Listen to all five of this year's Best Original Song Oscar nominees
Get ready for the Oscars to go off the deep end: “Shallow,” from A Star Is Born has been nominated for Best Original Song, along with “All the Stars” from Black Panther, “I’ll Fight” from RBG, “The Place Where Lost Things Go”‘ from Mary Poppins Returns, and “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
“Shallow” (A Star is Born)
The Star Is Born duet has already taken home the Golden Globe for best song, and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper have been ready to take it to the Oscars. In an interview with Variety, Gaga was asked if she would consider performing the song during the ceremony. “One hundred percent,” Gaga said.
“We talked about that actually, because I’m such a maniac,” Cooper added. “I started texting her the whole pitch of how we should do it. So we’ll see. There might be a cool, unorthodox way we could perform it.”
“Shallow,” co-written by Gaga, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando, and Gaga’s Joanne executive producer Mark Ronson marks the first time in the movie where Gaga’s Ally performs on a major stage. Invited up during a concert by Jackson Maine (Cooper), Ally performs a duet she wrote. Clips of it go viral, catalyzing her rise to stardom. The song reached No. 5 in the United States and topped charts in England and Australia, but the Oscars will mark the first time Gaga and Cooper perform it live. Listen to the song above (and hear the A+ cover from West Side Story‘s new Maria, Rachel Zegler).
“All the Stars” (Black Panther)
During the end credits of Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar brought all the stars closer with “All the Stars,” a song which also features K. Dot and SZA, all performing over a beat by Sounwave and Al Shux. The single reached No. 7 in the Hot 100, and the Black Panther soundtrack album, which was curated by Lamar made it to the top of the Billboard charts. “The magnitude of [the] film showcases a great marriage of art and culture,” Lamar said about the film. “I’m truly honored to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside Ryan and Marvel’s vision.”
The All the Stars music video featured actual black panthers, but no word yet as to whether or not that would cause pandemonium during a live Oscar performance.
“I’ll Fight” (RBG)
Jennifer Hudson sings “I’ll Fight,” the powerful song written by legendary songwriter Diane Warrern for the documentary RBG, about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Last year, I wrote ‘Stand Up For Something’ for ‘Marshall,’ the film about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall,” Warren said. “Now, I have written a song, ‘I’ll Fight,’ for another legendary Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It has been an honor to write a song about such a badass, inspiring, and iconic woman. And, it’s a dream-come-true to have my friend, Jennifer Hudson, one of the greatest voices on the planet, sing this song.”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Mary Poppins Returns)
In Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt plays the titular magical nanny, disciplining, giving life lessons, and singing the entire way through. One of her songs, “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” is a sweet but mournful ballad sung as a lullaby to the children before bed, reflecting with melancholy on the loss of their mother. The song was written by Marc Shaiman, who also received an Oscar nod for the film’s score.
“I was so incredibly moved by it that I found it virtually impossible to get through it the first few times I sang it in [composer Marc Shaiman’s apartment],” Blunt said at a press conference. “It was so emotional for me because I did think of my own children, and these children in the film— their sense of loss, they’re trying to hold their father together and they’ve dealt with something so profound and so agonizing to lose a parent and to be so young and miss her so much and oh my God, I could cry thinking about it. But it was just, it just moved me so much. And so on the day, it was one of my favorite days on set.”
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)
Finally, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs made it into the category with “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” sung by the titular character, played by Tim Blake Nelson in the first of the film’s six segments.
Scruggs, an outlaw balladeer, sings gleefully while outshooting his rivals and commemorating their downfalls, until (spoiler alert), he sings his final song as a newly minted angel with wings, ascending to heaven. The song written by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch is performed by Nelson and singer-songwriter Willie Watson, who plays the man-in-black cowboy who takes down Scruggs.
See the full list of Oscar nominees in all categories here.