The number and range of superstars vying for Emmys this year – everyone from Kanye West and 50 Cent to Mick Jagger and Imagine Dragons – is staggering.
More than 600 entries in the seven Emmy music categories were unveiled today as voting began for the nominations round. Nominations will be announced by the Television Academy on July 12.
The most star-studded category is that of best song (technically, “original music and lyrics”). “Euphoria” star Zendaya and composer Labrinth, who won Emmys for the series in 2020, have entered two songs from this past season as co-writers and could score again given the huge popularity of the HBO series. Labrinth has also entered in the series-score category.
Country stars Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert are up for songs in “Nine Perfect Strangers” and “Queer Eye,” respectively. Music docs are included too, as Sheryl Crow has entered a song from the new Showtime documentary on her life and Mary J. Blige is up for one from “Mary J. Blige’s My Life.”
Phoebe Bridgers has a song in “Conversations With Friends,” Sara Bareilles has one in “Girls5eva,” and Barenaked Ladies has one in, of all things, “The Super Bob Einstein Movie.” All are entered in the song category.
Leading songwriters are vying for Emmy honors, too, including Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) for a song in “Harlem,” Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) for one in “Hawkeye,” and Tony-Emmy-Grammy winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) for a song in the Amazon series “With Love.”
The main-title theme category boasts even more stars, including no fewer than three entries by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as lyricist for the themes for “BMF,” “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” and “Power Book IV: Force.” This is also the category where you’ll find Jagger as co-writer of the theme for Apple’s “Slow Horses” and Imagine Dragons for “Arcane.”
Isabella Summers of Florence and the Machine has jumped headfirst into the TV scoring scene, entering her theme and score for “The Offer,” plus episodic scores for the series “Physical” and “Sex / Life” (the latter with Mark Isham).
“Music for a limited or anthology series, movie or special” is where you’ll also find Finneas O’Connell’s score for “The Fallout,” Hans Zimmer’s score for “The Survivor” and Gustavo Santaolalla’s music for “The House” (Santaolalla has also entered a song he co-wrote with English musician Jarvis Cocker).
Composer Kris Bowers is eligible in four different categories with eight separate entries: two in series scoring (for “Bridgerton” and “Dear White People”), three in limited-series or movie score (“Colin in Black and White,” “DMZ” and “Inventing Anna”), one in original song (“Dear White People”) and two in main title theme (“Inventing Anna,” “We Own This City”).
The series-score category also includes Meshell Ndegeocello for “BMF,” electronic-music duo Orbital for “The Pentaverate” and RZA for “Wu-Tang.” Documentary score boasts two entries by Terence Blanchard, for Spike Lee’s “NYC Epicenters: 9/11 to 2021 1/2” and the Magic Johnson doc “They Call Me Magic.”
The music-direction category is more fun than usual this year because Rickey Minor is up for both the 43rd and 44th “Kennedy Center Honors” and Adam Blackstone is a potential double nominee for “The Oscars” and “The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show.” Minor already has two wins but Blackstone, a two-time nominee for his Super Bowl shows, has yet to win.
And the music supervision category, usually home to dozens of music supervisors whose names aren’t known to the public, this year has a pair of surprising entries: Kanye West, billed as Ye, for “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy,” and legendary producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (along with Amelia Hartley) as supervisors of the “Janet Jackson” documentary.
The series scoring category has the most entries at 159, while the music supervision category is second largest at 153. There are 89 entries in the song category, 69 for main-title theme, 67 for limited-series or movie score, 60 for documentary score and just 22 for music direction.
Emmy’s music “peer group” has just 11 days to review all these and decide who should be nominated. Voting ends at 10 p.m. on June 27.