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Adele leads crop of Oscar song nominees, will perform at ceremony

Perhaps the elusive Adele -- shown here in February 2012 - will return for an Oscars performance. Photo: Getty Images
Perhaps the elusive Adele — shown here in February 2012 – will return for an Oscars performance. Photo: Getty Images

[Update: On Jan. 23, Academy Awards producers confirmed that Adele will sing the nominated "Skyfall" live at the Feb. 24 ceremony. The other nominees weren't mentioned in the announcement, reported by Entertainment Weekly, but, as the magazine pointed out, it would be odd not to have the other hopefuls perform - especially since they include Hugh Jackman and Oscar host Seth MacFarlane.

"Skyfall" is the first James Bond theme nominated for an Oscar since 1981's "For Your Eyes Only." Adele's Oscar appearance will be the first time she's performed the song live.] 

That Adele’s lush “Skyfall”is nominated for an Oscar pretty much means the category is a wrap. Remember last year’s Grammys? If Adele’s voice touches a piece of music, a golden trophy will follow.

And no argument here. “Skyfall” was one of my favorites of 2012, and given its competition in the Best Original Song category, is the one I’d put my money on any day.

Oscar host Seth MacFarlane received a nod for writing the swinging Randy Newman-esque “Everybody Needs a Best Friend,” from the hilariously raunchy “Ted” (sung by Norah Jones); the new song “Suddenly”was recognized from “Les Miserables” (an inclusion that many “Les Miz” purists felt was unnecessary); the pretty piano balled “Before My Time” from the Sundance-winning documentary “Chasing Ice” also received a nomination. Written by J. Ralph, the song is sung over the film’s credits by an able Scarlett Johansson with violin from Joshua Bell.

And rounding out the category is the swoony “Pi’s Lullaby,” written by Mychael Danna with lyrics by Bombay Jayashri.

Aside from the Best Original Song category, how wonderful that “Searching for Sugar Man” received a Best Documentary nod. This intriguing film, released here in September, is excellent: A forgotten Detroit musician, Sixto Rodriguez, is tracked down by a documentarian after it is discovered that Rodriguez is a hero in South Africa.

Making the film all the sweeter was the real-time results it prompted. Rodriguez popped up on David Letterman’s show to perform, he’s been booked in 2,000-seat venues in England and played a club and theater tour in the U.S. last fall.

That the singer-songwriter, 70, accepted all of this with grace and humility is all the more rewarding to watch.

“Searching for Sugar Man” has tough competition in the form of the heralded “The Gatekeepers,” but this is one of those cases where the cliché of it being an honor just to be nominated actually feels OK.

Take a listen to the nominees below. What is your pick? Sound off in the comments section.

(Also, check out the Oscar noms with Atlanta connections and our gallery of nominees.)


“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”


“Before My Time”

“Pi’s Lullaby”

2 comments Add your comment


January 10th, 2013
1:03 pm

Kind of disappointed that the Civil Wars’/Taylor Swift piece “Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games was not included. Pop princess included or not, the song is fantastic.


January 10th, 2013
2:57 pm

Les Mis needed a new song because only new songs can be nominated for an Oscar.

Although a quick search of Wikipedia (the font of all true knowledge) shows that such a song hasn’t shown up very often – “Take It All” from Nine (2009), three songs from Dreamgirls (2006), “Learn to Be Lonely” from Phantom (2004), “I Move On” from Chicago (2002), and before that you have to go back to the classic “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space” from Little Shop of Horrors. That gap may have more to do with the popularity of Broadway musical movies than the Oscar nominating process.