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Alum's hit song could bring an EGOT boost

That inspirational power ballad you can't escape, with two versions on the pop charts? Yeah, that's the work of Robert Lopez ’97 and his wife Kristin Anderson-Lopez. And if Academy Awards voters like it as much as the public, it will land the Yalie in an exclusive club next month.

"Let It Go," from the Lopezes' score to the Disney movie Frozen, was nominated for an Oscar this week, raising the possibility that Robert Lopez could become only the 12th person (and the first Eli) to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. The entertainment-industry grand slam is known by the acronym EGOT, which seems homophonically appropriate if you pronounce it to rhyme with "depot."

Lopez is best known for writing the music for the Broadway shows Avenue Q (for which he won his first Tony for best original score) and The Book of Mormon (which netted him another Tony and a Grammy for best musical-theater album). His two Emmys, awarded in 2008 and 2010 for his music on the Nick Jr. animated series Wonder Pets!, are of the daytime variety, which some EGOT nitpickers argue are not the same as the prime-time ones. But try telling that to Whoopi Goldberg.

Awards aside, "Let It Go," is the song of the moment, with a passionate fan base of tween girls and a slew of covers and parodies popping up on the Internet. The song captures the moment when Queen Elsa, who has tried to hide her dangerous ability to conjure ice and snow with her touch, recognizes that she can't and won't conceal it any longer. "What I hear is the fact that every 10-year-old girl is coming out of her shell and coming into her own, and she needs this kind of song to grab onto," opined music critic Ann Powers on NPR this week.

Idina Menzel sings the song for Elsa in the movie; her version is No. 25 on the Billboard pop charts this week. A version by Demi Lovato that is played over the movie's closing credits peaked at No. 38 last week and is now No. 52. Both versions have been on the Hot 100 for seven weeks.

You can find inspiration in the song however you wish. As for me, with a reprise of the polar vortex on the way, I'm just going to keep repeating the last line of the chorus like a mantra: "The cold never bothered me anyway."

Filed under Robert Lopez, movies, Oscars, Frozen
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