Category Archives: Beyond Levitt

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Original songs drive the soundtracks of our favorite films and often linger in our heads long after we leave the theater. This Sunday, the 94th Academy Awards will honor success in this field through the Best Original Song award. From Beyoncé’s “Be Alive” setting the stage for King Richard’s rigorous tennis training montages to Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die” intensifying the emotional conclusion to Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond in No Time to Die, this year’s Best Original Song nominees transport listeners into the creative artistry of this year’s most celebrated films. Read on to learn more about this year’s Best Original Song nominees.
“Be Alive” from King Richard; Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Beyoncé was inspired to write “Be Alive” after attending an early screening of King Richard, the biopic following Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, as he coached his girls to tennis stardom. The driving R&B and rock track serves as an anthem for the adolescent twin athletes as they pursue their goals with their family’s support, much like Beyoncé’s own journey to fame as a singer-songwriter.

This is Beyoncé’s first Academy Award nomination, and her latest release since her 2020 visual album, Black Is King. This nomination comes on the heels of her historic wins at the 2021 GRAMMY® Awards—which made her the Recording Academy’s most-awarded female artist and most-awarded male or female singer.

King Richard is also nominated for Best Picture.
“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

While Disney’s Encanto was filled with songs that found viral fame including “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure,” “Dos Oruguitas”—which was featured during a flashback scene of the Madrigal family’s tragic past—was the film’s emotional standout track. The tear-jerking folk ballad was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed in Spanish by Sebastian Yatra.

An Oscar® win for “Dos Oruguitas” would score Miranda an EGOT, the achievement of earning all four major American entertainment awards (an Emmy®, a GRAMMY, an Oscar and a Tony Award®). Past notable EGOT winners include Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg and John Legend.
“Down to Joy” from Belfast; Music and Lyric by Van Morrison

“Down to Joy,” written for the Kenneth Branagh-directed semi-autobiographical motion picture Belfast, was recorded by Van Morrison during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Earning his first Academy Award nomination, Morrison combined rock, soul and blues to soundtrack Branagh’s coming-of-age story. “Down to Joy” may sound familiar to diehard fans of Morrison, as the song borrows melodies and lyrics from the singer’s 1970’s unreleased demo, “Coming Down to Joy.”

The 76-year-old Belfast-born legend contributed nine songs to the film’s soundtrack. Belfast is also nominated for Best Picture.
“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die; Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Already collecting wins at the GRAMMY and Golden Globe® Awards, “No Time to Die” was written by sibling duo Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell. Eilish made history as the youngest artist (18-years-old) to write and perform the James Bond title track in the franchise’s 50-year history. The R&B-inspired orchestral pop ballad rose in popularity on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, peaking at #16.

Beyond their success with No Time to Die, Elilish and O’Connell are no strangers to the awards circuit, famously bringing home ten combined trophies at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards. This is Eilish and O’Connell’s first Academy Award nomination.
“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Four Good Days’ country track “Somehow You Do” was written by songwriter Diane Warren in collaboration with Reba McEntire, who performed the song. Warren used the song’s lyrics to convey the tension between the film’s mother and daughter duo—played by Glenn Close and Mila Kunis—driving home the message about finding resilience and strength at the hardest of times.

Warren is well-acquainted with the Best Original Song category, with “Somehow You Do” being her 13th nomination in the category. Her first nomination dates back to 1988, which she earned for her rock power ballad “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” written for Michael Gottieb’s Mannequin.
Tune in to the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night to find out who’ll take home the Oscar for Best Original Song. The show will be broadcast live on March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC (check local listings).

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“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Mohammed Ali

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people for their safety and sovereignty, and for the return of peace to their homeland. Russia’s invasion has caused a grave humanitarian crisis for the suffering and displaced. Here are ways you can help the people of Ukraine right now.  Continue reading

shutterstock_1628365282There are so many valuable contributions from musicians and performers that bring joy to our lives and feed our musical souls. While we can’t know every artist in the history of music, there are many who are not household names, but should be! In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing the stories of three powerful female trailblazers—Florence Price, Mamie Smith and Sister Rosetta Tharpe—who by the nature of discrimination toward their race and gender, haven’t reached the echelons of notoriety their musical genius deserves. Learn and listen below!
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Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig…which are you? If you were born in the years 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010, congrats Tiger—2022 happens to be your lucky year! The Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year (throughout Asia), is a cultural celebration based on the lunar calendar, which begins today! The date of the new year changes annually, yet typically falls on the second New Moon after the winter solstice. So how will you celebrate? Continue reading


Monday we’ll celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a driving force behind nonviolent social activism in the 1950s and 1960s, Dr. King’s iconic words and courageous actions have fueled social change in the U.S. and across the globe. While Dr. King is no longer with us, his mission to create a just, humane and equitable “beloved community” lives on.

