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Staples Graduate Scores 2 Grammy Nods For 'Dear Evan Hansen' & 'La La Land'

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul at the premiere of "LaLa Land" in December 2016.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul at the premiere of "LaLa Land" in December 2016. Photo Credit: Pasek and Paul Facebook

WESTPORT, Conn. — It's been a big year already for Staples High School grad Justin Paul and his writing partner,  Benj Pasek.

The two were nominated Tuesday for two Grammy Awards:

  • Best Musical Theater album for the Broadway smash hit "Dear Evan Hansen."
  • Best Song Written For Visual Media for the song "City of Stars" from the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning movie "La La Land."

Other nominees for Best Musical Theater Album are "Come From Away" and "Hello, Dolly!"

In the category of Best Song Written For Visual Media, the other nominees are "How Far I'll Go" from "Moana," "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" from "Fifty Shades Darker," "Never Give Up" from the "Lion," and "Stand Up For Something" from "Marshall."

Earlier this year, Pasek and Paul won Tony Award for Best Original Score Written for the Theatre for "Dear Evan Hansen" and the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "City of Stars" from "La La Land."

These are the first Grammy nominations for the pair.

Their original music will also be featured in the upcoming musical  film, "The Greatest Showman," which is about Bridgeport's P.T. Barnum.

Pasek and Paul will be writing new songs for Disney's 2019 live-action film adaptation of "Aladdin" in collaboration with Alan Menken, as well as songs for Disney's upcoming live-action film adaptation of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

The two started working together as freshmen at the University of Michigan, where they earned degrees in musical theater. Pasek usually writes the lyrics and Paul usually writes the music, but they share credit for both elements of the songwriting.

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