Although Ryan Gosling was the central piece of Barbie’s big musical number, he will not have the chance to compete for Grammy gold. Contrary to some online reports, the actor is not among the nominees for the show-stopping “I’m Just Ken.”
On Friday morning (Nov. 10), the Recording Academy revealed the official nominations for the 2024 Grammy Awards. SZA reigns atop the leaderboard with nine nods; R&B star Victoria Monét, alt-rock singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers and engineer/mixer Serban Ghenea follow with seven each.
Barbie was widely expected to clinch a number of Grammy nominations thanks to its star-studded compilation soundtrack album and separate score album, composed by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt. As Barbie broke records at the box office — eventually strutting its way to a worldwide gross of over $1 billion — the soundtrack reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, collecting several Billboard Hot 100 smash hits in the process, including Dua Lipa‘s “Dance the Night” (No. 6), Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice‘s “Barbie World” (No. 7, with AQUA) and Billie Eilish‘s “What Was I Made For?” (No. 14).
All three of those tracks received nominations in the best song written for visual media category alongside “I’m Just Ken” and Rihanna‘s Oscar-nominated “Lift Me Up” (No. 2) from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The Grammy guidelines for best song written for visual media state that the award is a “songwriter(s) award.” A description of the category on the official Grammy website reads: “For a song (melody & lyrics) written specifically for a motion picture, television, video games or other visual media, and released for the first time during the Eligibility Year.”
Although Gosling is the sole vocalist for “I’m Just Ken,” he is not a credited writer on the song. Those honors go to Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt — a powerhouse duo that picked up both an Oscar and a Grammy for their contributions to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper‘s Hot 100-topping “Shallow” from 2018’s A Star Is Born.
Gosling’s performance of the track was entered into the best pop solo performance race, but it failed to make the cut in what was a very crowded category this year (281 entries). This year’s best pop solo performance nominees are Miley Cyrus (“Flowers”), Taylor Swift (“Anti-Hero”), Olivia Rodrigo (“Vampire”), Doja Cat (“Paint the Town Red”), and “What Was I Made For?”
Furthermore, the Barbie actor likely won’t have a shot at taking home a gilded gramophone should Barbie The Album take home best compilation soundtrack for visual media. The rules for that category state: “Award to the principal artist(s) and/or ‘in studio’ producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album. In the absence of both, Award to the one or two individuals proactively responsible for the concept and musical direction of the album and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable. Award also goes to appropriately credited music supervisor(s).”
Currently, Barbie: The Album is credited to Various Artists — but it’s probably safe to bet that Ronson and Wyatt would take home the trophies in the case of a Barbie victory. At the very least, Gosling will be able to find solace in the fact that “I’m Just Ken” gifted him his very first Hot 100 entry, peaking at No. 87.
A Grammy may remain out of reach, but Gosling could very well add a third Oscar nomination to his collection. A nod for his supporting performance in Barbie would follow his best actor citations from 2007 (Half Nelson) and 2017 (La La Land).
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