In 2015, US hip hop artist Common won his first Oscar (with John Legend) for ‘Glory’, the theme song of Ava DuVernay’s feature film Selma.

Now, his track ‘Letter to the Free’ from DuVernay’s documentary 13th has taken out the Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics overnight.

The documentary details the legalisation of slavery through the US justice system.


Penned with Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins, the track picked up the win over Chance the Rapper, who was nominated for ‘Last Christmas’, his ‘Jingle Barack’ sketch for Saturday Night Live.

The other nominees for the award included songs from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jimmy Kimmel Live, A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special, and the Lemonade parody from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Common dedicated the award to “all the incarcerated people in the prison system and for justice”.

Common’s win was one of four Emmy wins for 13th, including Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special.