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Emmy Music Nominations Shut Out Superstars Like Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Cher and H.E.R.

Voters mostly favored composers and writers who work regularly within the TV scoring community, leaving a large number of pop superstar submissions out in the cold.

Beyoncé Black Is King
Courtesy of Disney+

The TV Academy music branch is clearly not impressed by big names.

None of the superstars who entered the 2020-21 Emmy competition in the music categories — including H.E.R., Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Sara Bareilles, Dolly Parton and Cher — were rewarded Wednesday when the 73rd annual Emmy Award nominations were announced.

Rather, the majority of nominees in the seven music categories were largely familiar composers, songwriters, music directors and music supervisors within the scoring community.

The biggest musical names nominated were Marcus Mumford for the theme for “Ted Lasso,” Grammy president-CEO Harvey Mason Jr. for “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” jazzman Branford Marsalis for a History Channel documentary, two-time Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for their hummable songs for “WandaVision,” and Tony winner Marc Shaiman for a song on a YouTube special.

Missing from Tuesday’s lists were songs for “Safety,” by H.E.R.; “Black Is King” by Beyoncé; both “Girls5eva” and “Little Voice” by Bareilles; for “Christmas on the Square” and “A Holly Dolly Christmas” by Parton; and Springsteen’s underscore for his “Letter to You” documentary on Apple TV Plus. Songs submitted from Cher, Janelle Monáe and Florence + the Machine’s Isabella Summers were seen as possible contenders as well.

Popular streaming series received the most attention. Disney Plus’s “WandaVision” topped all music nominees with four nods (score, song, main title theme, music supevision). Earning three apiece were two Netflix series: “The Queen’s Gambit” (score, song, music supervision) and “Bridgerton” (score, main title theme, music supervision).

Two nominations apiece went to Netflix’s “The Crown” (score, music supervision), HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” (score, music supervision) and HBO’s “Allen v. Farrow” (score, main title theme).

Among individuals, four composers received two nominations each: Kris Bowers for score and main title theme for “Bridgerton,” Jeff Russo for his scores for both “Fargo” and the TV movie “Oslo,” Michael Abels for his score and theme for the documentary “Allen v. Farrow” and Grammy chief Mason for music direction and song on “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” Comedian Bo Burnham also received dual nominations for music direction and song for his Netflix special “Bo Burnham: Inside.”

A minor surprise: no nomination for Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson for music direction on this year’s Oscarcast. Music directors for the Academy Awards have been Emmy-nominated for seven out of the past 10 years, but this year’s show failed to make the cut for music.

The music Emmys are expected to be presented during the 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 18. Voting begins on Aug. 19.

The complete list of nominees in the seven Emmy music categories:

Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)

Bridgerton • Diamond Of The First Water • Netflix •

Kris Bowers, Composer

The Crown • The Balmoral Test • Netflix •

Martin Phipps, Composer

The Handmaid’s Tale • The Crossing • Hulu •

Adam Taylor, Composer

Lovecraft Country • Rewind 1921 • HBO •

Laura Karpman, Raphael Saadiq, Composers

The Mandalorian • Chapter 16: The Rescue • Disney+

Ludwig Göransson, Composer

This Is Us • Birth Mother • NBC •

Siddhartha Khosla, Composer

Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Or Anthology Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)

Fargo • East/West • FX Networks •

Jeff Russo, Composer

Oslo • HBO •

Jeff Russo, Zoë Keating, Composers

The Queen’s Gambit • End Game • Netflix •

Carlos Rafael Rivera, Composer

The Underground Railroad • Chapter 2: South Carolina • Prime Video •

Nicholas Britell, Composer

WandaVision • Previously On • Disney+ •

Christophe Beck, Composer

Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)

Allen v. Farrow • Episode 4 • HBO •

Michael Abels, Composer

American Masters • Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir • PBS

Kathryn Bostic, Composer

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet • Netflix •

Steven Price, Composer

The Social Dilemma • Netflix •

Mark Crawford, Composer

Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre • HISTORY •

Branford Marsalis, Composer

Outstanding Music Direction

Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry • Apple TV+ •

Aron Forbes, Music Director

Bo Burnham: Inside • Netflix •

Bo Burnham, Music Director

Celebrating America – An Inauguration Night Special • Multiple Platforms •

Rickey Minor, Music Director

David Byrne’s American Utopia • HBO •

Karl Mansfield, Music Director

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist • Zoey’s Extraordinary Goodbye • NBC •

Harvey Mason Jr., Music Director

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics

Bo Burnham: Inside • Song Title: Comedy • Netflix •

Bo Burnham, Music & Lyrics

The Boys • The Big Ride / Song Title: Never Truly Vanish • Prime Video •

Christopher Lennertz, Music & Lyrics; Michael Saltzman, Lyrics

The Queen’s Gambit • Adjournment / Song Title: I Can’t Remember Love • Netflix •

Anna Hauss, Robert Weinröder, Music; William Horberg, Lyrics

Soundtrack Of Our Lives • Song Title: The End Titles • YouTube •

Marc Shaiman, Music & Lyrics

WandaVision • Breaking The Fourth Wall / Song Title: Agatha All Along • Disney+

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Music & Lyrics

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist • Zoey’s Extraordinary Birthday / Song Title: Crimson Love • NBC •

Harvey Mason Jr.,
Andrew Hey, Music; Austin Winsberg, Lindsey Rosin, Lyrics

Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music

Allen v. Farrow • HBO •

Michael Abels, Composer

Bridgerton • Netflix •

Kris Bowers, Michael Dean Parsons, Composers

The Flight Attendant • HBO Max •

Blake Neely, Composer

Ted Lasso • Apple TV+ •

Marcus Mumford, Tom Howe, Composers

WandaVision • Disney

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Composers

Outstanding Music Supervision

Bridgerton • Diamond Of The First Water • Netflix •

Alexandra Patsavas, Music Supervisor

The Crown • Fairytale • Netflix •

Sarah Bridge, Music Supervisor

Halston • The Party’s Over • Netflix •

Amanda Krieg Thomas, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan Murphy, Music Supervisors

I May Destroy You • Ego Death • HBO •

Ciara Elwis, Matt Biffa, Music Supervisors

Lovecraft Country • Strange Case • HBO •

Liza Richardson, Music Supervisor

The Queen’s Gambit • Adjournment • Netflix •

Randall Poster, Music Supervisor

WandaVision • Don’t Touch That Dial • Disney+ •

Dave Jordan, Shannon Murphy, Music Supervisors