Three of the biggest stars in the pop pantheon — Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga — will be competing against each other not at the Grammys next year, but at the Golden Globes, for Best Original Song.
The category is led by Swift’s “Carolina” (for Where the Crawdads Sing), Lady Gaga and Bloodpop’s “Hold My Hand” (for Top Gun: Maverick), and Rihanna, Tems, Ludwig Göransson, and Ryan Coogler’s “Lift Me Up” (for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). The other two nominees are Alexandre Desplat’s “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj’s “Naatu Naatu” from RRR.
For both Swift and Rihanna — as well as Tems — this could be their first Golden Globe win. It’s also Rihanna and Tems’ first nomination, though the fourth for Swift. She was first nominated in 2013 for “Safe & Sound,” her song with the Civil Wars for The Hunger Games, then again the following year for “Sweeter Than Fiction,” from One Chance. Her most recent nomination came in 2020 when she picked up a nod for “Beautiful Ghosts,” her contribution to the film adaptation of Cats.
For Gaga, this could be her second Best Original Song award and third Golden Globe overall. Her first was an acting prize in 2016 — Best Actress in a Miniseries for American Horror Story: Hotel — and she picked up her second, Best Original Song for her A Star is Born smash, “Shallow,” in 2019. She’s also been nominated for her performances in House of Gucci, and A Star is Born, and earned an Original Song nod in 2012 for her collaboration with Elton John, “Hello Hello,” from the animated film Gnomeo and Juliet.
As for the other nominees, Desplat is one of the most decorated film composers and conductors out there. He’s won two Best Original Score Golden Globes already (for The Painted Veil and The Shape of Water), though his Pinocchio contribution, “Ciao Papa,” actually marks his first nomination for Best Original Song.
As for “Naatu Naatu,” the song anchors the dazzling centerpiece dance sequence in the Indian blockbuster RRR. The Best Original Song nod was one of two nominations the historical epic received, along with Best Picture, Non-English Language. RRR is not the first Indian movie to earn a Golden Globe nomination, nor would composers Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj be the first to win if they did (storied composer A. R. Rahman won Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire in 2009). But, RRR did make history as the first Telugu-language film out of “Tollywood” — which has arguably surpassed the Hindi-language “Bollywood” as the dominant force in Indian cinema — to secure a Golden Globe nomination.