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H.E.R., Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Other Top Music Stars Enter Emmy Competition

Cher, Sara Bareilles, Marcus Mumford and the Recording Academy's Harvey Mason Jr. are also among those submitting their music for Emmy consideration.

emmy music categories submissions music stars

More than a dozen of music’s biggest stars, from Beyoncé to H.E.R., would love an Emmy to add to their award shelves.

A Variety review of the 535 entries throughout the Television Academy’s seven music categories reveals a surprising number of A-list singers, songwriters and music directors apparently eager for TV’s top honor. Among them:

  • H.E.R. (with Josiah Bassey) is entered for original song for “Hold Us Together” from the Disney Plus movie “Safety.” She won the Oscar earlier this year and already has four Grammys, so an Emmy win would put her three-fourths of the way to a fabled EGOT.
  • Beyoncé is entered for music direction and original song (both with Derek Dixie) for “Black Is King,” her musical film companion to “The Lion King” (also on Disney Plus). The song “Black Parade” won her a Grammy earlier this year for best R&B performance. Beyoncé has eight past Emmy nominations but has yet to win.
  • Bruce Springsteen (along with co-writer Ron Aniello) is entered in music composition for a limited series, movie or special, for Apple TV Plus’s “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” (although, as accompaniment for a documentary, it more properly belongs in the documentary score category). Springsteen has three previous Emmy nominations but no wins.
  • Sara Bareilles has entered two songs from the Peacock comedy “Girls5eva” (“4 Stars” and “I’m Afraid,” the latter with composer Jeff Richmond and showrunner Meredith Scardino). She’s also submitted the main title theme for the romantic comedy-drama she produced for Apple TV Plus, “Little Voice,” along with a song she wrote for it, “Simple and True,” and the underscore for one episode (a collaboration with three other composers). She has three prior Emmy nominations but no wins.
  • Dolly Parton entered two songs, “When an Angel Knows Your Dreams” from the Netflix movie “Christmas on the Square,” and “I Still Believe” (with Kent Wells) from her CBS special “A Holly Dolly Christmas.” Parton has three Emmy nominations but no wins to date.
  • Cher has entered the song “Walls” (written with Mark Taylor) from the Paramount Plus documentary “Cher and the Loneliest Elephant.” Cher already has an Emmy (for 2003’s “Cher: The Farewell Tour”) and six other nominations.
  • Florence + the Machine’s Isabella Summers entered two categories, both for music from the Amazon Prime series “Panic”: the song “Darkest Hour” (written with Jessica Chalker) and music composition for a series (with Brian H. Kim). Summers was Emmy-nominated last year for music from “Little Fires Everywhere.”
  • Janelle Monáe, who was denied an Oscar nomination for her song “Turntables” from the voter-suppression documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” is trying again for the Emmy, as the doc has aired on Amazon Prime (Nathaniel Irvin III is her co-writer). This would be her first nomination if voters go for her song.
  • Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is entered for music direction for this year’s Oscar telecast on ABC. Also music director for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” he has only one Daytime Emmy nomination to his credit.
  • Branford Marsalis is entered in the documentary-score category for his music for the History Channel’s “Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre.” Recently praised for his music for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” he has no past Emmy history.
  • Kevin Kline, the singer-actor, has entered a song from Fox’s animated “Bob’s Burgers” titled “I Like Bananas” (co-written with Holly Schlesinger, who penned the episode). Kline does the voice of the Belchers’ wealthy landlord Mr. Fischoeder, a recurring character on the show. He has two previous Emmy nominations.
  • Marcus Mumford is entered twice for the Apple TV Plus comedy “Ted Lasso”: for music composition for a series and main title theme (both with co-writer Tom Howe).
  • Harvey Mason Jr., currently president-CEO of the Recording Academy, is entered twice for NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”: for music direction and for the song “Crimson Love” (co-written with Andrew Hey and writers Austin Winsberg and Lindsey Rosin). He has not been previously nominated.
  • Marc Shaiman, the Tony- and Grammy-winning songwriter (“Hairspray”), has entered “The End Titles” from the all-star YouTube video “Soundtrack of Our Lives.” He has one previous Emmy win (for musical material in the 1992 Oscars) and 10 other nominations for other shows ranging from “Saturday Night Live” to “Smash.”

Voting is underway this week. Nominations will be announced July 13.