Local Current Blog

H.E.R., Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor among Academy Award winners

H.E.R. arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

In an intimate Oscar ceremony like none other due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross won Best Original Score for their work on Pixar’s Soul. “God gave us 12 notes,” said Batiste in an acceptance speech. “It’s the same 12 notes Duke Ellington had, Bach had, Nina Simone…I’m just thankful to God for those 12 notes.”

Reznor, perhaps still best known as the man behind Nine Inch Nails, simply waved his thanks alongside Batiste and longtime collaborator Ross. Reznor and Ross also won an Oscar in 2011 for scoring The Social Network.

The Oscar for Best Original Song went to H.E.R., Tiara Thomas, and Dernst Emile II for “Fight For You,” from Judas and the Black Messiah. “Knowledge is power,” said H.E.R., accepting the award. “Music is power.” The Oscar nomination for H.E.R. followed a big night for the singer-songwriter at this year’s Grammys.

Many music fans were also pleased to see Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom win two Oscars, for hair/makeup and costuming — although the late Chadwick Boseman’s widely anticipated win for Best Actor didn’t happen, the award instead going to an absent Anthony Hopkins for The Father. Makeup/hairstyling artists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson became the first Black women to win in the hair and makeup category. DJ Questlove was on point throughout the night, including a choice spin of “Make Up” by Vanity 6 when that award was presented.

Among other significant developments was Chloe Zhao, the first BIPOC woman to ever be nominated for Best Director, winning for helming the quietly affecting Nomadland — which also won awards including Best Picture, and Best Actress (Frances McDormand). Pete Docter, who grew up in Bloomington and has gone on to lead Pixar’s perennially award-winning feature film production team, accepted Best Animated Feature for Soul.

For a complete list of winners, see the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.