It's not every day that a songwriting duo has reason to take out the tuxedos. But that's just what Oscar, Tony, & Golden Globe winners Benj Pasek & Justin Paul have been doing lately. The pair debuts at No. 15 on our Hot Hitmakers chart this week amongst news of their Oscar nomination & Golden Globe win for Best Original Song ("This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman).
With previous credits including Dear Evan Hansen and a musical adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, Pasek & Paul are no strangers to success, earning musical theatre accolades since 2007's Jonathan Larson Award from the American Theatre Wing. However, it wasn't until last year, when the University of Michigan friends took home the Oscar for Best Original Song (La La Land's "City of Stars"), that their names began to gain recognition with the public.
Also new to the chart this week is Louisiana rapper Kentrell Gaulden (AKA YoungBoy Never Broke Again), debuting at No. 9. Signed to Atlantic Records last fall, Gaulden has been touted as Baton Rouge's "rawest new rapper" following the widespread attention garnered by first release "38 Baby."
Though trying to improve his community through school supply donations and the importance he places on family obligations, the 18-year-old rapper isn't without his faults. Like many of his compatriots, Gaulden has a record of criminal activity and was sentenced to 3 years probation in August after his involvement in a drive-by shooting. His latest Billboard Hot 100 charting song, "Outside Today" speaks to the difficulties he encountered while on trial.
Recognizing the songwriters behind the biggest hits of the week