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John Legend on Selma Oscar Nods: I Was a Little Surprised and Disappointed


ABC/Randy HolmesJohn Legend shares the same sentiment as his “Glory” collaborator Common, who recently expressed his disappointment that Selma — the movie for which the pair wrote “Glory” — only received two Oscar nominations, including theirs for Best Original Song.

Legend says historical drama about Martin Luther King Jr., should have received more recognition, especially for lead actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay.

“I was a little surprised and disappointed,” Legend tells Billboard. “It’s not that anybody else didn’t deserve it, because I haven’t seen all the other films, I just know it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in years. So for it not to be nominated in some of those other categories was a bit disappointing for me.”

Legend also recalls how the song came together.  “I wanted something [that] tied the spirit of Selma with what was happening in the streets at the time we were writing, which was people protesting in Missouri and eventually New York about injustice and police brutality,” he says. “We had a song that I think spoke to a lot of people, and it’s brought us to this point now where it’s nominated for an Oscar, and it’s won a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award. We’re really grateful for the awards, but we’re also really grateful for just being able to make something special for a film that’s so important and so needed right now.”

And while he’s excited to perform the song at the Grammy Awards February 8, he has hopes to showcase it at the Oscars as well. “I just know we would want to deliver the best performance possible,” he says of the ceremony, airing February 22 on ABC.

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