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2022 Black History Month: A Golden Globes Musical Appreciation

Even though the Golden Globes just celebrated its 79th anniversary, for Best Original Song, the distinguished list of achievements only dates back to 1962. The title song from Town Without Pity scored the initial win; but it would take another three years before the category became permanent. In these intervening fifty-seven years, some of the musical world’s most memorable tunes have been recognized – from Strangers in the Night to The Way We WereFame to My Heart Will Go OnBeauty and the Beast to City of Stars.

During this celebration of Black History Month, the HFPA takes a look back on many of the memorable melodies created by some of the music world’s most gifted Black artists who received Golden Globe nominations and wins in the respective musical categories.

The first musical Globe went to Isaac Hayes in 1972, but not for Best Song. His brilliant jazz-funk syncopated score for Shaft took home Best Score. He won an Oscar for Theme from Shaft lost out to Life Is What You Make it from Kotch

Quincy Jones would score nominations for Best Score the following year with The Getaway and then in 1985 for The Color Purple. Herbie Hancock followed the next year when he received a Best Score nomination for Round Midnight.

On and On from Claudine (1975), written by legendary Curtis Mayfield, and Norman Whitfield’s title track for Car Wash (1976) received Globe nominations, Irene Cara became the first Black artist to score a Globe for Best Song when in 1983 she co-wrote the title song to the movie Flashdance.

She was followed by two superstars as Stevie Wonder phoned in a win for I Just Called to Say I Love You from Lady in Red in 1984 while the following year, Lionel Richie would bring home his gold for Say You, Say Me from the film White Nights.

For her film debut Poetic Justice, Janet Jackson’s ballad Again, secured a nomination in 1993 for Best Song before musical prodigy Prince scored a Globe for Song of the Heart from Happy Feet, overtaking such competition that year as Beyoncé for Listen from Dreamgirls, A Father’s Way from The Pursuit of Happyness by Seal and Never Gonna Break My Faith from Bobby, co-written by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige.

Beyoncé returned two years later with another nomination for her contribution to the song Once in a Lifetime from Cadillac Records. Blige got a second nod in 2011 for The Living Proof from the drama The Help.

In 2015, Wiz Khalifa would receive his first nomination for the song See You Again from Furious 7. Blige received her third musical nomination for the song Mighty River from Mudbound, bringing along her collaborators Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson (Blige also received an acting nod for the film).

2018 was the year of Black Panther and the song All the Stars, co-written by Top Dawg, Kendrick Lamar, Al Shux, SZA and Sounwave, took home a nomination for Best Song as well as Best Drama. The following year, Cynthia Erivo scored two nominations, Best Actress as well as Best Song for her haunting ballad Stand Up, co-written with Joshuah Brian Campbell for the film Harriet.

2020 was a milestone year as four of the Best Song nominations had contributions from Black artists. Those included Andra Day and Raphael Saadiq for Tigress and Tweed from The United States vs. Billie Holliday (Day would win Best Actress Drama for the same film); Speak Now from One Night in Miami, co-written by Leslie Odom Jr., who also secured an acting nod, Fight for You from Judas and the Black Messiah by Tiara Thomas, H.E.R. and D’Mile and finally Celeste Pemberton, who co-wrote Hear My Voice from The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Jon Batiste, who just scored 11 Grammy nominations, took home the Globe for Best Score for his collaboration on the animated film Soul. And this past January, Beyoncé returned to Globe recognition for her song Be Alive, co-written with Dixson for the film King Richard. She was in great company as former Globe Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Hudson received a nomination as well for the tune she co-wrote Here I Am (Singing My Way Home) from the biopic Respect.