hurwitz’s La La Land. The latter two were also the Oscar winners. For Best Song, the Golden Globe winners were John Legend and Common’s “Glory” from Selma (2015); Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes’ “Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre (2016), and Justin Hurwitz’s “City of Stars,” lyrics by Ben Pasek and Justin Paul, from La La Land (2017), all three the Academy’s choices as well.
Here’s to our next 75 years!