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Many consider Oscar night to be the most glamorous evening of the year. Spotlights pan the skies, the red carpet gets unrolled, the stars (both celebrity and celestial) are out, and everyone dresses to the nines. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the Academy Awards are a Hollywood-only affair. For years now, rock stars have been rubbing elbows with Tinseltown elite on Oscar night — even taking home the occasional little gold man. It’s a tradition almost as old as the actual Grammys.
While once-in-a-generation talents like Barbra Streisand and Cher have been able to take home Oscars on the strength of their acting chops, popular music artists have typically been nominated and awarded for doing what they do best: writing and performing a perfect song for the film in question. That can be as simple as The Beatles playing their own songs in Let It Be, as inspired as Eminem serving up the anthem that drove 8 Mile, or as unexpected as Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor igniting a second career through his composing for The Social Network.
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2020 once again finds legends from the popular music world competing for Oscar recognition. Elton John and Bernie Taupin — one of the great writing collaborations in rock and roll history — are nominated for their contribution to last year’s Elton John biopic, Rocketman. Meanwhile, songwriting legend Randy Newman will be crossing his fingers during the Original Score and Original Song categories for his work on the marvelous Marriage Story and the beloved Toy Story 4, respectively.
Luckily, once all the winners have been announced and the red carpet gets rolled up and stored wherever it is you keep a carpet the length of a football field, many of our favorite musician winners — past and present — can still be found bringing their cinematic masterpieces to concert venues all around the country. While you may not have the chance to hobnob at the Oscars, StubHub has you covered with all the best available seats to see these Academy Award-winning stars at a venue near you.
In that spirit, here are 10 Oscar-winning artists out on tour as we count down the days until the 92nd Academy Awards.
Times Nominated: 1
Won: 1 (2001 Best Original Song – “Things Have Changed” in Wonder Boys)
Bob Dylan is the type of artist who has always had more creativity than creative outlets. That’s likely why we have, um, interesting artifacts like his 1971 book of experimental prose poetry, Tarantula; the nearly four-hour tour film Renaldo and Clara (1978); and the 2003 babbling dystopian hodgepodge Masked and Anonymous (written and starring Dylan) among all the genuine cultural treasures he’s bestowed upon us. The iconic songwriter has had far more success writing songs for films, like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) and, much later, the cool, paranoid “Things Have Changed” for the adaptation of Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys starring Michael Douglas. What does the Oscar mean to Dylan? Well, he and his band received the award and played “Things Have Changed” via satellite from Australia for one thing. And if you catch Dylan on the latest stretch of his “Never Ending Tour”, you’ll likely see the statue perched upon his amplifier. Check for tickets here.
Times Nominated: 2
Won: 1 (1988 Best Actress in Moonstruck)
Cher has been entertaining audiences on screens and stages of all sizes since the ’60s. She’s the type of talent who can jump between not only genres but mediums without missing a beat. Hell, she’s been nominated twice for the Oscar for Best Actress (once for Supporting and the other Leading) and took it home the second time for her work in the messy 1988 romance Moonstruck. While Oscar has noticed her acting more than her singing over the years, to most of the world she remains one of our foremost divas and a bucket list ticket. To see Cher either at her “Classic Cher” Las Vegas residency or on her “Here We Go Again Tour” around the United States, check for available tickets here.
Times Nominated: 4 (Including 2020)
Won: 1 (1995 Best Original Song – “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King) (2020 pending)
While Elton John may now be three years (and several extensions) into his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour”, nobody will be rushing the great piano man off down that road anytime soon. And the final ride has also yielded something John couldn’t have predicted: a chance at a second Oscar, this time with his career-long lyricist, Bernie Taupin, along for the golden ride. But whether or not John and Taupin win a statue for their contribution to the 2019 John biopic, Rocketman, fans and Academy members alike should not miss one last chance to hear the duo’s greatest hits played live. Check here for additional Elton John dates in your area.
Times Nominated: 1
Won: 1 (2015 Best Original Song – “Glory” in Selma)
Every now and then an anthem arises — a song capable of mobilizing people and, more importantly, giving them hope. It’s fitting, then, that singer-songwriter John Legend and topical rapper Common were the creative muscle behind this Oscar-winning song in Selma, the 2014 film about Dr. King’s march for equal voting rights. More than 50 years later, it’s hard to even imagine what King and his fellow freedom fighters endured. It’s also incredibly sad to see that that particular fight still goes on today. For that reason, it’s all the more necessary to seek out voices like Legend’s and others who believe that music matters and can change lives. Luckily, Legend will be easy to find on his just-announced “Bigger Love 2020 Tour”, which crosses the United States in August and September. Be sure to check here for dates and details.
