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9 Musicians Who Play a Role in This Year’s Oscars

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Many musicians appear in Martin Scorsese’s grand “Killers of the Flower Moon,” including Jason Isbell, Pete Yorn, Charlie Musselwhite and Jack White. The country singer Sturgill Simpson — who channels Waylon Jennings on this standout from his 2014 album “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” — also steals a few scenes as a bootlegger named Henry Grammer.

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Another notable movie snubbed this year was Wes Anderson’s dizzyingly meta “Asteroid City,” for which the Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker wrote this haunting, country-influenced ballad that plays over the closing credits. However, this track makes it onto the playlist on a technicality: Anderson’s delightful 39-minute Roald Dahl adaptation “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” is nominated for best live-action short film, and Cocker makes a brief cameo as a concierge.

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One nominee in the animated short category features two very familiar names: “War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko,” an 11-minute film with a pacifist message. (It was directed by the Pixar alum Dave Mullins and executive produced by Sean Ono Lennon.) It’s not exactly the appropriate season for the Christmas classic mentioned in the short’s title, so here’s a more perennial tune.

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The “Stranger Things” actress Maya Hawke appeared in several films last year, including “Asteroid City” and the Oscar-nominated “Maestro,” in which she plays Leonard Bernstein’s daughter Jamie. She also found the time to record “Chaos Angel,” her forthcoming third album as a folksy singer-songwriter; this recently released lead single is catchy and wryly conversational.

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The bandleader and musician Jon Batiste’s busy professional life and relationship with his wife, Suleika Jaouad, are chronicled in the Netflix documentary “American Symphony,” for which he wrote this sparse, plaintive piano ballad, nominated this year for best original song.

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Here’s a two-for-the-price-of-one closer: a 2018 “A Star Is Born” ballad performed by the “Maestro” filmmaker and star Bradley Cooper, and written by Isbell. Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die … and finally give Cooper an Oscar? Oscar prognosticators don’t think it’s going to happen this year, but as a superfan of his “Star” remake and its soundtrack, I certainly hope it does someday.

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