Three songs from 'Barbie,' as well as tracks from 'Rustin,' 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' and 'Wish,' were nominated in the best song category at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards
The Critics Choice Association is singing their praises of “I’m Just Ken”!
Writers Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt took the stage to accept the award, where Ronson, 48, addressed Gosling, 43, as he was seated in the audience.
"Ryan Gosling, this is as much your award as ours," Ronson said. "You made the audience fall in love with this song with your matchless performance, so thank you."
"The fact that you carved out 11 minutes for this prog-rock, power-ballad, dream-ballet, shred fest so the boys could cry and hold hands a little too, we're really forever in your debt for that," Ronson said of Gerwig, 40.
The best song category included two other songs from the Barbie soundtrack, Barbie: The Album: Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” and Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?" The other nominees were The Super Mario Bros. Movie song “Peaches,” sung by Jack Black in the animated film, Lenny Kravitz’s “Road to Freedom” from Rustin and the Julia Michaels-penned “This Wish” track from Disney’s Wish.
The three nods in the best song category helped lead Barbie to be the most-nominated title at the 2024 award show. The hit blockbuster, helmed by filmmaker Gerwig, received a whopping 18 nominations, including best picture, best acting ensemble, best director and best original screenplay, among other awards.
The Critics Choice Award marks the second major trophy this awards season that music from Barbie has picked up. At the Golden Globes last Sunday, sibling duo Eilish, 22, and Finneas won for best original song award, as well.
In their acceptance speech, the “Happier Than Ever” singer opened up about how writing “What Was I Made For?” “kind of saved [her]” after feeling “very miserable and depressed at the time” — which is a sentiment she had shared in interviews upon the song’s release.
The music from the film has continued to receive a great deal of recognition throughout this awards season. Multiple songs off the soundtrack, which was produced by Mark Ronson, earned nods from the Recording Academy to be in the running at the upcoming Grammy Awards on Feb. 4.
Several hits off Barbie: The Album are up for major, coveted awards as well, like record and song of the year, and many are competing in genre categories, as well.
Aside from Rihanna’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever contribution “Lift Me Up,” the rest of the nominees in the best song written for visual media category are entirely from Barbie — including “Barbie World” by Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj, Lipa’s “Dance the Night,” “I’m Just Ken” performed by Gosling and “What Was I Made For?” by Eilish and Finneas, 26.
The “Houdini” singer’s nominated track, “Dance the Night,” reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, and she previously opened up about how it was “an absolute no-brainer” when Ronson reached out to her to write a disco-pop song for a big dance number in the film.
"[Mark] was like, ‘I’m working on this film with Greta Gerwig and it’s Barbie, and it’s possibly the funniest script I’ve read, and I really want you to write the song for the big dance scene in the film,'" Lipa, 28, recalled during The Hollywood Reporter’s Songwriter Roundtable in November. "I was like, 'This is an absolute no-brainer. One thousand percent yes.'"
“I’m Just Ken,” meanwhile, which was featured during a major musical number where Gosling’s Ken takes center stage, has become a pop culture phenomenon of its own — also charting on the Hot 100 and inspiring a Saturday Night Live sketch.
In a July interview with Vanity Fair, Ronson (who co-wrote the song with Andrew Wyatt) explained that the La La Land actor’s love for the song compelled Gerwig to to rewrite an entire scene in order to fit in the performance.
“He really got [that] it had to walk this line of not being funny or parody,” the record producer told the outlet. “But obviously, the song is also kind of ridiculous at times. So he was really amazing, and when he really did start hitting the big notes, I was like, ‘This dude is a vocal powerhouse!’”
Best song nominee “Peaches” has also become a beloved breakout track. Performed by Black’s character Bowser while professing his unrequited love for Princess Peach (voiced by Anya-Taylor Joy), the actor — who also performs in the cult-loved rock duo Tenacious D — wrote and recorded the tune in a matter of days, as Insider reported in April.
“This Wish” is another song from an animated film that’s received acclaim and a nod in the best song category. Ariana DeBose sings the ballad in Disney’s Wish, which tells the origin story of the iconic wishing star from House of Mouse movies, as a witty teenaged girl named Asha.
Upon the film's release, the "This Wish" songwriter, pop singer Michaels, 30, spoke to PEOPLE about the pressure she felt to write a “great” Disney song.
“I think a lot of the challenges came from me,” the "Issues" artist shared. “Just Disney's legacy is music and so the expectation to create something as great as what's come before me was very overwhelming.”
She added, “I had so many people on this film that were so supportive and believed in me and it really got me through the process.”
As for "Road to Freedom," rock star Kravitz, 59, lent his talents to the Colman Domingo-led biopic about Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin and his efforts to organize the 1963 March on Washington. The powerful track, which also features musicians like Trombone Shorty, plays during Rustin's end credits.
In a behind-the-scenes video released by Netflix, the rocker revealed that he was “intrigued” by writing music for the film, but needed “to be educated” about the historical figure at its center.
"I really didn't know that much about Bayard Rustin, which in the end proved to me that his story needed to be told," Kravitz said. "The goal was to make a song that evoked the struggle and the triumph of the civil rights movement, as well as paying homage to Bayard Rustin."
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