Taylor Swift and Diane Warren Edge Out Billie Eilish and Trent Reznor in Oscar Music Shortlists

In the score category, John Williams could possibly net his 53rd Oscar nom next month

Taylor Swift at the 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Shortlists have been revealed for the music categories for the 95th Academy Awards, and 15 semifinalists each for the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories will compete for nominations that will be announced on Jan. 24, 2023.

As expected, the song category shortlist is chock-full of pop superstars such as Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Selena Gomez among the 15; however, last year’s Best Original Song victors Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell did not make the cut for their contribution of “Nobody Like U” to Pixar’s “Turning Red.”

And while she was the recipient of an honorary Oscar just this year after 13 nominations in the Best Original Song category, superstar pop songwriter Diane Warren could sneak in for No. 14 with “Applause,” her shortlisted song from the under-the-radar movie “Tell It Like a Woman.”

Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir was recognized on the shortlist for her score work on Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” but those who expected to see her name twice were out of luck. “Tár,” her other high-profile effort from this year, was unfortunately determined ineligible by the Academy music branch for not including enough original material for consideration.

Doja Cat’s “Vegas,” featured in the movie “Elvis,” was similarly disqualified from consideration in the Original Song category due to lyric and music sampling. Guidelines state that music entries be “original and written specifically for the motion picture.”

Another major snub to the Oscars’ music shortlists is the absence of past winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network” and “Soul”), who had two scores eligible this year for Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light” and Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All.” Some predictors also expected to see “White Noise” composer Danny Elfman (who has never won an Oscar despite decades in the business) in the shortlist mix, as well.

John Williams, meanwhile, made the list for “The Fabelmans,” his latest effort with lifelong collaborator Steven Spielberg. That semi-autobiographical drama could earn Williams his 53rd Oscar nomination next month, extending his own record as the most nominated living person ever.

The second round of voting begins on Jan. 12, with nominations announced on Jan. 24 and the 95th Academy Awards taking place on March 12.


All Quiet on the Western Front,” Volker Bertelmann
“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Simon Franglen
“Babylon,” Justin Hurwitz
The Banshees of Inisherin,” Carter Burwell
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Ludwig Goransson
“Devotion,” Chanda Dancy
“Don’t Worry Darling,” John Powell
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Son Lux
“The Fabelmans,” John Williams
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Nathan Johnson
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” Alexandre Desplat
“Nope,” Michael Abels
“She Said,” Nicholas Britell
The Woman King,” Terence Blanchard
Women Talking,” Hildur Gudnadottir


“Time” from “Amsterdam” (written by Drake, Giveon Evans, Daniel Pemberton and Jahaan Akil Sweet, performed  by Giveon)
“Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from “Avatar: The Way of Water” (written by Simon Franglen, Swedish House Mafia and Abel Tesfaye, performed by The Weeknd)
“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (written by Tems, Ludwig Goransson, Rihanna and Ryan Coogler, performed by Rihanna)
“This Is A Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (written and performed by Son Lux, David Byrne and Mitski)
“Ciao Papa” from “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (written by Alexandre Desplat, Roeban Katz and Guillermo del Toro, performed by Gregory Mann)
“Til You’re Home” from “A Man Called Otto” (written by David Hodges and Rita Wilson, performed by Rita Wilson and Sebastian Yatra)
“Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” (written by M.M. Keeravani, Kala Bhairav and Rahul Sipligun, performed by Vishal Mishra and Rahul Sipligunj)
“My Mind & Me” from “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” (written and performed by Selena Gomez)
“Good Afternoon” from “Spirited” (written by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Khiyon Hursey, Sukari Jones and Mark Sonnenblick, performed by Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell and ensemble)
“Applause” from “Tell It like a Woman” (written by Diane Warren, performed by Sofia Carson)
“Stand Up” from “Till” (written by Jazmine Sullivan and D’Mile, performed by Jazmine Sullivan)
“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” (written by Lady Gaga, Bloodpop and Benjamin Rice, performed by Lady Gaga)
“Dust & Ash” from “The Voice of Dust and Ash” (written by J. Ralph, performed by J. Ralph, Norah Jones and Mojgan Shajarian)
“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing” (written and performed by Taylor Swift)
“New Body Rhumba” from “White Noise” (written by James Murphy, Pat Mahoney and Nancy Whang, performed by LCD Soundsystem)

The final Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, with the 95th Academy Awards airing on ABC on March 12, 2023.