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2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song

"La La Land" takes on "Moana" for Best Song, but pop stars are in the mix, from Justin Timberlake to Sting. (Updated February 22, 2017.)

Moana

“Moana”

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures


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Academy music branch voters tend to favor original songs performed by major pop stars. Which is why so many movies, from animated films to documentaries, try to lure big names to add Oscar wattage.

2016 is no exception. Top talent from Justin Timberlake (“Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls”) to Sting (“The Empty Chair” from HBO documentary “Jim: The James Foley Story”) have joined the original-song action.

La La Land City of Stars Emma Stone Ryan Gosling

As usual, all-out musicals such as Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz’s  “La La Land” and Disney’s animated “Moana,” with songs from “Hamilton” creator-star Lin-Manuel Miranda, are leading the pack. If the two “La La Land” favorites split the vote, Miranda’s song of yearning “How Far I’ll Go” could take the win.

Contenders (in order of likelihood to win):

1. “City of Stars” (Ryan Gosling: written by Justin Hurwitz, Pasek and Paul, “La La Land”)
2.”How Far I’ll Go” (Auli’i Cravalho: written by Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Moana”)
3. “Audition” (Emma Stone: written by Hurwitz, Pasek and Paul, “La La Land”)
4. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Justin Timberlake: written by Max Martin, Shellback, & Timberlake, “Trolls”)
5. “The Empty Chair (Sting, J. Ralph, “Jim: The James Foley Story”)

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Photo by Buckner/VAR/REX/Shutterstock

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