The Oscars could be a big night for Universal Music Group

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DavidJosephThe Academy Awards take place on February 28, and a very big night could be on the cards for Universal Music Group.

The main reason for that is AMY, which has just been nominated for Best Documentary at the ceremony, which will take place at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The emotional movie, which tracks the life and career of Amy Winehouse and features well-known music biz players including Lucian Grainge (UMG), Darcus Beese (Island) and Nick Shymansky (Island), was directed by Asif Kapadia.

It was produced by James Gay-Rees edited by and Chris King, who along with Kapadia, collaborated on the 2010 documentary SENNA.

AMY was also the first ‘proper’ movie release completely produced by UMG- and executive produced by the company’s UK CEO & Chairman, David Joseph (pictured inset).

“The key people who initially didn’t want to be involved; Juliette [Ashby] and Lauren [Gilbert], her two oldest friends who were very close with Nick Shymansky, her first manager, eventually realised that they should participate so that their side of the story would be heard,” explained Gay-Rees. “The whole experience took an awful lot out of all these people, understandably.

“It is hard to imagine what it must be like to see your closest childhood or teenage friend going through the perils of celebrity and mega-fame, knowing that there were underlying issues that would come to the fore.”

Universal recently announced that it was going to start taking its role as a Hollywood producer more seriously, hiring two renowned producers, David Blackman and Scott Landis, to lead its development and production of film, television and theatrical projects.


Meanwhile, three Universal artists – Lady Gaga, The Weeknd and Sam Smith – have also been shortlisted for performing the Best Original Song at the Oscars.

Smith’s theme tune to Bond movie Spectre picked up a Golden Globe this month, and was co-written by his long-term collaborator Jimmy Napes.

Gaga’s Til It Happens To You, from The Hunting Ground was co-written with Diane Warren.

The Weeknd’s Earned It, from Fifty Shades of Grey, is also nominated.

The three tracks will duke it out with Manta Ray from Racing Extinction – by J. Ralph and Antony and the Johnsons’ Antony Hegarty – as well as David Lang’s Simple Song #3 from Youth.Music Business Worldwide

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