A lot of things about the 63rd Grammys, which are set for Jan. 31, and the 93rd Oscars, on April 25, are likely to be different than prior editions of those ceremonies due to the ongoing pandemic. But one thing that has not received much attention is the way in which their calendars will impact each other, due to the Oscars being pushed back two months from its originally scheduled date.
Indeed, for the first time since 2018, when the film Academy changed its voting process to require its music branch to produce a shortlist of original score and original song contenders ahead of Oscar nomination voting, the Grammys will take place before Oscar shortlist voting commences, meaning the former could actually influence the latter.
Last cycle, for instance, the score and song Oscar shortlists were determined from Dec. 6-11, 2019, with the Grammys more than one-and-a-half months later on Jan. 26, 2020. This cycle, however, the Grammys will take place on Jan. 31, but voting to determine the score and song Oscar shortlists won’t happen until Feb. 1-5, with the shortlist announced on Feb. 9 and final nomination voting taking place from March 5-10.
Who could this benefit? Several parties.
The song “Carried Me With You” from the Pixar movie Onward, which was written by Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, is nominated for the Grammy for best song written for visual media. Carlile is a Grammys darling with three wins to her name, and her song’s competition in the category this year includes three songs from movies that exhausted their Oscars eligibility last cycle (Cats, Frozen II and Harriet) and one from a movie that won’t be Oscar-eligible until next cycle (Billie Eilish‘s “No Time to Die” from the Bond flick No Time to Die). “Carried Me With You” is in the running for an Oscar this year, and a Grammy win right ahead of Oscar shortlist voting could give it a major boost.
John Legend is an Oscar contender this year for his song “Never Break” from Giving Voice, a Netflix documentary about an August Wilson monologue competition. He also has two Grammy noms, one for best R&B alum for Bigger Love, the final track of which is — you guessed it — “Never Break.”
Only Beyoncé has more Grammy noms this year than Taylor Swift‘s six, among them album of the year and song of the year. And while none of the 10-time Grammy winner’s 2020 noms is for “Only the Young,” a rousing anthem that she is shown composing in the Netflix doc Miss Americana, and for which she is Oscar-eligible, Grammy validation right ahead of shortlist voting certainly wouldn’t hurt her prospects.
Similarly, Travis Scott, meanwhile, has one Grammy nom — best melodic rap performance, for “Highest in the Room” — and a moment in the spotlight at the Grammys could only help his Oscar prospects for the song “The Plan” from Tenet.
Let’s not forget about score composers, either. Two-time Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat is Grammy-nominated for best instrumental composition (“Plumfield”) and in Oscar contention for The Midnight Sky. And 15-time Oscar bridesmaid Thomas Newman has a Grammy nom for best score soundtrack for visual media (1917), as well as Oscar hopes for Let Them All Talk and The Little Things.