LOS ANGELES — Filipino-American composer Robert Lopez made history on Sunday evening at the 86th Academy Awards when he and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won the best song award for “Let It Go,” the worldwide phenomenon from the huge animated feature hit, “Frozen.”
Robert is the first Fil-Am to win an Oscar award and to join an elite group who had won four top entertainment awards called “Egot”—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
The circle of only 12 individuals who have won these top awards includes such legends as Audrey Hepburn, Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, Mel Brooks and John Gielgud.
In Sunday’s ceremonies, the couple bested songs by U2, Pharrell Williams, Karen O and Spike Jonze.
“Pinoy pride!” Robert told the Philippine Daily Inquirer backstage at the Dolby Theatre when asked for his thoughts on his historic Academy Awards win. “I’m so excited. I’m just sending love to the Philippines. I know they’ve had a tough year…”
“We are doing a concert for the Philippines,” Kristen said. “I believe it’s March 12th in New York City. A benefit [concert], and [we will] probably be singing something from ‘Frozen.’”
The award-winning co-creator of “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q” credited his “amazingly talented collaborators,” including his wife, “who has been in the background all of my work.”
“We both perform all the songs that we write,” Kristen said, explaining their process in writing songs, including songs they made for “Frozen,” which also won best animated feature on Sunday night.
“We create a demo in our tiny little studio, and then we play them for the directors (Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee) and John Lasseter (Disney’s chief creative officer). John played the demo that had me singing ‘Let It Go’ in his car for months and months,” she said.
On their idea for their winning song, which Idina Menzel sang in the telecast, Robert said, “We really thought of our kids when we were writing. We have two girls, just like Elsa and Anna (the two female lead characters in ‘Frozen’), and we wanted to write a song that would instill in them the idea that shame and fear should not prevent them from being the magical people that they really are.”
On “Let It Go” and the other songs from the “Frozen” soundtrack becoming part of the studio’s impressive collection of movie theme songs, Kristen said, “You don’t really comprehend something like that. We wrote this song to tell a story. And we love musical stories, and you don’t imagine that it will spread this far. But every single day on my Facebook or on my Twitter, I get some kind of testimonial from somebody who says ‘this song kept me from committing suicide,’ or ‘this song got me through the cancer treatment for my kids’ and that is just so meaningful to us that our song can go and give hugs to people like that.”
In their acceptance remarks onstage, the couple sang a portion of their thanks to Lasseter to the tune of the birthday song and their wish for a sequel, “Happy Oscars to you. Let’s do ‘Frozen 2.’”
“Frozen” also scored a victory at the box office over the weekend by passing $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
Kristen dedicated the Oscar win to daughters Katie and Annie… see more