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Common says 'Selma' song 'Glory' is intended to inspire, unite

"This is what I love to do. Write music that inspires people and brings people together and motivates people, so I just wrote from my heart," Common told UPI in New York.

By Karen Butler
Common says 'Selma' song 'Glory' is intended to inspire, unite
John Legend and Common appears backstage with the award for Original Song, Motion Picture "Selma" during the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 11, 2015. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Rapper and actor Common says he and singer-songwriter John Legend were so inspired by the story at the center of Selma they had no trouble writing "Glory," their anthem for freedom and justice.

The memorable music from the current Best Picture Oscar nominee has already earned the recording artists Golden Globe and Critics' Choice awards for Best Original Song. It also is nominated for an Oscar in the same category.

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Asked by UPI in New York last month before the Martin Luther King Jr. bio-picture opened in theaters how he and Legend came to collaborate on the song, Common replied: "I'm ingrained in this. This is who I am, speaking up for socially conscious things. And being able to be an actor in the film really gave me a lot of what to write about and I knew the history.

"So, I called John and I told him everything that was going on with Selma. He hadn't seen the film yet, obviously. I hadn't seen the film yet. We just had a quick discussion and I gave him three titles that I thought we should use and one of them was 'Glory' and he wrote a piano piece and then wrote a chorus for 'Glory' and when I got the music back I was like, 'Oh, man, this is touching me.' So, it didn't take a long time to write. This is what I love to do. Write music that inspires people and brings people together and motivates people, so I just wrote from my heart. ... It's in my soul. I told them I could write this song forever."

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Co-starring David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo and Oprah Winfrey, Selma is in theaters now.

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