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2018 GRAMMY Nominations: Best Song Written For Visual Media Roundup

Best Song Written For Visual Media nominees

(L-R) Justin Hurwitz, Common, Sia, Taylor Swift, Lin Manuel-Miranda
Photos: WireImage.com

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2018 GRAMMY Nominations: Best Song Written For Visual Media Roundup

Spanning songs written for 'La La Land,' 'Fifty Shades Darker,' 'Moana,' and more, zoom in on the 60th GRAMMY nominees up for Best Song Written For Visual Media

GRAMMYs/Dec 28, 2017 - 11:30 pm

While films are no doubt all about the visuals, there's no denying the power of music in cinema.

Sometimes, the perfect song can punctuate a film scene perfectly, or, if the composer's lucky, result in an iconic Hollywood moment. Think Audrey Hepburn crooning "Moon River" in Breakfast At Tiffany's or John Travolta's strut to the tune of "Stayin' Alive" in Saturday Night Fever, just to name a couple.

The five nominees for Best Song Written For Visual Media for the 60th GRAMMY Awards are all songs written for the silver screen. Each offers a modern example of a vital auditory companion to a film. In other words, when you sing along, you can probably picture the movie instantly.

Have a closer listen to this year's nominated songs and learn more about the songwriters behind them.

(Editor's Note: Best Song Written For Visual Media is awarded to the songwriters of a song written specifically for a motion picture, television, video game or other visual media. Artist names appear in parentheses.)

"City Of Stars"

Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone)
Track from La La Land



The romantic musical La La Land had a fairy-tale ending in becoming the most decorated film of 2016 with six Oscars. The film's title song, "City Of Stars," featuring vocals shared by cast members Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, netted Best Original Song.

The affable tune, which impeccably bottles the tone of the film, forms the basis of multiple scenes, including when Sebastian (Gosling) sings and dances on the Hermosa Beach pier. "['City Of Stars'] started at the piano with me just working on demos," said co-writer Justin Hurwitz. "I would say the tone is hopeful, but melancholy at the same time."

This nod is one of four La La Land-related nominations for Hurwitz. His collaborators Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are each up for Best Musical Theater Album for Dear Evan Hansen. All three are seeking their first GRAMMY win. Should "City Of Stars" prevail, it would become the latest in a lineage of songs to win both a GRAMMY and an Oscar.

"How Far I'll Go"

Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli'i Cravalho)
Track from Moana: The Songs

Lin-Manuel Miranda is seeking his third taste of GRAMMY gold with this song from the hit Disney animated motion picture, Moana. With its "I can do it" theme, the platinum tune, performed by actress/singer Auli'i Cravalho (Moana), was in the running for Best Original Song at the 2017 Oscars, but ending up losing to fellow nominee "City Of Stars."

As it turns out, Miranda employed a form of "acting" to compose the uplifting song. The GRAMMY winner returned to his parents' home and actually locked himself in his childhood bedroom in a bid to get in the creative mindset of a 16-year-old, the same age of the main character, Moana. "I kind of went method for it," said Miranda. "I like, locked myself up in my bedroom and it was like, 'All right, you're 16 years old.'"

Miranda is also up for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media for his co-producer role on the soundtrack to Moana: The Songs. He has two prior wins for Best Musical Theater Album for In The Heights and Hamilton.

"I Don't Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)"

Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, songwriters (ZAYN & Taylor Swift)
Track from Fifty Shades Darker



Ripe with sexy falsettos and mesmerizing instrumentation, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" is arguably as electric as the steamy film itself. The combustible chemistry of the unlikely pairing of Taylor Swift and ZAYN make for the perfect aural backdrop to Fifty Shades Darker's sailing scene between Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). And upon its release, the song sailed all the way to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Not bad for a song that "came together very quickly," according to Jack Antonoff, who also revealed via Twitter that it was produced "at home mostly on paper sounds."

The 10-time GRAMMY winner Swift is a past winner in the category, earning the honor for "Safe And Sound (From The Hunger Games)" at the 55th GRAMMY Awards. She is up for another songwriter award this year, Best Country Song, for writing Little Big Town's "Better Man."

