Before 2023, and before Rihanna and Tems were nominated for the Oscars, only three Black female artists could boast taking home an Academy Award for Best Original Song: Irene Cara (1984) and H.E.R. with Tiara Thomas (2021).
At the Academy Awards on Sunday night (March 12), the historic club was set to welcome Pop diva Rihanna and Nigerian superstar Tems as its newest entrants when an upset blocked the path.
Instead, they were defeated by M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose for their ‘RRR‘ song ‘Naatu Naatu’ (which also won the Golden Globe for the same category).
Upset alongside competitors Diane Warren, Lady Gaga, and Ryan Lott for the prize, the loss derailed what would have come as a career first for all the creators of ‘Lift.’
In addition to Rihanna and Tems almost making history as the first Black females born outside of the United States to capture the golden statuette, the former – already a 9-time GRAMMY winner – would have been one step closer to EGOT status.
For Coogler, whose previous films ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Judas & the Black Messiah’ have both been nominated for Best Picture, the win would have made him 10th Black man to win Best Original song in the ceremony’s 95-year history.
His victory would have followed Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Common & John Legend, Three 6 Mafia, and D’Mile.
Alas, the trio remain “OSCAR-nominated” for now.