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‘Barbie’ Conquered the World. Are the Grammys Next?

“It was really nice to be able to turn off my conscious brain of ‘How do I feel?’ and just write from a character who I know exactly how she feels, because I watched the movie,” Eilish said. “I never would have been able to write any of that song if I had tried to be vulnerable about my own life and experience, so it was really a perfect vessel.” The song became one of the movie’s sonic through lines, and parts of the instrumentation were woven into multiple scenes.

Movie soundtracks occasionally attract major Grammy attention: Recently, Kendrick Lamar received eight nominations, including best album, for his role as executive producer of the LP accompanying “Black Panther.” (The film took home two Grammys in 2019.) Beyoncé received six nominations for her work on “Black Is King” in 2021. (She won two for the film, which helped give her the record for most Grammy wins by a female artist.)

In 2002, the LP accompanying “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” won album of the year, a feat previously achieved by “The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album” in 1994, “Saturday Night Fever” in 1979 and “The Music From Peter Gunn” in 1959. “The Graduate” and “The Bodyguard” produced record of the year winners in “Mrs. Robinson” and “I Will Always Love You.”

Yet the “Barbie” soundtrack is unique in featuring so many artists who seemed to intuitively grasp the movie’s candy-colored aesthetic and range of sincere moods, ranging from the forlorn to the celebratory. The movie was last year’s biggest pop culture phenomenon not named Taylor Swift, and the music reflects its broad, cross-genre appeal, including songs from rappers (Ice Spice), a psych-rock band (Tame Impala), a Latin music superstar (Karol G) and a poppy indie trio (Haim).

Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” reached No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100, won a Golden Globe last month, and now has the chance to be the rare track that takes home both song of the year at the Grammys and best original song at the Oscars — a benchmark reached by crossover hits like Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

“The movie did bring people together, from different walks of life and cross-sections of society — which is like, ‘When’s the last time we all did that?’” Wyatt said. “That’s a nice, celebratory thing to be a part of, and it’s nice to see that reflected in whatever’s going on in the awards category.”

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