The Envelope Logo

Gold Derby

Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: BarackObama

Stevie Wonder awarded Gershwin Prize by first fan Barack Obama

February 26, 2009 | 12:32 pm

President Barack Obama says he won Michelle Obama over with their shared love of the music of Stevie Wonder. During Wednesday's White House presentation to Wonder of the Gershwin Prize — an honor bestowed by the Library of Congress — the president said, "I think it's fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me, we might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship."


And Michelle Obama reminisced about listening to Stevie Wonder's albums with her grandfather: "He'd blast music throughout the house and that's where he and I would sit and listen to Stevie's music together — songs about life, love, romance, heartache, despair." The Obamas chose Stevie Wonder's "You and I" from his breakthrough 1972 album "Talking Book" as the first song at their 1992 wedding.

The Library of Congress established the Gershwin Prize two years ago to "celebrate the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding." The first recipient was Paul Simon while Stevie Wonder is the second. During the White House ceremony,  Wonder performed for the first couple and an invited audience. That concert will air tonight on most PBS stations.

Stevie Wonder has won a record 22 Grammy Awards, tying him with U2, and he was given the lifetime achievement Grammy in 1996. He has been inducted into both the songwriters (1983) and rock and roll (1989) halls of fame.  Wonder won best song at the 1994 Oscars for "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from "The Woman in Red" and in 1999 he was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors.


U2 could set Grammys record with 'No Line on the Horizon'

U2 bringing Spider-Man musical to Broadway — Can this superhero conquer the Tonys?

'Billy Elliot' trio to compete as one at Tony Awards

'Billy Elliot' — Early front-runner at next year's Tonys

Photo: Motown

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.

The Envelope is blogging live from Sundance Film Festival!

January 17, 2009 |  6:08 pm

Check out our new blog offering instant coverage of whazzup at the Sundance Film Festival. Bookmark the main page and hit refresh often for the latest reports, which include dozens of exclusive video Sundance_mariah_carey_news_39274 chats with top stars and filmmakers plus pix and in-depth text reports. Also, explore our main Sundance page, which includes feature articles, film reviews, plus even more video, and a special photo gallery.

Among our videos: Ben Affleck chats about the documentary he exec-produced, "Reporter," which spotlights coverage of war-torn Congo by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof. Amy Poehler, in Park City to ballyhoo her new movie, "Spring Breakdown," tells us who she most wants to meet among the glitterati at the fest. Sam Rockwell dishes his new pic, "Moon."

Other interviews include Ashton Kutcher discussing his new pic, "Spread," and telling us about his promo work on behalf of President-elect Barack Obama.

In our photo gallery are lively shots of the "Rudo y Cursi" team — director Carlos Cuaron, producer Guillermo del Toro, actor Gael García Bernal. See Christie Brinkley (is she snow dancing at Sundance?), DJ AM spinning records at the parties, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon at the screening of "Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire" and Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon attending the premiere of Bacon's "Taking Chances."

Photos of Christie Brinkley and Mariah Carey courtesy of Getty Images

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom. Join the Gold Derby Facebook group.

Will Barack Obama celebration win over Emmy Awards voters too?

January 16, 2009 |  1:52 pm

This Sunday afternoon's concert in celebration of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama will air live on HBO at 2:30 p.m. from the Lincoln Memorial and be repeated twice that evening. The special — "We Are One" — will feature a roster of Grammy Award-winning talent drawn from all genres of music as well as Oscar winners and nominees and could well figure in many Emmy Awards races this fall.

Barack_obama_18253, who created the YouTube video sensation "Yes We Can," will represent hip hop. There will be rock music by Bruce Springsteen, who was one of Obama's most vocal backers, as well as Bono, Sheryl Crow, Jon Bon Jovi and John Mellencamp.

The R&B camp has Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Usher and Stevie Wonder with country represented by Garth Brooks and Sugarland. Other musical genres in the mix include classical by Renee Fleming and Josh Groban, folk from Pete Seeger, jazz by Herbie Hancock and Latin pop sung by Shakira.

In among all this music, three Oscar winners — Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington — as well as two Oscar nominees — Queen Latifah and Laura Linney — will be among those handling intros and reciting historical passages.

The paycaster is unscrambling its signal so the show will be available to all cable and satellite viewers as well as online. George Stevens,Jr., who earned five of his 11 Emmys for shepherding the star-studded tributes of the "Kennedy Center Honors," is exec producing this special. As for past presidential inaugurations, Ian Fraser won an Emmy for his musical direction at the first Clinton gala and was a nominee for the second while John Rook took home the lighting direction Emmy for the 1993 show.

Photo of Barack Obama by L.A. Times

Continue reading »

Can Barack Obama win '60 Minutes' another Emmy?

November 14, 2008 | 10:39 am

Last week was a very good one for TV newsmagazine "60 Minutes" — it was the No. 1 show and it scored five nominations for the Business and Financial Reporting Emmys. Now Barack_obama2 comes the news that veteran reporter Steve Kroft is sitting down today with president-elect Barack Obama for his first post-victory interview. This exclusive will air Sunday night on CBS.

The pioneering show, now in its 41st season, won three more News and Documentary Emmys in September, including kudos for its trademark investigative journalism as well as for the continuing coverage of a news story. And most certainly the newsmagazine's ongoing reporting on the presidential election qualifies as continuing coverage. Indeed, last week, Steve Kroft sat down with the winning team that ran the Obama campaign. Now, with this interview with the man himself, Kroft is spoiled for choice when it comes time to deciding what to submit for Emmy consideration next year.

Obama may also become a factor at the prime-time Emmys or the Oscars, depending on the release fate of the new documentary about his presidential campaign being produced by Edward Norton and HBO. If it gets a theatrical release before being aired on TV, it'll only qualify for an Oscar run. Otherwise, its first airing will be on TV, which makes it Emmy eligible. At this point HBO execs are not sure of its distribution plans. READ MORE.

Photo: Emmanuel Dunand /AFP/Getty Images

Barack Obama documentary may sweep the Emmy elections

November 10, 2008 |  9:09 am


The news that HBO just got behind the new documentary about Barack Obama's run for the White House has major Emmy implications. For the past two years HBO has won the Emmy category for nonfiction specials with "Autism: The Musical" and "The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" and was a major player before that.

The awards prospects of the Obama docu are bolstered even more by the fact that it's co-produced by Edward Norton's shingle, Class 5 Films, which has been tracking the presidential rise of Obama — with his cooperation — since 2006 after teaming up with filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams. "The production has had close access to Obama as well as his family, friends, campaign staff and volunteers," reports Variety.

Emmy voters love big TV productions packaged by superstars. Think of Tom Hanks' past involvement in several winners of best mini-series: "John Adams" (2008), "Band of Brothers" (2002) and "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998).

However, the new Obama docu isn't an Emmy shoo-in. In 2003, HBO's docu about the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, "Journeys with George," lost the Emmy election for best nonfiction special to PBS' bio of Ben Franklin.

At this point it's unclear if the docu will be eligible for next year's Emmys. A network rep tells Gold Derby, "It is a bit too early to know if we will schedule this for sure before May 31" — the cutoff for Emmy eligibility.

Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/ AFP/Getty Images



In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:

About the Blogger

Pop & Hiss



In Case You Missed It...