Will Leslie Odom Jr. Be the 4th Double Oscar Nominee for Acting & Songwriting in 4 Years?

When the nominations for the 93rd annual Academy Awards are announced on March 15, there’s a very good chance that Leslie Odom Jr. will become a double Oscar nominee for his work in One Night in Miami. He could be nominated for best original song for “Speak Now” (which he co-wrote with Sam Ashworth) and best supporting actor for his portrayal of R&B great Sam Cooke.

If Odom is a double nominee, this will be the fourth year in a row that someone has been nominated for both acting and songwriting in the same year.

For Mudbound (2017), Mary J. Blige was nominated for best song for “Mighty River” and best supporting actress for her role as Florence Jackson. For A Star Is Born (2018), Lady Gaga won for best song for “Shallow” and was nominated for best actress for her role as Ally. For Harriet (2019), Cynthia Erivo was nominated for best song for “Stand Up” and best actress for her role as famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The double nods for Blige, Erivo and now possibly Odom are a sign of the increased opportunities Black performers are being given in film. Moreover, if Odom becomes a double nominee, he’ll become the second actor to do so for a film in which he or she plays a real-life character.

From 1934, when the Oscars introduced their best original song award, through 2016, no one ever received nominations for acting and songwriting in the same year. That’s partly due to the fact that, years ago, singing actors didn’t usually write their own material, but relied on the work of professional songwriters. Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Doris Day are forever linked with Oscar-winning songs, but they didn’t have a hand in writing them. This started to change in the mid-’70s.

Barbra Streisand has straddled the two eras. Seven songs from films in which she starred have received Oscar nominations for best original song. She didn’t write or co-write the first three, but she has co-written two of the last four.

Here are 15 actors who landed songwriting nods but missed out on acting nods for those films. If any of these actors had also been nominated for acting, they — and not Blige — would have become the first to achieve this remarkable double nomination feat.

Keith Carradine: The actor won the 1975 Oscar for “I’m Easy” from Nashville but missed out on a best supporting actor nod for his role as Tom Frank in the ensemble film.

Barbra Streisand: The star won the 1976 Oscar for composing “Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star Is Born)” for that film but missed out on a best actress nod for her role as Esther Hoffman Howard. Twenty years later, Streisand was nominated for co-writing “I Finally Found Someone” from The Mirror Has Two Faces but again missed out on a best actress nod for her role as Rose Morgan-Larkin.

Paul Jabara: The songwriter and actor won the 1978 Oscar for writing “Last Dance” from Thank God It’s Friday but missed out on a supporting actor nod for his comic role as Carl, a lovelorn and nearsighted discogoer.

Dolly Parton: The country legend received a best song nod for “Nine to Five” from the 1980 film of the same name in which she held her own with acting pros Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin but missed out on a nod for best supporting actress for her engaging performance as Doralee Rhodes.

Willie Nelson: The country legend received a best song nod for “On the Road Again” from the 1980 film Honeysuckle Rose, in which he starred alongside Dyan Cannon, but missed out on a nod for best actor for his role as Buck Bonham.

Janet Jackson: The star received a best original song nod for co-writing “Again” from the 1993 John Singleton film Poetic Justice, in which she starred with 2Pac, but missed out on a nod for best actress for her role as Justice LaRue.

Björk: The musician received a best song nod for “I’ve Seen It All” from Dancer in the Dark (2000) but was passed over for a best actress nod for her starring role as Selma Ježková.

Eminem: The rapper won the 2002 Oscar for co-writing “Lose Yourself” from the semi-autobiographical 8 Mile but missed out on a best actor nod for playing Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr.

Michael McKean: The actor was nominated for co-writing “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” for A Mighty Wind (2003) but missed out on an acting nod for his role as Jerry Palter.

Jordan Houston III (Juicy J) and Paul Beauregard (DJ Paul): The Three 6 Mafia rappers shared the 2005 award for co-writing “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow, but they each missed out on best supporting actor nods for their roles as Tigga and R.L., respectively.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: The then-couple won the 2007 Oscar for “Falling Slowly” from Once but missed out on nods for best actor and best actress for their roles as Guy and Girl, respectively.

Ryan Bingham: The musician won the 2009 Oscar for co-writing “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart but missed out on a supporting actor nod for his role as the leader of Tony and the Renegades, backup group at the bowling alley.

