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Melissa Etheridge

Original song nominees at Oscars is battle of the pop stars

The race for best original song at the Academy Awards is a full-blown battle of the 20-something pop stars, with Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and the Weeknd up for the honor this year.

In recent years chart-topping singers who co-wrote their songs have earned nominations for original song at the Golden Globes — from Taylor Swift to Miley Cyrus — but it is rare for youngish, multi-platinum, arena-filling pop darlings to dominate the Oscars category.

Smith, who won the Golden Globe for best original song earlier this week with "Writing's On the Wall," is nominated for the "Spectre" track along with Weeknd's smash hit "Earned It" from...