The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has spoken. “Glory" won the award for best original song at the 87th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, Sunday night. The song, with music and lyrics by John Stephens (John Legend) and Lonnie Lynn (Common), helms from the best picture Oscar-nominated film "Selma."
After receiving a standing ovation for their peformance of "Glory" at the awards show, Legend and Common took the stage to accept their first Academy Award wins.
"Recently, John and I got to go to Selma and perform ‘Glory’ on the same bridge that Dr. King and the people of the civil rights movement marched on 50 years ago. This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation, but is now a symbol for change," Common said as Oprah Winfrey, the producer of the Ava DuVernay-directed film, watched in tears.
"The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status," he continued. "The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the south side of Chicago dreaming of a better life, to those in Franch standing up for their freedom of expression, to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy, this bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings."
Legend said the story of "Selma" is just as important today as it ever was. “It is an artist duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say that 'Selma' is now because the struggle for justice is right now," he said. "We live in the most incarerated country in the world. There are more black man in correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we are with you, we see you, we love you and march on."
Listen to "Glory" and the rest of the Oscar-nominated songs on our playlist here.