Common: The hip-hop star won the 2014 Oscar for co-writing “Glory” from Selma but missed out on a supporting actor nod for his role as civil rights leader James Bevel.

ARIA Appoints Annabelle Herd as CEO

Annabelle Herd is tapped to lead trade body ARIA and PPCA, Australia’s labels’ copyright collecting society.

From next Monday (Feb. 1), Herd takes the reins as CEO of ARIA and PPCA, reporting to the boards of the music industry organizations.

With her appointment, announced Wednesday (Jan. 27) from Sydney, Herd becomes the first female CEO at ARIA since it was established in the early ‘80s.

Herd brings a skillset loaded with legal and lobbying work in the nation’s capital, Canberra, and extensive experience in the television industry.

Previously, she carved out a 16-year career at free-to-air Network 10, where she most recently held the post of Chief Operating Officer, tasked with leading its broadcast operations; group strategy; corporate and internal communications; interstate markets; policy, regulatory, compliance and government affairs; and lobbying and stakeholder relations.

And before that, she worked at senior levels with government in Canberra, culminating in a stint as Senior Advisor (Broadcasting and Copyright) and Acting Chief of Staff for then Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator the Hon. Richard Alston AO.

While in the capital, she worked as a government lawyer within the intellectual property branch of the Attorney-General’s Department and Executive Officer of the Australian Digital Alliance and Australian Libraries Copyright Committee from 1996.

A graduate of the Australian National University, Herd holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, and she’s a board member of Save The Children Australia, and a Council Member of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

“I am delighted to be taking on this role serving and supporting our amazing Australian music industry at a time when the inspiration, connection and joy that our artists and musicians give us is more important than ever,” Herd says in a statement announcing her appointment.

“The last year has been challenging for our artists and members, so I look forward to representing and advancing the interests of those who make our industry so special given the pivotal time that we are in.”

In addition, veteran executive Lynne Small is promoted to Chief Operating Officer of ARIA and PPCA, reporting to Herd. Small has been with the organization since 1996, most recently in the role of GM.

At ARIA and PPCA, Herd succeeds Dan Rosen, who departs after ten years to guide Warner Music Australasia as president.

88rising Signs First-Look Deal With Sony Pictures TV

Sony Pictures TV has signed 88rising, the emergent company that spotlights modern global Asian culture, to a first-look deal. The two will partner to develop scripted series centering Asian and Asian American culture, across all platforms, and 88rising has hired former Imagine and NBC exec Alex Lin to serve as its first development executive for film and television.

Since its founding in 2015, 88rising has quickly risen — pun unintended — from a record label for pan-Asian artists to a music, media and events company that in 2018 became the first to stage an Asian music festival in the United States (Head in the Clouds, dubbed “Asian Coachella,” at Los Angeles State Historic Park). The company, which launched a SiriusXM channel in December, has recently expanded its ambitions to encompass the screen. Its upcoming film projects include We Stan, a comedy about K-pop fans that it is producing alongside A-Major Media and rapper/actor Jon “Dumbfoundead” Park, and an untitled feature written and directed by Justin Chon featuring 88Rising rapper Rich Brian.

“Our company was founded on the goal of providing more authentic representation of Asian and Asian Americans and giving them a platform and an opportunity to be at the center of stories,” 88rising founder and CEO Sean Miyashiro said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand our work and vision to television with the support of Sony to continue to make content that we want to make.”

“We are incredibly impressed with all that 88rising has achieved in music, media and storytelling,” Sony TV executive vice president of comedy development Glenn Adilman said in a statement. “We love everything they stand for and are thrilled to help bring their very unique and important Asian and Asian American stories to television and for the chance to work with their brilliant roster of artists.”

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Liberty Media SPAC Raised $575M With Last Week’s Public Offering

Liberty Media Acquisition Corporation, the special purpose acquisition corporation of Liberty Media Corp. raised $575 million in its Jan. 22 initial offering on the Nasdaq exchange, the company announced Tuesday (Jan. 26). Liberty Media Corp. owns a majority of SiriusXM and about a third of Live Nation.

Trading under LMACU, Liberty’s SPAC will “identify, acquire and operate” a business with “attractive risk-adjusted returns” within Liberty’s comfort zone: “digital media, media, music, entertainment, communications, telecommunications and technology industries,” according to the prospectus filed with the SEC on Jan. 21.

