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Beyonce, Jay-Z, U2 and Ariana Grande Among Music Superstars Shortlisted for Oscars’ Best Song Nominations

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The music shortlists for Oscar consideration, announced Tuesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, might just be the most star-studded lineup in history.

Nearly all of the 15 songs on the list for potential nomination have been written or recorded by pop superstars, and the approximately 375 members of Oscar’s music branch are going to have a difficult time paring the list down to five best-song nominees.

The most interesting matchup involves spouses Jay-Z (cited for his song “Guns Go Bang” from “The Harder They Fall,” Jay-Z also served as the film’s producer) and Beyoncé (for her “Be Alive” from “King Richard”).

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Three songs on the shortlist are by past Oscar winners: H.E.R., last year’s reigning victor for “Fight for You,” has “Automatic Woman” from “Bruised” in contention; “La La Land” songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are co-writers of “The Anonymous Ones” from “Dear Evan Hansen”; and Jennifer Hudson is one of the writers on “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” from the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect.” Hudson could potentially be in the running for Best Actress come nominations morning.

James Bond theme “No Time to Die” — already a Grammy winner for writers Billie Eilish and Finneas — is a likely lock for a nomination. Songs from animated movies are always serious contenders, and this year they include Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto” and U2’s “Your Song Saved My Life” from “Sing 2.” Should Miranda go all the way, he would complete his EGOT with the win here.

Sparks has “So May We Start?” from “Annette,” Ariana Grande “Just Look Up” from “Don’t Look Up,” and Idina Menzel “Dream Girl” from “Cinderella.”

Music royalty from earlier generations who could snag nominations include Van Morrison for “Down to Joy” from “Belfast,” Brian Wilson for “Right Where I Belong” from the documentary “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” and Carole King, co-writer with Hudson on the song from “Respect.”

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Twelve-time nominee (thus far without a win) Diane Warren is back in the mix with “Somehow You Do” from the obscure drama “Four Good Days,” and the well-liked “CODA” is also on the list with “Beyond the Shore,” by veteran pop producer Marius De Vries.

Most of the 15 original scores on Oscar’s 2021 shortlist were predictable, including two by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood – “The Power of the Dog” and “Spencer” – and two by movie-music veteran and past Oscar winner Hans Zimmer: the sci-fi “Dune” and the 007 epic “No Time to Die.”

But this year’s list was also surprisingly diverse, including one woman and four persons of color: Mexican-American composer Germaine Franco was cited for her colorful “Encanto” score. Three African-American composers also made the list: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe for “Candyman,” Jeymes Samuel for “The Harder They Fall” and Kris Bowers for “King Richard.”

The only other past Oscar winner to gain a spot on the list is Alexandre Desplat, for “The French Dispatch,” although four previous Oscar nominees are also included: Daniel Pemberton for “Being the Ricardos,” Nicholas Britell for “Don’t Look Up,” Alberto Iglesias for “Parallel Mothers” and Carter Burwell for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Two period pieces round out the list: “The Last Duel” by Harry Gregson-Williams and “The Green Knight” by Daniel Hart.

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Music-branch voters chose from 84 eligible songs and 136 eligible scores. Voting for the final five nominees in each category begins Jan. 27, and the nominations will be announced on Feb. 8. The 94th Academy Awards are on March 27.

The alphabetical lists follow. The Academy announced only the film titles and song titles, not the specific composers or songwriters.

Music (Original Score)

“Being the Ricardos”
“Candyman”
“Don’t Look Up”
“Dune”
“Encanto”
“The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun”
“The Green Knight”
“The Harder They Fall”
“King Richard”
“The Last Duel”
“No Time to Die”
“Parallel Mothers”
“The Power of the Dog”
“Spencer”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”

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Music (Original Song)

“So May We Start?” from “Annette”
“Down To Joy” from “Belfast”
“Right Where I Belong” from “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road”
“Automatic Woman” from “Bruised”
“Dream Girl” from “Cinderella”
“Beyond The Shore” from “CODA”
“The Anonymous Ones” from “Dear Evan Hansen”
“Just Look Up” from “Don’t Look Up”
“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”
“Guns Go Bang” from “The Harder They Fall”
“Be Alive” from “King Richard”
“No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die”
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” from “Respect”
“Your Song Saved My Life” from “Sing 2”

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Netflix, Sky Team on Natural History Series ‘Predators’

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Predators

Netflix and Sky are co-producing for the first time on natural history series “Predators,” a six-parter that will follow six predators across changing landscapes. The series will premiere on Sky Nature in the U.K., Germany and Italy in winter 2022.

