Ex-Police frontman being recognized for his song “The Empty Chair”
By David Sands
January 26, 2015
Sting is again in the running for an Oscar award, a prize he’s been nominated for previously but has yet to win.
On Tuesday (Jan. 24), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named the former Police frontman and bassist as one of five contenders in the Best Original Song category for his role in writing “The Empty Chair,” which appears in the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story.
Directed by Brian Oakes, the film chronicles the life of U.S. journalist James Foley who was executed by ISIS in 2014 while covering the civil war in Syria. Sting wrote the lyrics to “The Empty Chair,” while J. Ralph, an American composer known for his work on documentary film scores,” handled the music.
“We did it because we loved the subject of the movie,” the singer said in a recent interview with Billboard.“ He was an incredible human being who I am so privileged to have gotten to know through the film. I feel that being nominated can shine more light on this film. People should see it. It’s an extraordinary, powerful and important film.”
Sting initially refused to the write the song, when he was first approached by Ralph to work on the project, citing the difficulty of eulogizing a real person through song. He credits Foley’s friends and family for helping him with the project, going as far as telling Billboard: “It’s their song.”
The winner of the Best Original Song Oscar will be announced at the 89th Academy Awards, which will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on Feb. 26, 2017.
Sting has been nominated three other times for Oscars, for “You Will Be My Ain True Love” from Cold Mountain (2003), “Until…” from Kate and Leopold (2002) and “My Funny Friend and Me” The Emperor’s New Groove (2001).
The singer will kick off a new tour in support of his recent album, 57th and 9th, on Feb. 1 with a show in Vancouver, Canada. He’ll be accompanied on that tour by his special guests Joe Sumner and the Last Bandoleros.
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