Liberty Media Acquisition Corp. is headed by Liberty Media’s president and CEO Greg Maffei, a well-connected executive who is chairman of the board for three Liberty Media holdings: concert promoter Live Nation, satellite radio company SiriusXM and online travel company TripAdvisor. Other C-level Liberty executives are also part of the Liberty Media Acquisition Corp. management team.

Once the Liberty SPAC acquires and absorbs a startup — through what’s commonly referred to as a reverse merger — Liberty is expected to operate the new company as a publicly traded business with the expertise it has developed running its expansive portfolio of companies that includes pay-TV channel Starz, the Atlanta Braves baseball team, Formula 1 and cable operator Charter Communications, among others. Essentially, investors are now buying into Liberty’s management ability — not any specific product, since the SPAC target has not yet been identified.

Liberty’s Formula One Group is the SPAC’s sponsor and provided its initial funding while the equity will be held in escrow.

Private companies like SPACs for going public without the cost, regulations and scrutiny of a traditional IPO. They allow everyday investors to own equity in high-growth startups that are normally available only to venture capital and private equity firms. That’s because a SPAC is a “blank check” corporation, a shell company that raises money through an IPO and uses the proceeds to buy a private company. An investor doesn’t know which company will eventually be acquired. Instead, investors back a SPAC based on the experience and expertise of its founders. Lacking a clear ending hasn’t discouraged IPO investors: the number of SPAC IPOs rose from 59 in 2019 to 248 in 2020, according to SPACInsider. Another 76 SPACs have gone public in the first 26 days of January.

Regardless of the target’s industry, a SPAC has one important thing in common with the traditional IPO, says Paul Bernstein, vice chair of Venable’s Entertainment and Media Group, who counsels entertainment clients on acquisitions and capital raises. “You look for the same thing in any company that’s going to go public: growth.”

LEGO and UMG Partner to Bring Minifigs to Life in Music Video App

LEGO and Universal Music, the world’s top toy and music companies, have announced their first collaboration since partnering up in April 2020. Unveiled Tuesday (Jan. 26) is a new app and toy experience called LEGO VIDIYO, which combines technology, licensed music and physical toys to encourage kids to create their own music videos in a safe and moderated social network.

VIDIYO is geared for kids between 7-10 years and centers on fusing a mashup of real songs and augmented reality (AR) tech to create unique music videos using specialized minifigures and scannable 2×2 square LEGO pieces called BeatBits, which unlock digital effects. The BeatBits are selected in the app to give users the keys to an array of settings, special audio/visual effects and fun dance moves for their 60-second videos — which can then be trimmed to more shareable lengths.

New AR technology will allow kids to play with minifigures in both real-life/big scale all the way down to minifig-size scale, and lets them style their LEGO band members, design album covers and more.

The app’s song catalog will be led by UMG, which sees VIDIYO as an ideal way to connect a creative young audience with the music of some of the biggest artists. “Through this innovative global partnership — with the power of music and play harnessed to support early development of creativity — children around the globe will be able to express themselves as they stage, direct, perform, and share their music videos,” says Olivier Robert-Murphy, executive vp Universal Music Group and Brands. “LEGO VIDIYO is a great way for millions of kids to discover new music and get closer to their favourite artists while learning and connecting through play.”

Keeping in line with LEGO’s efforts to make VIDIYO a safe hang for kids, all clips will have to pass moderation in order to be approved for the app’s content feed. While all videos will be able to live in-app and enjoyed with family and friends, to get OK’d for wider consumption they’ll need to be free of personal information, meaning videos starring actual kids will not be approved for that public feed.

While the specific target audience for VIDIYO is the 10-and-under set, LEGO says it won’t put age limits on who can use it — meaning teens and AFOLs are welcome to the party.

The LEGO VIDIYO app, toys and other lifestyle products are being developed in partnership with Bravado, UMG’s merchandise and brand management company. The first VIDIYO products will be available in most countries starting March 1.

Why Don’t We Earn First No. 1 on Top Album Sales Chart With ‘The Good Times and the Bad Ones’

Why Don’t We score their first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart, as the group’s new studio album The Good Times and the Bad Ones arrives atop the list dated Jan. 30. The set sold 38,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Jan. 21, according to MRC Data.

The new album is the act’s second top 10, following 2018’s 8 Letters, which reached No. 3.

Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now MRC Data. Pure album sales were the measurement solely utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

The Good Times and The Bad Ones also starts at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, the quintet’s highest-charting effort on that tally. The new album was supported strongly by sales via the group’s official webstore, where an array of collectible versions of the album were available. All told, of its 38,000 sold in its first week, 33,000 were via CD sales and 6,000 were from digital album sales.

Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album drops 1-2 on Top Album Sales in its second week (22,000 sold; down 70%), while Eminem’s Music to Be Murdered By vaults 69-3 (15,000; up 592%) following the Jan. 15 release of the album’s deluxe reissue on CD. The deluxe edition, dubbed Music to Be Murdered By – Side B, added extra tracks to the year-old album and first dropped on digital retail and streamers on Dec. 18, 2020. All versions of the album are tracked together on the chart. A vinyl release of the deluxe package is due in August.

Taylor Swift’s former No. 1 Evermore falls 3-4 (11,000 sold; down 26%) while Harry Styles’ previous leader Fine Line is steady at No. 5 (a little over 9,000; up 13%).

Jeff Tweedy nabs his first top 10 on Top Album Sales as Love Is the King debuts at No. 6, with 9,000 sold. The set was first issued via digital retail and streamers on Oct. 23, 2020, and had sold about 2,000 downloads before its release on CD and vinyl LP on Jan. 15. In the week ending Jan. 21, the album’s CD sold about 2,500 copies while its vinyl LP moved 6,500.

Love Is the King also debuts at No. 1 on Tastemaker Albums (which ranks the top-selling albums of the week at indie stores), No. 2 on Vinyl Albums, No. 3 on Americana/Folk Albums and No. 6 on Alternative Albums.

Back on Top Album Sales, Barry Gibb’s all-star collaborations album Barry Gibb & Friends: Greenfields – The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1 falls 2-7 with just over 8,000 sold (down 65%), Taylor Swift’s former No. 1 Folklore dips 4-8 with 8,000 (down 20%), NCT’s Resonance, Pt. 1 descends 6-9 with 6,000 (down 16%) and Chris Stapleton’s Starting Over declines 8-10 with just under 6,000 (down 11%).

RCA Ups Sam Selolwane & Keith Rothschild Amid Shifting Promo Strategy

In a bid to shift away from “focusing so heavily on radio alone,” as chairman and CEO Peter Edge told Billboard earlier this month, RCA Records has replaced recently departed co-president Joe Riccitelli, a radio-promotions veteran, with two newly-promoted executives. The label’s new heads of promotion are hip-hop and R&B specialist Sam Selolwane, who has worked on campaigns for Chris Brown, SZA, Usher and others, and pop and rock expert Keith Rothschild, who has worked with Brown, Miley Cyrus and Doja Cat.

RCA, a Sony-owned label whose market share declined from 6.4% in 2016 to 4.7% last year, has shaken up its leadership over the past month. One reason has to do with radio: As broadcast giants like iHeartMedia have spent the past year laying off staff, centralizing content via syndication and farming out DJs to multiple stations, they’re likely to break fewer hits on regional stations. Also, streaming exposure has grown to be almost as influential as radio exposure in recent years. Thus, while radio remains crucial in many genres, including R&B, country and Latin, labels’ promotions departments are likely to respond by not spending as much time and money persuading programmers to play their tracks.

“The truth about how records are breaking is it’s not just radio,” Edge said. “Radio plays a part, but it’s social media, DSPs, TikTok.”

Selolwane and Rothschild have long been influential at RCA — Selolwane joined the label 12 years ago — but are notably not as high in the executive hierarchy as radio-expert Riccitelli used to be. This could be an indication of RCA’s shift away from highly compensated radio-promotions staffs. “[Labels] still need promotions people, but when you get to people who make seven figures, you start to question the sustainability of that,” a major-label source said recently.

RCA’s recent moves also illustrate the label’s renewed emphasis on hip-hop and R&B. Its recently installed president, underneath Edge, is Mark Pitts, a former urban-music president. And, although longtime urban-promotion vp Geo Bivins left the company in December, Selolwane has worked on radio campaigns for many of the label’s biggest hitmakers. In an accompanying release, RCA noted recent chart successes by SZA, Brown, Young Thug and Jazmine Sullivan.

Edge told Billboard RCA will “lean further in on hip-hop and R&B,” citing newer stars like Flo Milli and Mulatto and adding: “We’ve been one of the leaders in R&B for quite a few years, that’s not new territory for us. We’re going to be building more of a hip-hop roster.”