Sun. Dec 15th, 2019

2020 Oscars: Can Diane Warren 'Breakthrough' and finally win Best Original Song?

Diane Warren attends the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Marriott Marquis on June 13, 2019, in New York City (Image: JStone / Shutterstock.com)

She has an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and a Golden Globe and has composed nine songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100. At the Oscars, however, victory has proven elusive for songwriter Diane Warren.

This is hardly to say Warren is a stranger to the Oscars. With 10 Best Original Song nominations under her belt, she sports the second-most appearances by a woman in the category’s history, just behind 15-time nominee Marilyn Bergman. Having earned five Original Song noms over the past six years, including recognition for last year’s “I’ll Fight” (from RBG), Warren has emerged a true mainstay in the category.

The key question, of course – when will Warren finally emerge triumphant on Oscar night?

This year, Warren has yet another shot at Oscar glory, this time with “I’m Standing with You,” a tune performed by star Chrissy Metz in the faith-based film Breakthrough.

“I’m Standing with You” will face stiff competition in the likes of Best Original Song contenders “Into the Unknown” (from Frozen II), “Stand Up” (Harriet) and “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” (Rocketman), among others, but, given Warren’s history in the category and the FYC ads being run for the song, is not to be counted out for a nomination at least.

Warren may have come closest to Best Original Song victories on two occasions – in 1996, with Up Close and Personal’s “Because You Loved Me” (which scored her the Grammy), and in 2015, with The Hunting Ground’s “Til It Happens to You” (which earned her Emmy). Ironically, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who, with Evita’s “You Must Love Me,” topped Warren in 1996, is also back in Original Song contention, this time with “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats.

When it comes to the win this year, Warren will likely prove a long shot – after all, Breakthrough isn’t poised for recognition in any other category and this particular tune hasn’t proven a smash on the airwaves like past Warren compositions. A nomination, however – her sixth in seven years – would leave her looking all the more overdue in future Best Original Song contests. And, as composer Randy Newman knows all too well, it often requires tremendous patience for that win to come around – it took 15 Oscar noms, including eight appearances in Original Song, until he finally claimed victory.


Andrew Carden is a contributing writer at Gold Derby and writes about all things Oscar on his blog, The Awards Connection. When he’s not on Twitter, lamenting Thelma Ritter’s 0-for-6 record in Best Supporting Actress, Andrew works in Massachusetts politics.

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