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“Barbie” Ballad “What Was I Made For?” » makes Billie Eilish the youngest person to win 2 Oscars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — What were Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell made for? Winning prizes, apparently. The hit ballad “Barbie” from the sibling duo “What Was I Made For?” won the Oscar for best original song on Sunday evening.

In doing so, Eilish, 22, became by far the youngest person to win two career Oscars.

This breaks a very old record set by Luise Rainer, who won her second Academy Award for Best Actress at age 28 in 1938.

Finneas, left, and Billie Eilish perform "What was I made for?" Since "barbie" during the...
Finneas, left, and Billie Eilish perform “What Was I Made For?” of “Barbie” during the Oscars ceremony, Sunday March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)(Chris Pizzello | Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The second youngest is now Eilish's 26-year-old brother and co-writer Finneas. The couple won their first Oscar for “No Time to Die” in 2021. That year, they beat out some impressive names, including Beyoncé, Van Morrison, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Diane Warren.

Hilary Swank and Jodie Foster – nominated for Best Supporting Actor this year – are the only others to win two before age 30.

“Thank you very much to the Academy. I feel like I just didn’t think this would happen,” Eilish began her speech. “I'm so grateful for this song and for this movie and for how it made me feel. And this goes out to everyone who was touched by the film and how incredible it is. And I want to thank my team and my parents. I love you guys so much.

She continued, “I want to thank my best friend Zoe for playing Barbies with me growing up and being by my side forever,” and was met with laughter from the audience. “I want to thank my dance teachers growing up. I would like to thank my choir teachers. Miss Brigham, thank you for believing in me. Mrs. T, you didn't like me, but you were good at your job.

Eilish and Finneas beat out another “Barbie” track, “I'm Just Ken,” performed by Ryan Gosling and written by “Barbie the Album” executive producer Mark Ronson and his creative partner Andrew Wyatt. “It Never Went Away” by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson from “American Symphony”, “The Fire Inside” by Warren from “Flamin' Hot” and “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” by Scott George from “Killers of the Flower Moon” completed the category.

Eilish and O'Connell are no strangers to the Oscars stage. In addition to winning the trophy for their James Bond theme “No Time to Die,” they performed during the in memorium segment in 2020.

In the months leading up to the Academy Awards, “What Was I Made For?” has collected numerous trophies: in 2024 alone, they won a Golden Globe for best original song and two Grammys. Not bad for a song written about an 11.5 inch tall plastic doll.

“What was I made for?” debuted at number 34 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, eventually peaking at number 14.

In the movie “Barbie,” “What Was I Made For?” ” plays a key role – an instrumental version of the song appears as a leitmotif, recording introspective and existential moments for its protagonist. Eilish's voice is not heard until the final scene, but by this point the audience is well prepared for its emotional impact.

Clearly, the duo excels at creating music for films. Before “Barbie” and Bond, three songs they wrote were featured on the soundtrack to Disney’s “Turning Red,” drawing heavily from (asterisk) NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys.

In another musical category, Ludwig Göransson won the Oscar for original music for his work on “Oppenheimer.” This is his second Oscar nomination and third nomination, having previously won in the category in 2019 for “Black Panther.”

In doing so, Göransson beat out John Williams (“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”) and three first-time nominees, Jerskin Fendrix (“Poor Things”), Laura Karpman (“American Fiction”) and the late Robbie Robertson (“ Killers of the Flower Moon”).

“Oppenheimer” is director Christopher Nolan's adaptation of Martin J. Sherwin and Kai Bird's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2005 book, “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” chronicling the Manhattan Project and its aftermath. spin off.

“Christopher Nolan, it was your idea to use the violin in the score, and it allowed me to work and collaborate with my wonderful wife and acclaimed violinist Serena Göransson. We were recording at night and rushing home to put our kids, Apollo, Romeo, to bed. But the result was incredible,” he said in his speech.

“And to my parents up there, thank you for giving me guitars and drum machines instead of video games. Thank you,” he concluded.

The film starring Cillian Murphy “is somewhere between shock and aftershock of the terrible revelation, as one character calls it, of divine power,” AP Film screenwriter Jake Coyle assessed in his review. Naturally, the score accomplishes something similar: Göransson composes for the first time in the first person, using his characteristic games with rhythm and tempo to make one man's efforts to change history seem more larger than life.

“To be recognized on this particular point was a very personal score,” Göransson told The Associated Press when the nominations were announced in January. “It was also obviously extremely difficult to realize those emotions and tell the story of this complicated man's feelings, his ambition and what he goes through on his journey and his point of view, because the only way to achieve this is that I had to go to uncomfortable places.

He added that “the way Chris Nolan uses music in his stories is so unique, so special and so inspiring.”

“So give all the music awards to Nolan and his collaborators,” he said. “I’m just very grateful to be working with him, and this is our second film together.”

Their first film together was the 2020 thriller “Tenet.”

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For more coverage on the 2024 Oscars, visit https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards

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