Randy Newman’s “If I Didn’t Have You,” from Monsters, Inc., won the Academy Award for Best Original Song last night, breaking the singer-songwriter’s Oscar losing streak after fifteen consecutive unfruitful nominations. That mark tied a record held by art director Roland Anderson and composer Alex North (who later received an honorary Oscar).
“I don’t want your pity,” Randy Newman joked from the stage of the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “I want to thank the music branch [of the Academy] for giving me so many chances to be humiliated over the years.”
Earlier in the evening, Newman lost his bid for Best Original Score to Howard Shore’s work on Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, giving him his fifteenth loss.
Newman has become an Oscar regular over the past decade, earning at least one Academy Award nomination every year since 1994 with the exception of 1997. His notable nominations include two for Best Score (The Natural and Avalon) and a string of nods for Best Original Song for his Nineties work on films including Meet the Parents, Toy Story and A Bug’s Life.
With this year’s win, Newman and “If I Didn’t Have You” topped Sting’s “Until” (from Kate and Leopold, which earlier this year won a Golden Globe in the same category, as well as Paul McCartney’s “Vanilla Sky” (from the film of the same name), Enya’s “May It Be” (from Lord of the Rings) and Diane Warren’s “There You’ll Be” (from Pearl Harbor).