The Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA) presented their 13th Annual Awards Ceremony at the Avalon on Wednesday, November 16th, to a crowd of journalists and HMMA nominees comprised of previous Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy award winners. 

The ceremony came to life with legendary songwriter Charles Fox performing a medley of his TV theme songs including Happy Days, and Laverne & Shirley.

Charles Fox – Photo Credit: Sheri Determan

Less than a week away from receiving an Academy Award from the Film Academy Governors, multiple HMMA award recipient Diane Warren took to the stage to perform her song “Applause” on piano from the film Tell It Like a Woman.  Warren received roaring applause when she won Best Song for an Independent Film.

Diane Warren – Photo Credit: Robert Smith

Rita Wilson gave a rousing performance of her original song “’Til You’re Home” from the film A Man Called Otto Wilson is a producer on the film which stars her husband, Oscar winning actor/producer Tom Hanks.  The Oscar winner was present for his wife’s performance and seemed very moved by the evening’s performances. 

Rita Wilson – Photo Credit: Sheri Determan

The HMMAs had a great presence of diversity at this year’s awards with Michael Abels (NOPE), Terence Blanchard (WOMAN KING), Diane Warren (TELL IT LIKE A WOMAN), and HILDUR  GUÐNADÓTTIR (TÁR) winning in their categories. Prolific television composer KURT FARQUHAR also received the HMMA Career Achievement Award.  

Farquhar gave an inspiring acceptance speech about growing up in Chicago, battling homelessness, and ultimately beginning his career as a composer. Farquhar extended an emotional thank you to his brother, Ralph Farquhar who helped him get his first jobs in television. He urged Hollywood to consider working with composers and creatives that aren’t the obvious choice.

Hildur Gudnadottir – Photo Credit: Robert Smith
Michael Abels – Photo Credit: Sheri Determan
Kurt Farquhar – Photo Credit Sheri Determan

Presenters included Babylon composer JUSTIN HURWITZ, whose first award for his La La Land score was an HMMA (that score later won the Academy Award for Original Score); legendary member of Earth, Wind, and FireRALPH JOHNSON; and composers NAMI MELUMAD (Thor: Love and Thunder, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) and AMIE DOHERTY (She Hulk: Attorney at Law, Spirit Untamed).

BILLY EICHNER accepted the Best Onscreen performance award for his onscreen performance of the original song “Love is Not Love” from BROS, and gushed about his co-writer and the film’s composer, MARC SHAIMAN. “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC accepted the award for Best Song for a Film (Streamed), and said he wrote the song in hopes he might win an HMMA one day. 

Billy Eichner – Photo Credit: Eugene Powers

DANNY ELFMANwho is on the awards circuit for his White Noise film score and Netflix’s new Addams family series Wednesday, accepted the award for Best Score for a Sci-Fi Film and thanked his director Sam Raimi. Elfman quipped that their relationship began when they were “storming the beaches at Normandy.” 

Danny Elfman and presenter Justin Hurwitz – Photo Credit Robert Smith

Composer SIMON FRANGLEN dedicated his HMMA Award for Best Score for a Fantasy Film for AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER to his longtime friend and mentor, the late James Horner.

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT accepted the award for Best Song for an Animated Film with his co-writer ROEBAN KATZ, and sent regards from their third co-writer who was unable to attend, GUILLERMO DEL TORO


Alexandre Desplat and Roeban Katz – Photo Credit: Sheri Determan

TERERENCE BLANCHARD accepted the award for Best Score for a Feature Film for WOMAN KING, emphasizing the importance of Kurt Farquhar’s message of inclusion and equality.  HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR, past HMMA recipient for her Academy Award-winning JOKER score, accepted the award for Best Music Themed Film, Biopic, or Musical on behalf of TÁR.

The HMMAs honors composers, songwriters, and music supervisors for their work in music for film, television, and videogames. For awards consideration, score entries submit up to 15-minutes of score to picture as it appears in the visual media project. Several films were only available to see in the context of the scenes provided.  

Hollywood Music in Media Awards™ (HMMA) is the premier awards organization to honor original music (Song and Score) in all visual media from around the globe. The HMMA nominations have historically been representative of the nominees and winners of the Golden Globes, Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys that occur months later. The Hollywood Music in Media Awards will feature music performances, celebrity presenters, tributes to music industry icons, awards for composers, songwriters, and artists.

Past HMMA winners who went on to win Oscars include last year’s Billie Eilish and FINNEAS for NO TIME TO DIE and Hans Zimmer for DUNE, as well as Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste for SOUL, Hildur Guðnadóttir for JOKER, Ludwig Goransson for BLACK PANTHER, Alexandre Desplat for SHAPE OF WATER, songs from JUDAS & THE BLACK MESSIAHLA LA LANDA STAR IS BORN and more. The HMMA voters consist of select journalists, Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy voters. 

For a complete list of winners in all categories visit

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron Burton is the Awards Editor and Chief Critic at Awards Focus and a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Byron is a voting member of the Television Academy, Critics Choice Association, and the Society of Composers & Lyricists (the SCL) for his work on Marvel's X-Men Apocalypse (2016). Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's "Behind the Slate" Screening Series and their "Spotlight Live" event at the American Legion in Hollywood. Byron covered the six person panel for Universal's "NOPE" as well as panels for Hulu's "Pam & Tommy Lee" and "Welcome to Chippendales" and HBO Max's "Barry" and "Euphoria."

For songwriters and composers, Byron is a frequent moderator for panels with the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) as well as The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, The Witcher & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, & Lovecraft Country; Amazon Studios' The Legend of Vox Machina, Wild Cat, & Annette; and Apple TV+s Ted Lasso, Bad Sisters, and 5 Days at Memorial.

In February of 2020, Byron organized and hosted the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Tim Burton, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

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