The full shortlist for this year’s Academy Awards was announced today (January 24), with the ceremony set to take place on March 12 at the Dolby Theater in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
Gaga and Rihanna were both nominated in the Best Original Song category, the former recognized for her Top Gun: Maverick song “Hold My Hand.” The latter is in the running for her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever contribution, “Lift Me Up.”
The two global icons are up against Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava’s “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, Sofia Carson’s “Applause” – written by legendary songwriter Diane Warren – from Tell It Like A Woman, and Son Lux’s “This Is A Life (feat. Mitski and David Byrne)” from Everything Everywhere All At Once.
This is Rihanna’s first time being nominated for an Oscar, while it marks Gaga’s fourth nomination at the event. She was first recognized in 2016 in the Best Original Song category for “If It Happens To You,” taken from the documentary The Hunting Ground. In 2019, she received two further nominations – Best Actress for A Star Is Born and Best Original Song for its track “Shallow.” Gaga won the award for Best Original Song that year.
The Oscars nominations follow both artists being in the running for the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes earlier this year. At the Oscars, it is customary for Best Original Song nominees to perform their shortlisted songs at the ceremony. It has yet to be confirmed whether Gaga and Rihanna will take part in the event.
“Lift Me Up” isn’t the only contribution Rihanna made to the Black Panther soundtrack. She also performed the emotional “Born Again” on the soundtrack, which transforms from a poignant piano melody to a marching beat laden with strings and a sense of urgency. “I’d relive this just to see your face again/I know that you’d do the same/Born again/Just tell me what I need to do/I’d die and come back just to love you,” Rihanna sings towards the song’s end.