Other Sky factual commissions include “Gabon” (working title) that explores the story of a scientist from Manchester who became the Environment Minister of Central African country Gabon after forming an unlikely friendship with President Ali Bongo, which will bow on Sky Documentaries later this year, while “Death on The Beach,” which examines young travellers who have died under mysterious circumstances on the remote backpacking Thai island Koh Tao, will be on Sky Crime in March.

Elsewhere, following the Nov. 2021 launches in the U.K. and Ireland, Sky and NBCUniversal are continuing the rollout of Peacock internationally on Sky across Germany and Austria. From Jan. 25, at no additional cost, Sky Q and Sky Ticket customers in Germany and Sky X customers in Austria, will get access to Peacock programming, including current originals series “Saved by the Bell,” “Rutherford Falls” and “Girls5eva” and upcoming series “The Girl in the Woods,” “MacGruber,” “Bel-Air,” “Joe vs Carole” and “The Resort.”

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Peacock will continue to roll out across Sky platforms in Switzerland and Italy in the coming months.

Meanwhile, soccer anti-discrimination organization Kick It Out will be partnering with the England and Wales Cricket Board to identify and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion within cricket. The partnership supported by £100,000 ($134,895) donation from Sky, alongside an additional £100,000 which has been match funded by the cricket board. English cricket has been plagued with recent racism allegations and is implementing a 12-point action plan to address the issue.

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Adam Kersh and Chris Evans Launch Fusion Management, Clients Include Sean Baker, Cooper Raiff, Amy Seimetz (EXCLUSIVE)

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Chris Evans

Chris Evans and Adam Kersh have launched Fusion Management, an artist-driven management company that will focus on actors, filmmakers and creators.

Their initial management roster features a number of notable clients with a particular focus on indie multi-hyphenates and auteurs. The list includes Sean Baker, who earned raves for “Red Rocket”; filmmaker and actor Amy Seimetz, the co-creator of “The Girlfriend Experience” on Starz and the star of “No Sudden Move”; Cooper Raiff, a writer, director, producer and actor whose film “Cha Cha Real Smooth” premiered at Sundance this week to critical acclaim; and Kelly O’Sullivan, the writer and star of the award-winning “Saint Frances.”

Evans, formerly a manager at One Entertainment, and Kersh, co-founder of Brigade Marketing, bring more than two decades of combined experience within the entertainment industry. The two want Fusion to be a landing ground for both established creators and emerging talent both in front of and behind the camera.

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“Over the course of my career I’ve learned that talent want to partner with representation who possess the cultural competence to understand the full range of their experiences,” Evans said. “I’m excited to start a new chapter at Fusion where I can not only continue cultivating talented artists with distinct voices, but also become a mainstay in a business that lacks Black faces both behind the camera and in the boardroom.”

“Helping launch filmmakers and actors as a publicist over the last 10 years has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my career to date,” Kersh said. “I’m really looking forward to taking this to the next level as a manager. Chris and I take pride in a client roster of people who think originally and we are here to support their creative exploration, from emerging talent to more established artists.”

Additional management clients includes: multihyphenate Kentucker Audley (“Strawberry Mansion”) and Marco Calvani (“Borgia,” “A Better Half”); stage and screen actors Namir Smallwood (Broadway’s “Pass Over” and the upcoming film “Rounding”), Adam Gabay (HBO’s “Our Boys”) and Mitchell Winter (“Mr. Robot”); and writer-directors Clint Bentley (“Jockey”), Albert Birney (“Strawberry Mansion”), Greg Kwedar (“Transpecos”), Dan Sickles (“DINA”), Tyler Taromina (“Ham on Rye”), Alex Thompson (“Saint Frances”), and Stephanie Wang-Breal (“Blowin’ Up”).

After starting his career in documentaries, Evans carved out a niche for himself as a young manager with an eye for indie talent at One Entertainment. He also volunteers his time fundraising for democratic candidates, and amplifying Black and LGBT causes. He is an alumnus of Marymount Manhattan College where he studied Communications and Theater. In 2020, he served as a campaign surrogate for Kamala Harris’ presidential run.

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Kersh is known for his relentless work as a publicist on arthouse and independent films, working to raise attention for the likes of “The Florida Project,” “Compliance” and “It Follows.” After working in the PR department of Lionsgate for several years, Kersh co-founded Brigade Marketing, one of the leading entertainment publicity and digital marketing firms. He began his career working for the Writers Guild Foundation. He has also been an associate producer on several films including “The Eyes of My Mother,” “Swallow” and “Strawberry Mansion.”

Key Fusion staff includes Emma Myers, director of special projects. She will oversee a strategic advisory arm of the company including services to private and corporate entertainment media clients. The company retains a select number of longtime personal PR clients including Ann Dowd, Mark and Jay Duplass and Dax Shepard.

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