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GRAMMY MOVIE MUSIC: THE PLOT THICKENS

Movie music just may sweep the top three awards at next year's Grammys—for only the second time in Grammy history. Black Panther: The Album, Music from and Inspired By is a leading contender for Album of the Year. Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" from A Star Is Born and Kendrick Lamar & SZA's "All the Stars" from Black Panther are both vying for Record and Song of the Year.

(Gaga co-wrote "Shallow" with Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt. Lamar and SZA co-wrote "All the Stars" with Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears and Anthony Tiffith.)

Technically, Black Panther isn't a soundtrack. Only three of the album's 14 tracks were featured in the film. (That's why it wasn't allowed to compete for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.) But it is widely perceived as a soundtrack; a movie memento.

Only once in Grammy history has movie music swept the Big Three awards. It happened 25 years ago, when The Bodyguard soundtrack by Whitney Houston and Various Artists won Album of the Year, Houston's megahit "I Will Always Love You" took Record of the Year and "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)" won Song of the Year. ("I Will Always Love You" wasn't eligible for Song of the Year because Dolly Parton's original version, from 1974, was well-known, which cleared the way for this other film song to grab the prize.)

If "Shallow" wins Record of the Year, Gaga and Cooper will become just the third stars of a film to win in that marquee category for a song they recorded for their film. They would follow Bette Midler, who took the 1989 award for "Wind Beneath My Wings" from Beaches, and Whitney Houston, who took the 1993 award for "I Will Always Love You" from The Bodyguard.

Moreover, if "Shallow" wins Song of the Year, Gaga will become only the second star of a film to take that award for a song they wrote or co-wrote for their film. She would follow Barbra Streisand, who took the 1977 award for composing "Evergreen" from a previous version of A Star Is Born.

Win or lose, Black Panther is only the fifth film in the Grammys' 61-year history to be represented in each of the Big Three categories. It follows Breakfast at Tiffany's (Henry Mancini's sublime "Moon River," which he co-wrote with Johnny Mercer, won Record and Song); Saturday Night Fever (the Bee Gees' classic "Stayin' Alive" was nominated for Record and Song), Flashdance (Irene Cara's "Flashdance…What a Feeling" was nominated for Record; Michael Sembello's "Maniac," which he co-wrote with Dennis Matkosky, was nominated for Record and Song); and Beauty and the Beast (Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson's elegant title song, written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, was nominated for Record and Song).

Grammy producers may want to hand out popcorn to the guests attending the Grammy telecast on 2/10.

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