Legendary R&B singer, producer and songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, 61, stopped by HollywoodLife’s Los Angeles office on Jan. 13, the same day the BeyHive was stunned to see Beyoncé’s name missing from the 2020 Oscar nominations list. Expectations were high for the 38-year-old singer to be nominated for “Best Original Song” for “Spirit,” the gorgeous track that played as Simba ran across the majestic African landscape in The Lion King remake. Babyface knows a thing or two about prestigious award show nominations — he has scooped 11 Grammy Awards in his lifetime — so we asked Babyface if he has any advice for Beyoncé, in case she shares her fan base’s hurt feelings.
“I don’t know that she’d be upset,” Babyface admitted to HollywoodLife. This assumption came from someone who has actually worked with Beyoncé; they co-wrote, along with other writers, Bey’s tracks “Best Thing I Never Had” and “Broken-Hearted Girl” together. On that note, Babyface added, “I think it’s hard for you – no matter who you are – to think that, because you did it, you’d get a nomination.” For Babyface, it all boiled down to this: 2020 wasn’t Bey’s “time.”
“You always want something but there are always so many people that go for it at different times and so, it’s just not your time,” Babyface explained, remaining neutral in the matter. He was speaking from experience, since the “When Can I See You” singer has found himself in situations like Bey’s “many times.” Offering even more advice, Babyface added, “You just can’t let it get to you and I don’t know if it’s anything she’s chasing after or not. It’s just one of those things.”
Rather than “Spirit,” a song that did earn a “Best Original Song” nomination was “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” by Elton John — the same singer who claimed that very same award in 1994 for, ironically, his song from the original The Lion King in 1994: “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” Babyface wasn’t surprised. “Yeah, he’s kind of a favorite. He’s an Oscar winner so [they] have a tendency to go down that road,” the R&B star told us. But being an Oscar regular doesn’t always help, according to Babyface.
“You never know with these things. You don’t get picked because you are somebody. Sometimes you get picked because you aren’t somebody…So, it varies,” Babyface said. “It’s hard to really know.” Babyface didn’t just stop by to chat about the Oscars, though. He was also promoting an exciting (and boozy) new business venture: his partnership with Revel Spirits, an agave spirit from the Morelos region in Mexico.
“This has been fun to kind of jump on board with…The drink is a good drink and people like it, but more importantly it’s smooth for me,” Babyface told us. If you’re not fond of throat-scorching alcohol, neither is Babyface. To ease the edge of the liquor, Babyface offered fun suggestions on what to mix with Blanco, one of the three spirits from Revel Spirits’ flagship brand, Revel Avila. “I don’t like things that burn. And I will put some watermelon juice with the Blanco. You can put…like a fruit punch with the Blanco,” he said. There you go — have yourself a fruity Blanco to sooth the burn of some of these Oscar snubs!