Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams are among this year's new invites to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As noted Wednesday, the Oscars folks only just announced new rules regarding the nomination process for music categories after an executive member of the AMPAS committee seemingly used his sway to promote one of his own songs. It's quite possible that they're on the look for some new blood.
Billboard reports that of the 271 invitations sent out, just 12 were extended for the music branch. Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who won the Oscar this year for best original song with "Let It Go," were included. As were Gravity composer Steven Price (who won for best original score), jazz bassist and composer Stanley Clarke, and composers Steve Jablonsky, Angie Rubin, and Buck Sanders. Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik also made the list.
Academy taps those it sees as having distinguished themselves via their contributions to the overall art of film. The new members will be inducted at an event in September which, of course, will be invitation only. Though you might think Vedder got the nod for his recent rendition of "Let It Go," one would be right to remember his involvement with 2007's Into the Wild. And while "Guaranteed" didn't win him an Oscar nod, he at least wrangled a Golden Globe out of the deal.
Williams has, meanwhile, has had a growing relationship with the Academy over the past few years. In 2012, he and Hans Zimmer wrote, composed, and produced the music for the awards show telecast. And last year, his mega-hit "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 was nominated in the best original song category. Director Morgan Neville, who won last year's award for Best Documentary Feature with 20 Feet From Stardom, was invited to join the doc branch.