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  • Writer's picturehenryfarleyjohnson

Plenty of Time to Die

If you've spent any amount of time around any kind of screen lately, you've probably seen a trailer for the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die. The movie's long awaited U.K. premiere was held at the end of September, about a year and a half after its planned (pre-covid) release date.


All these trailers got me thinking about the movie's theme song, also called "No Time to Die" and recorded by Billie Eilish. It feels like the song was released a lifetime ago. To wit: the Grammys, which have a famously jacked-up sense of time, gave the song a trophy more than six months ago.


I decided to take a look at how exceptional it is for a song to get a Grammy before the movie it was written for is released. I used R to comb through the list of winners of the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media, and here's what I found:

On average, there's a gap of about 382 days between a movie's release and its song's Grammy win. "No Time to Die," however, won its Grammy 198 days before No Time to Die premiered. Before this year, no song had ever won a Grammy before its movie premiered. (To give you an idea of how bizarre and delayed the Grammy timeline can be, consider that the movie A Star is Born birthed the winner of this award in 2019 and 2020...)


So what's that outlier on the other side? That would be They Might Be Giants' "Boss of Me," best known as the theme song to Malcolm in the Middle. This song, the only non-movie tune to win the award, received a Grammy in February 2002, more than two years after the sitcom's January 2000 premiere.

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