Inside the Starry Best-Original-Song Oscar Race

U2 “YOUR SONG SAVED MY LIFE” from Sing 2 (Universal)

Previous Oscar noms: two. 
Grammys won: 22. 
Platinum-selling albums: 17. 
Best lyric: “You know your song saved my life / I don’t sing it just so I can get by / Won’t you hear me when I tell you, darling / I sing it to survive.” 
Competitive edge: It’s U2’s first original song since 2019, and animated movies have had real success in this category in recent years.

VAN MORRISON “DOWN TO JOY” from Belfast (Focus Features)

Previous Oscar noms: zero. 
Grammys won: two. 
Platinum-selling albums: two. 
Best lyric: “I had a brand new story / Comin’ down to joy / Man I felt the glory / When I was comin’ down to joy.” 
Competitive edge: As the composer of the popular Belfast, Morrison could score a rare double nomination—provided his stand against COVID lockdowns doesn’t get in his way.


Previous Oscar noms: one—a supporting actress win for Dreamgirls in 2007. 
Grammys won: two. 
Platinum-selling albums: zero. 
Best lyric: “Stepped out on the road, became a woman on the way / Stare the whole world down / ’Til you hold it in your hands and say / Here I am (here I am).” 
Competitive edge: She’s already an Oscar winner and could be nominated for best actress too.

BILLIE EILISH “NO TIME TO DIE” from No Time to Die (United Artists)

Previous Oscar noms: zero. 
Grammys won: seven—including an award for this very song. 
Platinum-selling albums: two. 
Best lyric: “I should’ve known / I’d leave alone / Just goes to show / That the blood you bleed / Is just the blood you owe.” 
Competitive edge: The previous two Bond themes have won this category, and Eilish could bring coveted Gen Z appeal to the Oscars.

BEYONCÉ “BE ALIVE” from King Richard (Warner Bros.)

Previous Oscar noms: zero. 
Grammys won: 28. 
Platinum-selling albums: 12. 
Best lyric: “This is hustle personified / Look how we’ve been fighting to stay alive / So when we win, we will have pride.” 
Competitive edge: She’s a superstar representing a crowd-pleaser—plus she’s in the race against husband Jay-Z.

JAY-Z “GUNS GO BANG” from The Harder They Fall (Netflix)

Previous Oscar noms: zero. 
Grammys won: 23.
Platinum-selling albums: 13. 
Best lyric: “Stain glass windows on the church, I hope they stain proof / Cause when the tides change, I’m tryna stain you / Plottin’ for revenge, dig your grave too / Whatever you want engraved what your tombstone gon’ say too.” 
Competitive edge: He’s got both this song and another from the stylish Western, and did we mention that his wife is also in the running?


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