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The entertainment industry’s “unsung heroes” — as Quentin Tarantino has described Mary Ramos for her significant contribution to his entire filmography — celebrated the outstanding achievements of their peers at the 10th annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards on Thursday night at the Wiltern. And who can blame these hardworking but vastly underpaid professionals for tooting their own horns since the Motion Picture Academy refuses to validate their work with an Oscar category? Coincidentally, the winners also helped to shine a light on critically acclaimed films featuring black casts (“Queen & Slim,” “Waves,” “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”) that were snubbed by the Academy, much like music supervisors themselves.

The big news of the night: Women rock! Unlike every other Hollywood award show, the majority of winners — 12 out of 16 categories, in fact — were female. (But then this may be the only guild that has nearly achieved gender parity among members and women outnumber men as board members.) “This award means the world to me because it’s recognition from the people who know all the behind-the-scenes details of what a music supervisor does — and the fact that Quentin’s movie resonated so deeply with this community of music lovers was pretty emotional,” said trailblazer Ramos, who has been collaborating with Tarantino since they met 28 years ago. “The Guild has grown so much over the years,” she added. “I won an award for “Django Unchained” years ago and the ceremony was in a small space with no performances. This year, the Wiltern was packed with music people — publishers, label execs, composers and recording artists as well as supervisors — and everyone was in a great party mood.”

Jen Malone, a former music publicist who switched careers a decade ago, expressed gratitude for the field’s female pioneers. “There are a lot of us that work so hard — and deal with a lot of sh– — but get through it because there is an amazing support system,” said Malone, who along with newbie Adam Leber won for “Euphoria.” “My dearest friends are the women who do what I do, and I have an all-female music supervision shop. But we all mentor each other. It’s the idea of helping each other up.” 

The trend was also reflected in the primarily female performances by winners Lola Marsh, an Israeli indie pop band fronted by Yael Shoshana Cohen (who covered “Somethin’ Stupid” for “Better Call Saul,”) and singer-songwriter Regina Spektor. Having already written the theme song for Netlix’s most popular show of all time, “Orange Is the New Black,” Spektor was thankful for this opportunity on the big screen. “I loved having a sneak peek into movie magic, seeing how people collaborate and what it takes to create a work of art on this grand scale,” she said of “One Little Soldier, her theme for “Bombshell” that was shut out of the Best Original Song category at the Oscars. Emmylou Harris made a surprise appearance to serenade veteran music exec Bob Hunka, the guild’s Legacy Award recipient. But just a few lyrics in, Harris had to stop and start again after realizing that her guitar was unplugged. “I’m a star and I never plug in my own guitar,” she joked. 

While many people in the industry still seem to have no idea, or the wrong idea, about what music supervisors do, Icon Award honoree Burt Bacharach is no stranger to the “shit” that Malone mentioned. “I feel that I know you guys out there, what you do … and how sometimes it’s out of your hands because of too many people having another opinion,” said the legendary composer before playing the theme song he co-wrote for the 1966 film “Alfie” — but director Lewis Gilbert rejected — resulting in a battle with the president of Paramount and a commissioned cover by Cher that was far from faithful to his original version. But his rendition was a hit with this crowd, who gave Bacharach a standing ovation as well as an award. “His beautiful performance made me weep my mascara down my face,” quipped Ramos.

Presenter Michael Bolton, who has sold over 75 million albums and appeared on numerous soundtracks over the years, shared his respect and admiration for the contribution made by music supervisors. “I think it’s an art form,” he told Variety. “I’m not sure why they’re not eligible for Oscars — the studios spend an enormous amount of money on the decisions that supervisors make. And the responsibility they have is enormous. Back in the heyday — the glory years of the music industry — a million dollar album was an expensive album. Music supervisors have to deliver music for $200 million films — and get it right.”

See the full list of winners below:

2020 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Winners

Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Over $25 Million

Mary Ramos – Once Upon A Time In Hollywood *WINNER*
Tom MacDougall – Frozen II
Matt Sullivan – Aladdin
Ted Caplan – Ford v Ferrari
Randall Poster, Robbie Robertson – The Irishman

Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Under $25 Million

Kier Lehman – Queen & Slim *WINNER*

Trygge Toven, Toko Nagata – Always Be My Maybe
Jason Markey – Hustlers
Zoë Bryant, Pete Saville – Blinded By The Light
Becky Bentham, Karen Elliott – Judy

Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Under $10 Million

Meghan Currier, Randall Poster – Waves *WINNER*

Henry Van Roden – Seberg
Tracy McKnight – 5 Feet Apart
Zachary Dawes – The Peanut Butter Falcon
Steven Gizicki – Teen Spirit

Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Under $5 Million

Terri D’Ambrosio – The Last Black Man In San Francisco *WINNER*

Karen Elliott, Jack Arnold – Wild Rose
Susan Jacobs, Dylan Neely – The Farewell
Steve Bouyer Pascal Mayer – Atlantics
Lynn Fainchtein – Gloria Bell

Best Song Written and/or Recorded for a Film

“One Little Soldier” from Bombshell *WINNER*
Writer: Regina Spektor
Performed By: Regina Spektor
Music Supervisor: Evyen Klean

“Spirit” from The Lion King
Writer: Beyoncé, IIya Salmanzadeh, Timothy Mckenzie
Performed By: Beyoncé
Music Supervisor: Mitchell Leib

