On February 26th, New Zealand native Bret McKenzie (APRA) was added to the list of Academy Award winners who license their music through ASCAP when his power ballad "Man or Muppet," from Disney's The Muppets, took home the Best Song Oscar. McKenzie served as a music supervisor of sorts for The Muppets, writing five original songs and helping to hone the film's unique musical voice. Watch our video interview with McKenzie here for more background on his work on The Muppets.
In his Oscar acceptance speech, McKenzie spoke of his history with The Muppets and joked about his induction into Hollywood celebrity circles:" I grew up in New Zealand watching The Muppets on TV. I never dreamed I'd get to work with them. I was genuinely star-struck when I met Kermit the Frog, but once you get to know him, he's just a normal frog and like many stars here tonight he's a lot shorter in real life." You can see his entire acceptance speech here.
McKenzie has already had a storied and fruitful career. He co-founded the internationally beloved musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, which spawned a radio program, an HBO series and four albums, one of which (2007's The Distant Future)earned a Grammy. McKenzie's played minor roles in two of the Lord of the Rings films, and he's set to return to Middle Earth in the upcoming The Hobbit films. And his musical exploits are manifold, including a stint in rock group The Black Seeds and membership in the Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra.
Congratulations to Bret McKenzie on his much-deserved Oscar!