Times Nominated: 3
Won: 1 (2019 Best Original Song – “Shallow” in A Star Is Born)
We all knew that Lady Gaga could belt out a song about as well as anyone breathing. However, how many of us knew that the shocking performance artist could also shed the costumes and bells and whistles and play a straightforward role as an actress? Well, Oscar definitely took note of Gaga’s performance in 2018’s A Star Is Born remake, nominating her for her acting as well as singing. Fans might be disappointed that the Academy ultimately didn’t make Gaga a two-time winner in a single evening, but the artist can take comfort in knowing that she and her team created a song that absolutely soundtracked the year for millions of people. It’s now a signature part of her canon, and it’ll be a highlight to hear on tour for years to come. Check for Lady Gaga Las Vegas residency dates and tickets here.
Click ahead for more Oscar-winning artists out on tour…
Times Nominated: 3
Won: 1 (1986 Best Original Song – “Say You, Say Me” in White Nights)
Lionel Richie is one of those rare cats in music who has multiple lives. After a groundbreaking career with funk and soul group the Commodores, Richie found unprecedented success as a solo artist in the 1980s. Oscar would take notice of the songwriter three times during the decade, including twice in 1986 for entirely different projects. At that time, Richie had great songs to spare, and it’s wonderful that a whole new generation or two of music fans are now getting a chance to discover Richie as he takes his rich songbook on the road. Check for tickets and dates here.
Times Nominated: 1
Won: 1 (2006 Best Original Song – “I Need to Wake Up” in An Inconvenient Truth)
In case you were wondering, aughts nostalgia has already begun setting in. That means ’90s nostalgia is in full effect, a fact that can be clearly seen by the buzz of bands and artists from that era who are hitting the road in 2020. One of those quintessential artists is Melissa Etheridge, who many may not know won Oscar gold, inconveniently, for her 2006 song about global warming, “I Need to Wake Up”, which named-dropped and was featured in Al Gore’s slideshow warning An Inconvenient Truth. A decade and a half later, Etheridge is still doing what she does best while the rest of us, unfortunately, have yet to truly wake up. Now, more than ever, we truly need to hear this song and heed its warning. Perhaps it could have some effect as Etheridge continues to tour. Check here for dates and details.
Times Nominated: 3
Won: 1 (1971 Best Original Score from Let It Be)
While Paul McCartney and his cohorts in The Beatles certainly charmed cinemagoers as their pseudo selves in many a Beatles movie, it took Oscar until 1971 to recognize the musical contributions the band had made to their films, including 1971’s band breakup documentary, Let It Be. Despite the little gold man arriving as his band collapsed around him, the happy portion of the story is that Macca would take the accolade and go on to do some of his best work with Wings and as a solo artist in the years ahead. Maybe even more importantly, McCartney transformed into one of the great human beings and legacy touring acts in rock and roll. His large-scale tours and festival headlining spots have given millions joy and hope over the years, and Sir Paul shows zero signs of stopping anytime soon. Check here for tickets at a venue near you.
Times Nominated: 22 (including 2020)
Won: 2 (2002 Best Original Song – “If I Didn’t Have You” in Monsters Inc. and 2011 Best Original Song – “We Belong Together” in Toy Story 3) (2020 pending)
He gets parodied for yucks as much as any other piano man, but offbeat voice and cadences aside, Randy Newman is unmatched in history when it comes to providing the perfect pop composition for a critical cinematic moment. The heart and soul (if not always the voice) of Pixar’s most beloved properties, from Toy Story to Monsters, Inc., reside in Newman’s deft abilities to capture feeling in melodies and words. Don’t be surprised if Newman adds hardware to his mantle either for his Toy Story 4 original, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away”, or his stirring work on the emotional gut-punch that is Marriage Story. Luckily, Newman still tours at age 76 and brings so many wonderful cinematic memories with him when he brings his bag of songs along. Look for tickets here and below.
Three 6 Mafia
Times Nominated: 1
Won: 1 (2006 Best Original Song – “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” in Hustle & Flow)
In 2006, Tennessee’s own Three 6 Mafia became the first hip-hop group to ever win the Oscar for Best Original Song. (Incidentally, Eminem, not on this list, remains the only solo hip-hop artist to have ever won the category.) They also became the first rap group to ever perform at the Academy Awards (see below). The hard-hitting street anthem “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” won the night and remains a staple in the hip-hop group’s live shows. Check here for all possible dates.
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