John Legend and The Roots perform ‘Shine’

Posted by · 1:16 pm · November 2nd, 2010

In lieu of a proper “listen to” item on John Legend’s “Shine” from “Waiting for Superman” (since I’ve already featured the tune twice), I thought I’d post up this video of the singer performing the song with The Roots in studio.

At the end of the day, I think this track has a real shot at being our Best Original Song winner.  Though some point out that Melissa Etheridge won here in 2006 for “I Need to Wake Up” from “An Inconvenient Truth” (another doc hit with AMPAS), that was before the current voting practice of viewing contenders in the context of their films.  So it’s possible Legend misses the nod altogether.  But I think it’s also worth pointing out that, like “I Need to Wake Up,” “Shine” doesn’t just play over a traditional credit role, but instead an animated “fact roll,” if you will, with various bits of information making an extension of the narrative.

And after the nod?  Tough to stand up to that charisma and such a chance to do well by the issue by shining (pardon the pun) a spotlight on a film that may not win in the doc feature field (given the stiff competition), especially when you’re working with frothy tracks from animated features and musical numbers in films that don’t appear to be major Oscar threats in general.

Check out the video after the jump.

→ 11 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

11 responses so far

  • 1 11-02-2010 at 1:38 pm

    Loyal said...

    It seems like Waiting for Superman turned out to be a nonevent. There was a fair amount of media coverage in September and then poof, it was gone. Bad timing perhaps as there were other seemingly more pressing issues to deal with in DC.

    An Inconvenient Truth however really took hold, made a tidy sum of money, and I think it’s overall success led to the Best Song win.

  • 2 11-02-2010 at 1:59 pm

    David Vega said...

    Kris, I think you should consider the song ‘I see light’ from Tangled written by 8 Academy Award winner Alan Menken. It’s available to listen on Walt Disney Studio Awards Website and already hiting Youtube. That is a sure bet for the nominations. Not so sure for the win, but I’m also not so convinced about ‘Waiting for Superman’.

  • 3 11-02-2010 at 2:05 pm

    sosgemini said...

    What Loyal said…plus, this song sucks!!!

  • 4 11-02-2010 at 2:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    David: It’s well considered here:

    And Waiting for Superman did well at the box office. Like I said, I don’t know that it’ll win doc, but this is certainly possible.

  • 5 11-02-2010 at 3:00 pm

    Loyal said...

    I don’t know what Paramount’s expansion plans are (I reckon it’s peaked) but to date it’s made 2m LESS than The Aristocrats and 20m LESS than An Inconvenient Truth. Worldwide An Inconvenient Truth was one of the most successful documentaries of all time.

    Like I said, I think An Inconvenient Truth’s Best Song win went hand and hand with Best Documentary. I think we all agree that Waiting for Superman isn’t a sure fire winner in that category.

  • 6 11-02-2010 at 3:44 pm

    Graysmith said...

    The number of Oscar-winning documentaries that barely made a dime far outweigh the ones that were very successful, like An Inconvenient Truth and Michael Moore’s films. According to Box Office Mojo, Waiting for Superman is one of the 25 highest-grossing documentaries.. But all of that is kind of beside the point since box office matters very little when it comes to documentaries.

    As for the song, even though it’s looking like an exceptionally pathetic year for the categories I just can’t see it getting nominated. It could happen, but it’s not particularly memorable, and it wasn’t the kind of breakout that An Inconvenient Truth was.

    But who knows? Or rather, who cares?

  • 7 11-02-2010 at 5:44 pm

    Loyal said...

    You can’t really say ” box office matters very little when it comes to documentaries.” March of the Penguins would be without an Oscar if not for the 77m it made.

    Money certainly can have an effect, especially if a film underperforms in other areas. Money didn’t have an effect on The Cove because it’s subject matter caught hold, the film entered the zeitgeist. It varies from film to film.

    You pointed out boxofficemojo, 3 of the top 10 documentaries of all time also have oscars, all of which are also from the last decade.

  • 8 11-02-2010 at 7:41 pm

    Glenn said...

    Two things led to “I Need to Wake Up” winning, surely. Firstly, it was Melissa Etheridge and secondly it was from “An Inconvenient Truth”, a movie that a lot of AMPAS clearly loved and wanted to champion as much as they possibly could.

    John Legend ain’t no Melissa Etheridge. We’ll see if the love is there for the movie though eventually, I guess.

  • 9 11-02-2010 at 11:02 pm

    Iamthenewblack said...

    Good luck comparing John Legend to Melissa Etheridge they are two completely different artists but if you want to go quantitatively John Legend = 6 grammys, Melissa Etheridge = 2.

    Great song, been listening to it for awhile, lyrics are on the borderline of trite but never cross it and Legend has one of the best voices in music, so hope he wins.

    He also could get a boost from the grammys if his new cd with The Roots is nominated or wins big.

  • 10 11-04-2010 at 12:30 am

    sosgemini said...

    Are we really equating Grammy wins with artistic credibility now? The fact that Joss Stone is a Grammy winner should dispell any credibility within the organization. And don’t start me on the multi-Grammy winning Be’Weave (aka Beyonce).

  • 11 11-23-2010 at 5:25 pm

    Taxi said...

    The very relevant ‘Waiting for Superman’ (a winner) tells us the who,what,where and why America has academically fallen behind. Uncovering the perilous lives of our children in a uncaring system and their lack of a future, except for prison.
    How do we begin to fix/manage the selfish behemoth lemon-dancing unions?
    This song encapsulates the urgent message of educating young fresh minds.