Honoring Dr. King’s life is an ongoing call to action. In 1994, MLK Day was designated a National Day of Service—making it an annual reminder that we all have a role to play in building more just communities. Continue reading

Commemorating Juneteenth through music, storytelling, and education

Top left: Ranky Tanky, bottom left: Charlton Singleton, bottom right: Soul Rebels

Top left: Ranky Tanky, bottom left: Charlton Singleton, bottom right: Soul Rebels

On June 19, 1865, Black Americans living in Galveston, Texas rejoiced when they learned that the Civil War had ended and slavery had been abolished throughout the United States, over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. At first called “Jubilee Day,” the day didn’t become known as Juneteenth until nearly a century later after gaining momentum during the Civil Rights Movement. Juneteenth serves as the oldest and most important Black holiday in American history and has since gained considerable recognition beyond the Black community. It is a day to celebrate Black freedom, the continual efforts towards racial justice, and the integral part that Black people had and continue to have in our country. Particularly during the past year, as the death of George Floyd reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and racism, Juneteenth and the people it represents have taken on greater urgency and more widespread significance.

This week, as a part of the 2021 Juneteenth celebrations happening across the country, we’re proud to share that both permanent Levitt venues in Bethlehem, Dayton, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Sioux Falls, and Levitt AMP concert sites in Springfield, Ill., and Fort Smith, Ark., are partnering with local organizations and businesses to host concerts and festivals filled with live performances featuring Black artists, including Tank and the Bangas, Ranky Tanky and Henry & The Reggae Rockers among many others, as well as educational activities and historical discussions about Juneteenth. Read below for details on these can’t-miss events celebrating the significance of this day. Additionally, as Juneteenth falls in the same month that celebrates Pride and Black music, we’re excited to see that a number of Levitt venues are embracing intersectional themes and activities to illustrate how music is a unifying force, a way for diverse identities and communities to relate to one another.

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Today is International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the achievements of women across the world while bringing visibility to gender bias and inequality. The theme of this year’s celebration is #ChooseToChallenge, highlighting the power of individuals to call out injustice and spark change. In music, female artists are perhaps more visible than ever, with performers like Rihanna, Arianna Grande, Cardi B, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish all reaching the highest echelons of mainstream success. Behind the scenes, however, women are still vastly underrepresented, and are far more likely to experience bias and harassment than their male peers working in the industry. Today on our blog, we bring attention to four sobering statistics that show how gender bias remains a pervasive force in the music industry, and throughout this month, which is Women’s History Month, we’ll be shining the light on some of the fearless females who are challenging the status quo.

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As the global pandemic continues to impact the way we work, play, travel and gather, many of us are having to rethink our holiday plans this season. Fortunately, if you’re looking for some safe and festive family-friendly activities to spark your holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of free activities packed with holiday fun and creativity for you to enjoy with family and friends:

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Earlier today, The Recording Academy announced its full list of 2021 GRAMMY Award nominees, giving artists and professionals across the music industry cause for celebration during a challenging year. We’re especially thrilled to congratulate the 27 nominees who’ve performed on Levitt stages across the country! Ranging from Latin, pop, country, jazz and more, these talented performers have captured the attention of critics and audiences around the globe, from blues sensation North Mississippi Allstars who have graced Levitt Shell Memphis to country duo, Brothers Osborne. Check out the nominees below and catch the ceremony on January 31, 2021.  
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Across the country, the pandemic has brought a halt to music venue operations with 90% of them in danger of closing permanently if they don’t receive government assistance. Beloved venues and iconic musical landmarks from the Boulder Theater in Colorado to the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and the Belly Up in San Diego, are at risk of closing their doors for good due to COVID restrictions.

In response, the independent venue community has been hard at work to keep the sector afloat. Earlier this year, Independent Venue Week and the nation’s top independent music venues formed the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to help #SaveOurStages across the nation by bringing attention to the plight of their sector and call for emergency assistance. And this week, they’re shining the light on their cause even more through Independent Venue Week, happening now through October 30! Enjoy a diverse array of livestream performances and panel discussions with artists and music industry professionals that highlight the breadth of creative, community-building opportunities that independent music venues provide across the country. From Danielle Durack’s poignant indie-pop performance on October 25 to Jinx Jones soothing blues performance on October 28, artists of all backgrounds and genres are showing up to support this valuable cause. If you didn’t have a chance to tune in, make sure to check out previous and upcoming events on

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