Beyoncé’s Oscar Journey: Will King Richard Finally Bring Her Gold?

Beyoncé’s Oscar Journey: Will King Richard Finally Bring Her Gold?…  For years, an Academy Award nomination has eluded Beyoncé—a fact that might surprise more casual fans of the superstar. But that’s all poised to change this year.

Beyoncé’s Oscar Journey  Will King Richard Finally Bring Her Gold?
Beyoncé’s Oscar Journey: Will King Richard Finally Bring Her Gold?—-

As the race for the 2022 Oscars shapes up, it seems the singer is not only a lock to land her first nomination for best original song—for her spirited anthem “Be Alive,” from King Richard—but is also a front-runner in the category. In short, the singer’s long-awaited first Oscar nomination could also lead to her very first win, breaking a yearslong standstill she’s had with the Academy.

Beyoncé has had a few brushes with the Oscars in the past, but “Be Alive” is the closest she’s come to a sure thing. The anthemic track is a thumping, beautifully harmonized motivational number about Black pride and perseverance. It accompanies King Richard, the biopic about Richard Williams, the father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams. Will Smith stars as the headstrong Williams, in a role that prognosticators think will land him an Oscar nomination as well.

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The film is uplifting and light on its feet, all about Williams tenaciously training his daughters and fighting for them to to overcome the odds in a homogenous, overwhelmingly white sport. The movie is also a showcase for costar Aunjanue Ellis, who plays the elegant Oracene Williams. It’s likely to land nods in categories like best original screenplay and best picture as well.

The film’s Oscar odds bode well for Beyoncé, who cowrote “Be Alive.” The song doesn’t play in the movie itself, but rather in a goosebump-inducing credits sequence. Thematically, it’s the kind of optimistic number the Academy can get behind—especially in a year when no front-runners have emerged in this category, unlike the races where “Shallow” and “Let It Go” cleared the competition from the very first note.


Though Beyoncé is still in the lead, she could face competition from other big stars—including Ariana Grande, (she has a song in Don’t Look Up called “Just Look Up”) and her own husband: Jay-Z has a song called “Guns Go Bang” in The Harder They Fall, cowritten and performed by Kid Cudi. The race also currently includes Billie Eilish’s James Bond theme. But as it stands, “Be Alive” is the song to beat.

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The singer has had dalliances with the Academy in the past, most recently in 2019, when she wrote and performed the song “Spirit” for the Lion King remake. At the outset, The Lion King seemed like it would be a major Oscar contender, thanks to its precious I.P. and its stacked voice cast—including Donald Glover and Beyoncé herself, who voiced the role of Nala. Then the movie came out. Though it did go on to gross a whopping $1 billion worldwide, critics weren’t wild for the film, which photorealistic animation. Despite initial Oscar promises, it was ultimately nominated only for best visual effects, losing out to 1917.

That’s not the only time Beyoncé came close to landing an elusive Oscar nod. Her most famous brush with the Academy came in 2007, after she starred in Dreamgirls, the prestige-y biopic about the rise of a 1960s-era girl group based on the Supremes. Beyoncé played the group’s lead singer, a character modeled after Diana Ross. The film had all the trappings of her first major Oscar moment, a chance for the singer to get closer to EGOT status. But once the film actually came out, the acting spotlight swiveled firmly to Jennifer Hudson—the American Idol alum whose breakout turn as heartsick powerhouse Effie completely stole the show, and ended up winning her a best-supporting-actress statuette.

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