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Germaine Franco Becomes First Woman of Color To Win Grammy Award for ‘Encanto’ Score

On Sunday, Feb 5, composer Germaine Franco made history as the first woman of color to win the Grammy® for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for her spectacular work on Disney’s Encanto.  This win follows her historic Oscar nomination from last year, and her win for Outstanding Score for a Studio Film from the Society of Composers and Lyricists. In her Grammy speech, she thanked the musicians of Encanto – many who were also playing on stage for the Grammy’s band, and all of the musicians who are making beautiful music so that the world will be a better place.

Germaine is the first woman to score a Disney animated feature film with 2021’s Encanto, for which she won a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media & received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score, plus an SCL Award for Outstanding Original Score, an Annie Award for Best Music in a Feature (shared with Lin-Manuel Miranda), a Variety Artisan Composer Award, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. The soundtrack album to Encanto, which featured 27 tracks of Franco’s original music, was a huge commercial success and topped the Billboard Charts for nine weeks worldwide. Germaine co-wrote and produced five of Coco’s six original songs with co-director, Adrian Molina, including “Un Poco Loco” and “Proud Corazón.”

In 2018, Univision celebrated her work as one of “15 Latinas Who Are Changing The World As We Know It,” alongside Rita Moreno and Emma Gonzalez.  Franco scored Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness for Universal Studios Beijing, which garnered an SCL Award nomination for Outstanding Original Score for Interactive Media. In 2020 she scored two No.1 Netflix films, Work It, directed by Laura Terruso, and The Sleepover, directed by Trish Sie. She co-wrote and produced the main title theme song for the hit Nickelodeon show The Casagrandes. In 2019, Franco scored Little and Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Additional scores include Tag, directed by Jeff Tomsic, and Dope, directed by Rick Famuyiwa. Her work is heard in concert halls around the world including the Walt Disney Concert Hall with The Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Puerto Rico Symphony, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Chicago Philharmonic, among others.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ feature film “Encanto” tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. Each child has been blessed with a magic gift unique to them—each child except Mirabel. But when the family’s home is threatened, Mirabel may be their only hope.

The voice cast includes Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel; María Cecilia Botero as Mirabel’s grandmother Alma aka Abuela; John Leguizamo as Bruno; Angie Cepeda and Wilmer Valderrama as Mirabel’s parents, Julieta and Agustín; and Diane Guererro and Jessica Darrow as Mirabel’s sisters, Isabela and Luisa. Also lending their voices are Carolina Gaitán and Mauro Castillo as Mirabel’s aunt and uncle, Pepa and Félix; and Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz and Ravi Cabot-Conyers as Mirabel’s cousins Dolores, Camilo and Antonio, respectively.

Disney’s “Encanto” is available to stream now on Disney+ along with a sing-along version and the special “Encanto At The Hollywood Bowl.

You can watch a trailer for the film below:

Michelle Beck
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