John Legend has become the first African-American to win an Oscar for best original song during the 88th Academy Awards held in Los Angeles. The song, ‘Glory’, composed by legend and collaborator, Common, was written specifically for the 2014 film ‘Selma. At the ceremony on February 28, 2015, they both took home their first-ever Oscar win.
John Legend’s History-Making Win
It was a momentous night for the Recording Academy as well. Legend has won 10 Grammy awards over his thirteen-year career and is the first person to transcend success in music and win an Academy Award. This history-making win will open the door for future artists to also crossover into film and be rewarded for their endeavors in both music and film.
A Throwback to the Civil Rights Movement
The movie, ‘Selma’ was a chronicle of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march; a momentous event in the history of civil rights. The song the duo wrote, ‘Glory’, was to throwback to that time, and of the hope it symbolized for the civil rights movement. Jokingly referred to as, “Common Sense” and “John Legend” during their acceptance speech, the two elatedly accepted the award.
List of Achievements for ‘Glory’
- ‘Glory’ won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 88th Academy Awards
- Composed by Common and John Legend, they both took home the Oscar
- John Legend is the first person to have the distinction of winning an Oscar and 10 Grammy awards
- The song, ‘Glory’, was written specifically for the film ‘Selma’
- The song was a part of the film’s throwback to the 1965 Selma-Montgomery march in Alabama
John Legend and Common’s win during this past Academy Awards encourages us to acknowledge the importance of music’s expanding role in modern Hollywood. After all, it’s not often that a Recording Academy member wins an Oscar. The two ended their speech with “God bless you all. Glory to God.” This may have been the first, but it won’t be the last time we see an artist rewarded for engaging both music and film together.
Who has won a record 8 Oscars?
Legendary costume designer Edith Head, who died in 1981, won eight Oscars, including one for her work on “All About Eve,” which snared a record 14 nominations in 1950 (a record it shares with “Titanic” and 2016’s “La La Land”).
What other awards has John Legend won?
John Legend has won many awards over the course of his career. He has won ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Critics’ Choice Award, and a BAFTA Award. He also received an Emmy Award for producing Jesus Christ Superstar and was also the recipient of the prestigious Billboard “Artist of the Decade” award. Most recently, in 2020, he won an additional Emmy Award for producing the critically acclaimed series, Unsung Heroes.