Twenty-five years after winning his first Oscar, Elton John has picked up his second at the 2020 Academy Awards, where â€œJokerâ€ composer Hildur GuÃ°nadÃ³ttir marked a historic night for female musicians.
John won his second best original song award for â€œ(Iâ€™m Gonna) Love Me Againâ€ from his biopic â€œRocketman,â€ sharing the honor with longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin. John won an Oscar with Tim Rice for â€œCan You Feel the Love Tonightâ€ from the original â€œThe Lion Kingâ€ at the 1995 Academy Awards.
â€œThank you to Bernie, who has been the constant thing in my life when I was screwed up, when I was normal – heâ€™s always been there for me,â€ John said onstage.
â€œThis is just justification for 53 years of just hammering out and doing what we do,â€ Taupin said.
John and Taupin beat out Diane Warren, Randy Newman, Cynthia Erivo and the husband-wife duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez to win the prize.
John, 72, has won a Tony Award and five Grammys, and only needs an Emmy to join the elite clubs of EGOTs.
GuÃ°nadÃ³ttir, 37, is in a similar position: In just six short months, the classically trained cellist from Iceland has become an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar winner.
She picked up best original score Sunday for â€œJokerâ€ and she joins a small group of women to win the prize for scoring music, including Marilyn Bergman, Rachel Portman and Anne Dudley, who was the last woman to win the honor for â€œThe Full Montyâ€ at the 1998 show.
She received a standing ovation for close to a minute from the audience.
â€œTo the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up,â€ she said. â€œWe need to hear your voices.â€
GuÃ°nadÃ³ttir won an Emmy and Grammy for her work on the hit HBO miniseries â€œChernobyl.â€ Before GuÃ°nadÃ³ttirâ€™s big win, Eimear Noone performed as the first female conductor in the 92-history of the Academy Awards.
Billie Eilish, who won five Grammys two weeks ago, also hit the stage Sunday to perform during the In Memoriam segment with her producer-brother Finneas. All of the original songs nominated were also performed.
Eminem, who won best original song for â€œLose Yourselfâ€ from â€œ8 Mileâ€ in 2003 but skipped the show, surprised the audience with a performance of the rap smash. Singer-actress Janelle Monae was also a highlight, kicking off the show with â€œA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhoodâ€ and weaving new, relevant lyrics into her own song â€œCome Alive,â€ with some help from the multi-faceted Billy Porter.
â€œIâ€™m so proud to be standing here as a black queer artist telling stories,” Monae said. “Happy Black History Month.â€