One of the honors bestowed upon members of the motion picture industry each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the Academy Award for Best Original Song (AMPAS). The finest original song developed especially for a film is awarded to the songwriters who created it. The performers of a song are not given credit for the Academy Award unless they independently created the song’s music, lyrics, or both. Before the award is given out, the songs that were nominated for this honor are normally performed throughout the event.
The award category was first presented at the 7th Academy Awards, which celebrated the year’s outstanding motion pictures. The Academy membership as a whole selects the winners, with nominations coming from its songwriters and composer members. Before nominations are made public, 15 songs are shortlisted.
The Academy’s standards as of 2019 state that “The words and music that make up an original song are both unique and were composed with the target movie in mind. Both the lyrics and the melody must be heard, understandable, and substantial when employed in the main body of the motion film or as the opening music cue at the end credits.”
The sole need at first was that the nominated song must have appeared in a movie the previous year. After “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” from the 1941 film Lady Be Good, with music by Oscar Hammerstein II and lyrics by Jerome Kern won the Oscar for Best Original Song, this rule was altered. Since his song had already been published and recorded before it was used in the movie, Kern was disappointed that it had won. Harold Arlen (music) and Johnny Mercer (lyrics”Blues ) are in the Night” should have won, in Kern’s opinion.
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