Fil-Am composer could join elite awards circle with an Oscar win

LOS ANGELES – If Disney’s Frozen wins an Academy Award in March, Filipino-American songwriter Robert Lopez could join the elite EGOT winners’ circle.

EGOT is an acronym for the four most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry: the Emmys, the Grammys, the Oscars, and the Tony awards. Currently, only 11 people have achieved this milestone.

Lopez could very well become the 12th member of the EGOT circle if Let It Go (the hit song from Frozen performed by Idina Menzel) wins  an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Lopez is nominated for this category alongside his wife and working partner, Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Lopez, 39, could also become the youngest person to join the EGOT circle. West Side Story actress Rita Moreno currently holds that honor. Moreno joined the elite winners’ circle when she won an Emmy at age 45.

Lopez first won a Tony in 2004 for Avenue Q. Then, in 2008 and 2010, he captured Daytime Emmys for Wonder Pets.

In 2011, Lopez won both a Tony and a Grammy for his work in The Book of Mormon. All that’s left now is an Oscar.

Members of the EGOT circle include: Audrey Hepburn, Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Jonathan Turnick, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Richard Rodgers, Rita Moreno, Scott Rudin, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Other nominees for Best Original Song include: Alone Yet Not Alone from Alone Yet Not Alone, Happy from Despicable Me 2The Moon Song from HER, and Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

In an interview with the Manila Bulletin’s Janet Nepales, Lopez revealed that his Filipino descent traces back to his father’s side of the family. His grandfather was pure Filipino while his grandmother was Filipina-Scottish-American. Lopez’s father was born on what was reportedly the last GI ship that sailed from Manila to the US after World War II.

Lopez told Manila Bulletin that while his mom and dad are not particularly inclined towards music, he noticed that Filipinos are culturally musical.

Well-connected with Fil-Am groups in New York, Robert has also forged ties with the artistic community there.

“There has to be something in [the Filipino culture] that came to me even though my mom and my dad are not particularly musical; they don’t play. But I have so many Filipino friends who are amazing singers, writers and composers in New York City,” Lopez was quoted as saying.

Robert said that his two daughters (ages 8 and 4) were also part of Frozen as voice talents.

“Both of them are in the movie Frozen too, doing voices,” his wife Kristen said. She added that Robert has been buying all sorts of Frozen merchandise.

“We’ve got all the Frozen stuff all over our house,” she said.

The Academy Awards will be held on March 2, 2014, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and will be aired over ABC.

(With reports from, and Janet Nepales of Manila Bulletin)

(LA Weekend January 25-28, 2014 Sec A pg.1)

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