Oscars 2023: Best Original Song Predictions

The nominations for best original song give ‘RRR’ stars Rihanna and Lady Gaga a shot at the 2023 Oscars.

We’ll keep updating these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for our 2023 Oscars picks. The final vote will take place between March 2 and 7, 2023. The 95th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 12th and will air live on ABC at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.

Check out our previous thoughts on what to expect at the 95th Academy Awards.

State of the species

The Oscars even put the emphasis on the film in the Best Original Song category, so while music superstars like Taylor Swift, Drake and Selena Gomez were in the running this year — and so could have been ratings for the telecast — they did. they end up getting no nominations. A problem? Their songs are all from movies that simply don’t make it to the polls overall.

But two other superstars have scratched that itch: Rihanna and Lady Gaga, who both wrote original songs for movies that were blockbusters in their Best Picture bids. Their work has been made much more difficult by being ignored by the filmmaking community.

Both have great stories behind them, and Rihanna returns to music with a song that honors the late “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman. Meanwhile, Gaga, who already won best original song for “A Star Is Born’s” Shallow, has been given the huge task of creating a worthy follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Top Gun” theme “Take My Breath Away,” a ” Top Gun: Maverick” for a sequel. Although the latter was the more successful film, Rihanna’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is the more successful song, giving the up-and-coming singer a slight edge in the awards.

However, the narrative that has started to eclipse both the pop stars is ‘Naatu Naatu’. The Tollywood phenomenon ‘RRR’ has created an unprecedented global impact, narrowly leading to a Best Picture nomination. What attracted American cinephiles to the film was the epic musical score accompanied by the aforementioned song. Hopes are high that film stars Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao, Jr. will recreate it at the Oscars.

Best Original Song received a nomination in the only category, ‘RRR’, partly because it was not selected as India’s Best International Feature Film. The film is likely to win in this category, in part in recognition of the ground it broke at the US box office last year.

If there’s a dark horse in the race, it’s “This Is a Life” from Best Picture front-runner “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Of the three nominated songwriters, David Byrne is already an Oscar winner for his work on ‘The Last Emperor’ and Son Lux’s Ryan Lott is also in the running for Best Original Score, so they’re certainly already on the minds of voters.

Of course, Diane Warren, one of this year’s honorary Oscar winners, received her 14th nomination in this category. The difference for him is that the movie from which his song “Taps” comes from, “Tell It Like a Woman,” is probably the least-seen movie of this year’s Oscar nominees.

The nominees are listed below in order of probability of winning.

“Naatu Naatu” – Kaala Bhairava, MM Keeravani and Rahul Sipligunj (“RRR”)
“Lift Me Up” – Rihanna (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”)
“Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
“It’s a Life” – David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
“Applause” – Diane Warren (“Tell It Like a Woman”)

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