LISTEN: These songs got Oscar nods for best original song

Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Photo: AP)
Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Photo: AP)

New York - Lin-Manuel Miranda is getting closer to EGOT status, thanks to his Oscar nomination for best original song.

The Hamilton creator picked up a nod on Tuesday for composing How Far I'll Go from the animated film Moana.

"You know, I feel fine," Miranda said with a laugh in an interview with The Associated Press moments after he learned of the nomination.

"I am thrilled to get to go to the Oscars, honestly," he added. "I won't even be a little modest about that. I've been a fan of the Oscars telecast since I was a kid — I used to memorise Billy Crystal's musical monologues."

For his work on Hamilton and In the Heights, Miranda has won three Tonys and two Grammys. He won an Emmy with songwriter Tom Kitt for outstanding original music and lyrics for the 2013 Tony Awards.

His competition at the Academy Awards includes another multi-award winning musician: Justin Timberlake. The former boy band leader, who has won 9 Grammys and 4 Emmys, earned his first Oscar nomination on Tuesday for his No1 hit Can't Stop the Feeling! from the animated film Trolls.

Sting and J Ralph also scored a nomination for the song The Empty Chair, giving Sting his fourth nomination in the category and marking Ralph's third. The song is from the HBO documentary Jim: The James Foley Story, about freelance journalist James Foley, who went to Syria in 2012 to cover the country's war, and was beheaded by Islamic State militants in a video released in August 2014.

"We're surprised and we're delighted, mainly for the movie," Sting said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "We believe more people should see this movie. It's very important. If it gets more attention, we're happy."

"This was something that Sting and I really wanted to create — a celebration of this incredible man's life. We didn't want to focus on the horrific tragedy that ultimately fell upon him," Ralph added.

Audition (The Fools Who Dream) and City of Stars from the hit La La Land — both by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — round out the five nominees. City of Stars won the Golden Globe for best original song earlier this month, besting Miranda and Timberlake's songs.

Miranda, 37, is currently in London filming Mary Poppins Returns. He said he didn't realise the Oscar nominations were happening today.

"I'm so messed up with time zones," he said.

Miranda said writing the music for Disney's Moana — which also earned a nomination for best animated feature film — was a dream job.

"I wanted to write a Disney song since I was 9 years old when Sebastian the crab (in The Little Mermaid) started singing calypso music — it changed my life," he said. "This is a result of three years of work, two of which were concurrent with being in a Broadway show at the same time, so it's enormously joyous to get to celebrate that work. ... It's really thrilling."

Timberlake shares his nomination with Karl Johan Schuster and Max Martin, the pop mastermind who was nominated for the original song Oscar last year for co-writing the Weeknd's Earned It from Fifty Shades of Grey. Other nominees last year featured well-known acts like this year's group, including Lady Gaga and Sam Smith, who won the Oscar for Writing's on the Wall from Spectre.

The 26 February Academy Awards will air live on ABC.