Among The Oscar Contenders For Best Original Song: Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar

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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper star in "A Star Is Born" (Courtesy Warner Bros. Ent.)
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper star in "A Star Is Born" (Courtesy Warner Bros. Ent.)

Among the Oscar contenders this year for Best Original Song are a ballad and pop rap from two of the biggest movies of the year — "A Star Is Born" and "Black Panther."

Lady Gaga's "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born" became a hit outside of the film, going platinum. Jon Burlingame (@jonburlingame), who teaches at the Thornton School of Music at USC, tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson the immensely powerful song is a favorite among critics and Oscar-watchers.

"In this case it's a key turning point in the narrative, and it's a powerful moment in the film," he says. "And if the Academy wants to acknowledge 'A Star Is Born,' this is the place it's likely to be."

Another track that will be a major contender is Kendrick Lamar and SZA's "All The Stars" from "Black Panther," which Burlingame says, "became part of the cultural conversation we're having in this country right now about race."

"When a song enters the larger public consciousness outside of the context of the picture that's always an important factor," he says. "And let's face it, Kendrick Lamar is as hot as he can be right now."

Music From The Segment

"Shallow" from "A Star Is Born"

"All The Stars" from "Black Panther"

"I'll Fight" from "RBG"

"The Place Where Lost Things Go" from "Mary Poppins Returns"

"When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"

Emiko Tamagawa produced and edited this story for broadcast with help from Todd Mundt

This segment aired on February 22, 2019.

Headshot of Samantha Raphelson

Samantha Raphelson Associate Producer, Here & Now
Samantha Raphelson is an associate producer for Here & Now, based at NPR in Washington, D.C.


Headshot of Jeremy Hobson

Jeremy Hobson Former Co-Host, Here & Now
Before coming to WBUR to co-host Here & Now, Jeremy Hobson hosted the Marketplace Morning Report, a daily business news program with an audience of more than six million.



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