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Mary J. Blige, Sufjan Stevens, Johnny Greenwood given first Academy nods

Singer Mary J. Blige attends the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and InStyle celebration of the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards season in Los Angeles November 15, 2017. — Reuters picSinger Mary J. Blige attends the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and InStyle celebration of the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards season in Los Angeles November 15, 2017. — Reuters picLOS ANGELES, Jan 24 — Mary J. Blige and Sufjan Stevens join Oscar elite with their first nominations for Best Original Song ahead of the 90th Academy Awards on March 4.

R&B star and actress Mary J. Blige collected her first acting and songwriting Oscar nods in one fell swoop as nominations were announced on January 23, 2018.

Her involvement in rural US post-war drama Mudbound puts her under consideration for both Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song (Mighty River).

Likewise, Sufjan Stevens gets his name on an Academy Award nomination ballot for the first time, following the inclusion of his song The Mystery of Love in the coming-of-age drama Call Me by Your Name.

In total, the two features have four nominations each across all categories, ahead of fellow Original Song contenders Remember Me (from Disney Pixar’s Coco), Stand Up for Something (from Marshall), and This is Me (from The Greatest Showman).

The writers of those last three songs are not just repeat nominees but most are in fact repeat winners.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez of Coco won in 2014 for Let It Go, one of the themes from Frozen; Common of Marshall track Stand Up for Something won in 2015 with a co-writing credit on Selma track Glory (Marshall songwriting partner Dianne Warren has eight other Oscar nominations), while Justin Paul and Benj Pasek scooped Best Original Song in 2017 with one of two cuts from La La Land.

Over in Best Original Score, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood mingles with the likes of Hans Zimmer and John Williams thanks to his Phantom Thread compositions.

Zimmer is recommended for the accolade via the Dunkirk score while all-time leading nominee Williams composed on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Alexandre Desplat converted the most recent of his eight other nominations into an Academy Award with 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel — he was double-nominated that year with The Imitation Game also on the list — while Carter Burwell of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri returns after 2016 nominee Carol. — AFP-Relaxnews

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