Songwriter Siedah Garrett ‘Ecstatic’ on Oscar Nomination
(LOS ANGELES) -- When the 84th Academy Award nominations were announced in January, one category was noticeably sparse: Best Original Song. For the first time since the category was introduced 76 years ago, only two songs, “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, and “Real in Rio” from Rio, are up for the award.
The reason for the lack of nominees is the rating system the Academy has in place. First, no more than five songs can be nominated and the song has to play an integral role in the film. Then the 236 members of the Academy’s music branch score submissions on a half-point scale from 6 to 10 and only those with a rating of 8.25 or above will be considered.
One woman who isn’t complaining about the lack of nominees is Siedah Garrett, the lyricist for “Real in Rio,” who is best known for co-writing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and dueting with the legend on his number-one hit, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.”
This isn’t Garrett’s first opportunity to take an Oscar home. In 2006, her Grammy Award-winning song “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls was nominated, but lost to “I Need to Wake Up” by Melissa Etheridge.
Although Garrett said she is “ecstatic” that she has a 50 percent chance of winning this year, neither she nor Sergio Mendes, co-composer of “Real in Rio,” were happy when they learned they would not have the opportunity to sing the song at the ceremony after it was decided the nominated songs would not be performed.
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