When a star successfully belts it out on the silver screen, they might as well prepare their Golden Globes speech.
After 73 years, the annual awards ceremony continues to honor Hollywood’s risk takers who test their professional fate with a movie musical. While projects in the genre are not frequent nor guaranteed hits, when stars hit all the right notes with their cinematic song and dance, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association notices and honors them accordingly, many for the first time in their careers.
With the year’s standout musical comedy, La La Land, racking up countless accolades, including seven Golden Globe nominations, the industry has its eyes glued to the film’s leads Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, both of whom have not yet won a statue in their lengthy careers. According to the following history of successful musical predecessors, it may just be a few more days until we’re calling them Golden Globe winners, too.
When Jennifer Hudson turned viewers to tears with her heart-wrenching performance in Dreamgirls, she was a relative Hollywood unknown with not a single award nomination to her name. She ultimately swept the awards season that year, including a Golden Globe statue along with her co-star Eddie Murphy. It was also the first and only Golden Globe win for the comedian thus far.
“I have always dreamed, but never, ever this big,” a stunned Hudson said during her acceptance speech. “This goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined.”
Renée Zellweger was equally shocked when she landed the Golden Globe for Best Actress as Roxie Hart in Chicago. “I don’t believe this! Probably not as much as my brother doesn’t believe this. He used to yell, ‘Shut up’ down the hall and slam the door when I tried to sing Paul McCartney. How about that, brother Drew!” she quipped at the podium.
She wasn’t the only one to reap success from a standout performance in the film adaptation. Co-star Richard Gere also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor while Catherine Zeta-Jones, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah racked up nods, Latifah for the first time since in her start in show business.
The trend continues with the cast of 2012’s Les Misérables, which collected four nominations and wins for lead Hugh Jackman and supporting Anne Hathaway It was the first time both stars ever took home a statue.
Despite criticism for her casting in the 1996 film adaptation of Evita, Madonna proved her naysayers wrong when she also walked away with her first and only Golden Globe in an acting category. “I felt like the movie was a chance for me to basically challenge myself in all areas of my career—singing, dancing and finally, acting,” she told Dick Clark in a post-win interview.
Unlike the pop star, Nicole Kidman was hardly considered a professional singer when she took on the role of Satine in the 2001 Moulin Rouge! That quickly changed.
“This is really, really special because I never thought I would be in a musical, let alone win an award for one,” she admitted at the podium upon accepting her statue for Best Actress.
Still, perhaps the most significant testament to the power of a musical job well done at the Golden Globes is Julie Andrews. The Hollywood icon has won the award three times thus far in her career—all for performances in movie musicals.