“Into The Unknown” from Frozen II
Writer: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Performed by Idina Menzel featuring AURORA
Music Supervisor: Tom MacDougall

“Glasgow “(No Place Like Home) from Wild Rose
Writer: Caitlyn Smith, Kate York, Mary Steenburgen
Performed by Jessie Buckley
Music Supervisor: Karen Elliott

“Don’t Call Me Angel” from Charlie’s Angels
Writer: Alma-Sofia Miettinen, Ariana Grande, IIya Salmanzadeh, Elizabeth Grant, Max Martin, Miley Cyrus, Savan Kotecha,
Performed by: Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus
Music Supervisor: Julianne Jordan and Julia Michels

TELEVISION

Best Music Supervision – Television Drama

Adam Leber, Jen Malone – Euphoria – Season 1 *WINNER*

Madonna Wade-Reed – All American – Season 1
Ashley Neumeister – American Soul: The Untold Story of Soul Train – Season 1
Steven Gizicki – Fosse/Verdon – Season 1
Amanda Krieg Thomas, Alexis Martin Woodall & Ryan Murphy – Pose – Season 2

Best Music Supervision – Television Comedy or Musical

Robin Urdang – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 2 *WINNER*

Bruce Gilbert – GLOW – Season 3
Javier Nuño, Joe Rodríguez – Los Espookys – Season 1
Brienne Rose – Russian Doll – Season 1
Matt Biffa – Sex Education – Season 1

Best Music Supervision – Reality Television

Jill Meyers – Songland – Season 1 *WINNER*

Robin Kaye – American Idol — Season 2
Meryl Ginsberg – America’s Got Talent – Season 14
Jen Schwartz, Catherine Wharton – Girls Cruise – Season 1
Jon Ernst – The Hills: New Beginnings – Season 1

Best Music Supervision – Television Movie

***TIE*** (2 WINNERS)

Howard Paar – Native Son *WINNER*
Joe Rudge, Chris Swanson – The Dirt *WINNER*

Evyen J Klean, Jennifer Reeve – Deadwood: The Movie
Evyen J Klean, Janet Lopez – My Dinner With Hervé
Tracy McKnight – Tall Girl

Best Song Written and/or Recorded for Television

“Something Stupid” from Better Call Saul *WINNER*
Songwriter(s): C. Carson Parks
Artist: Lola Marsh
Program: Better Call Saul
Episode: #407 “Something Stupid”
Music Supervisor: Thomas Golubić

“All These Things That I’ve Done” from A Million Little Things
Songwriters: Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer, Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.
Artist: Gabriel Mann
Program: A Million Little Things
Episode: #101 “Pilot”
Music Supervisor: Kevin Edelman

“Invisible Ink” from This Is Us
Songwriter(s): Taylor Goldsmith, Siddhartha Khosla
Artist: Mandy Moore
Program: This Is Us
Episode: #307 “Sometimes”
Music Supervisor: Manish Raval and Tom Wolfe

“Jenny of Oldstones” from Game of Thrones
Songwriter(s): David Benioff, Ramin Djawadi, George R.R. Martin, D.B. Weiss
Artist: Florence + The Machine
Program: Game of Thrones
Episode: #802 “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
Music Supervisor: Evyen J Klean

“On a Roll” from Black Mirror
Songwriter(s): Trent Reznor
Artist: Miley Cyrus
Program: Black Mirror
Episode: #503 “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”
Music Supervisor: Amelia Hartley

DOCUMENTARIES

Best Music Supervision for a Documentary

Tracy McKnight – Halston *WINNER*

Kevin Moyer – Boy Howdy: The Story Of CREEM Magazine
Aminé Ramer – Love, Antosha
G. Marq Roswell, Dondi Bastone – The Apollo
Willa Yudell – Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1

Best Music Supervision in a Docuseries

Rudy Chung, Jonathan Christiansen – Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men *WINNER*
Marchese Taylor, Jake Weinreb, Jordan Passman – Free Meek
Evyen Klean – Mike Judge Presents: Tales From The Tour Bus
Evyen Klean – What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali

TRAILERS

Best Music Supervision in a Trailer

Anny Colvin (Jax) – Joker Teaser *WINNER*
Bobby Gumm (Trailer Park) – Wonder Woman 1984
Toddrick Spalding (Mobscene) – The Goldfinch
Danny Exum, Kelsey Mitchell (Workshop Creative) – Bombshell Trailer 1
Will Quiney (GrandSon) – When They See Us

ADVERTISING

Best Music Supervision in Advertising (Sync)

David Taylor, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan Wellbelove – Apple iPhone “Color Flood” *WINNER*
Josh Marcy – Apple iPhone “Don’t Mess with Mother”
Doug Darnell – Lyft “Face Off”
JT Griffith – Nike “Dominate All Dimensions”

Best Music Supervision in Advertising (Original Music)

David Taylor, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan Wellbelove – Apple Watch “Hokey Pokey” *WINNER*

Alec Stern – Miller Lite “Followers”
Nellie Rajabi – Google Pixel “Kiss Detection”
Eric Johnson, Dan Gross – Fuji Film “Don’t Just Take, Give”

VIDEO GAMES

Best Music Supervision in a Video Game

Cybele Pettus, Raphaella Lima – FIFA 20 *WINNER*

Steve Schnur, Venus Bentley – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Brandon Young, Eric Kalver – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Daniel Olsen – Sayonara Wild Hearts
Alex Hackford, Peter Scaturro – Death Stranding