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Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus in contention for Oscars

By Dean Goodman
December 17, 2009

Old-school Hollywood types would be aghast, but think of the boffo ratings if teen starlets Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus nabbed Oscar nominations next year.

taymileyThe duo are part of the way there, having co-written songs that made the shortlist for Oscar consideration. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday unveiled 63 original song contenders that will be winnowed down to a maximum of five nominees.

The Swift and Cyrus songs are among the five from Disney’s “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” which starred Cyrus in the title role. Cyrus co-wrote “Don’t Walk Away” with John Shanks and Hillary Lindsay, while Swift co-wrote “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” with Martin Johnson. The three others are “Back to Tennessee,” co-written by Miley’s dad Billy Ray Cyrus, “Butterfly Fly Away” and “Hoedown Throwdown.” But under Academy rules, a maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film. 

All the artists who received Golden Globe nominations on Tuesday made the cut: Paul McCartney (“Everybody’s Fine”), U2 (“Brothers”), Maury Yeston (“Nine”), James Horner, Simon Franglen and Kuk Harrell (“Avatar”), and Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett (“Crazy Heart”). 

Other notable potential Oscar nominees include White Stripes frontman Jack White (“It Might Get Loud”), British rocker Jarvis Cocker (“The Fantastic Mr. Fox”), and Swedish songwriter Lykke Li (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”).

Members of the Academy’s Music Branch will screen clips featuring each song on Jan. 12. The nominees will be determined by a points system, and they will be announced along with the contenders in the other categories on Feb. 2. The Academy Awards will be handed out on March 7.

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