Anotnoff, a three-time past winner, is also up for Album Of The Year for his production and songwriting roles on Lorde's Melodrama. Sam Dew is a first-time nominee.

"Never Give Up"

Sia Furler & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Sia)
Track from Lion

One of the more authentic film anthems in recent memory, "Never Give Up" is the product of Sia and her frequent collaborator, producer/songwriter Greg Kurstin.

Featured in Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, the music in "Never Give Up" perfectly matches the film's storyline about a young Indian boy who searches for his Indian birth family 25 years after being adopted by Australians. The song's message mixes an inspirational message on top of Bollywood-style music flourishes, with Sia declaring, "I won't let you get me down/I'll keep getting up when I hit the ground/Oh, never give up, no."

Sia, who was nominated in this category last year for "Try Everything" from Zootopia, is in search of her first GRAMMY win. Four-time GRAMMY winner Kurstin is also nominated for Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical, which he won last year.

"Stand Up For Something"

Common, Andra Day & Diane Warren, songwriters (Andra Day Featuring Common)
Track from Marshall

The potent combination of Andra Day's powerhouse vocals and Common's insightful rhymes form the centerpiece of this anthem. Featured in Marshall, a biopic on African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Common and film music songwriter par excellence Diane Warren focused on the timeless sentiment of standing one's moral ground.

"It could have taken place in the '60s or '70s, but it's relevant to today," Common told "Good Morning America" about Marshall. "Unfortunately, we have to encounter these issues, but we have to take them head-on. … We've got to stand up for whatever it may be, whether it's animal rights, the environment, women's rights, and standing up against the injustices."

Common and Warren are each prior winners in the category. The three-time GRAMMY-winning rapper won the honor for "Glory" from Selma at the 58th GRAMMY Awards. Warren has 10 prior nominations in the category, including a win for "Because You Loved Me" from Up Close & Personal at the 39th GRAMMY Awards. Day is seeking her first GRAMMY win.

The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 28, 2018, airing live on CBS from 7:30–11 p.m. ET/4:30–8 p.m. PT.

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

Attention Music Fans: Take The GRAMMY Challenge NOW On KIK And Facebook Messenger

Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

FYI/TMI: Are Taylor Swift And Ed Sheeran Getting Together?
Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

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FYI/TMI: Are Taylor Swift And Ed Sheeran Getting Together?

Rumors surface that the two are in a red-hot relationship; Sony/ATV Music Publishing named top publisher of fourth quarter in 2012

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes needless….)

FYI …

Sony/ATV Claims Top Publisher In Q4 2012
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which in June 2012 acquired administration of EMI Music Publishing, was the top publisher in the fourth quarter of 2012 based on its 25.8 percent share of the top 100 songs during the period, according to figures released by Nielsen BDS. No. 2 was Kobalt Music Group (16.5 percent share), followed by Universal Music Publishing Group (15.9 percent share), Warner/Chappell Music (14.2 percent share), and BMG Chrysalis (5.3 percent share).

TMI …

Swift Getting Together With Sheeran?
Taylor Swift may never be getting back together with a few people — like, ever — but that isn't stopping her from joining "The A Team." According to a report, Swift and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran were reportedly seen together at a hotel in late February. Adding more red-hot fuel to the fire, Sheeran collaborated with Swift on her latest album, Red, the name of which is also a tattoo on Sheeran's left arm. Since Swift and Sheeran supposedly dated briefly last spring, maybe they are, like, getting back together.

Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

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Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

The Hawaiian native takes home Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 08:11 am

Feeling the 24K Magic, Bruno Mars' successful progress through the categories he's been nominated in at the 60th GRAMMY Awards picked up another one at Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like."


Christopher Brody Brown and Philip Lawrence co-write with Mars under the name Shampoo Press & Curl. The other winning songwriters for Mars' hit tonight in this category are James Fauntleroy and production team "The Sterotypes" — Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and  Jonathan Yip.

For additional "Finesse" on stage at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Mars was joined by Cardi B for a reprise of their 148-million-views hit remix.

The Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award wrapped up the night and wrapped up Bruno Mars' complete rampage through his six nominated categories — now six wins.

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