ASCAP Legend Bernie Taupin Wins Oscar for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
February 14, 2020
On February 9, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences awarded the Oscar for Best Original Song to legendary ASCAP lyricist Bernie Taupin and his longtime collaborator Elton John. The duo won for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” the only original song from the acclaimed John biopic Rocketman.
The Academy Award, Taupin’s first, came during a fruitful awards season for him. His work on “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” also netted him Best Song honors at the Golden Globes, Gold Derby Awards, the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association Film Awards, the Music City Film Critics’ Association Awards and the Online Film & Television Association Film Awards.
Taupin and John earned this Oscar 53 years after they both answered the same ad in NME, looking for new musical talent. Neither passed the audition, but after John was given a random envelope containing Taupin’s lyrics submissions, a partnership was forged that has resulted in some of the greatest, most successful songs in rock and pop history.
Aside from Taupin’s win, the 2020 Oscars were filled with ASCAP greats and their music. Cynthia Erivo gave a stunning performance of her nominated song “Stand Up” from Harriet; ASCAP member Chrissy Metz wowed with Diane Warren’s “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough, also nominated in the category. Billie Eilish and FINNEAS left nary a dry eye in the house with their cover of “Yesterday,” during the In Memoriam section. Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a segment on the impact of songs on movies, which ended with a surprise performance of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” – co-written by ASCAP member Luis Resto.
We were also thrilled to watch ASCAP composer Eímear Noone conducting a medley of the Best Original Score nominees. She became the first woman to helm the Oscars orchestra in the show’s 92-year history.
An extra shout-out to Joaquin Phoenix, whose magnetic work in Joker won him an Oscar for Lead Actor. To close out an impassioned acceptance speech, Phoenix quoted a song lyric written by his brother and fellow ASCAP songwriter, River Phoenix: “Run to the rescue with love / And peace will follow.”