Songwriter Jessi Alexander and her co-writer Jon Mabe may be two of the briefest Grammy nominees in history: “The Climb” got pulled from the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture race yesterday, after Disney determined that it hadn’t been written specifically for the Miley Cyrus vehicle Hannah Montana: The Movie (as Grammy rules for soundtrack songs require), and withdrew it from the category. Naturally, this came as quite the shock to Alexander, who has been under contract as a Disney songwriter for, as she puts it, “three and a half years that have been really good to me.” We are still awaiting comment from a Disney rep, but in the meantime, we spoke to Alexander about the “gray areas” of the songwriting process, and her questions regarding the technicality that got “The Climb” disqualified.
Entertainment Weekly: I’m assuming you found out earlier than the rest of us that this was happening. Did Disney tell you? Or did the Grammys tell you?
Jessi Alexander: Some of the Disney brand staff members congratulated me about the nomination. So I spent one night on a high. And then the following morning was a new low, when I was told it was gonna be pulled by Disney.
Did they talk to you before they pulled it?
They were in the process of pulling it. And of course, my take was, I understand that there are rules — although I knew nothing about the rules when I found out about the nomination — but let’s at least just tell NARAS where the gray areas are and let them make the decision. But Disney made the decision, and I was just told.
So was the song written specifically for the Hannah Montana movie?
This is the gray area. READ FULL STORY »