Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Tony-winning composing duo, best known for composing the music and lyrics for celebrated Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen."
The pair won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “City of Stars” from the film "La La Land," and most recently won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “This Is Me” from the hit film "The Greatest Showman," which was also nominated for an Oscar.
The duo’s best known work, "Dear Evan Hansen" opened on Broadway in December 2016, starring breakout Ben Platt in the titular role. The original musical was a wild success, receiving nine Tony nominations and winning six, including Best Score and Best Musical. The New York Times called "Dear Evan Hansen" “a sweet, sad and quite moving new musical [with a] beguiling score, the finest work yet from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.” The Washington Post hailed the musical as a “heart-piercingly lovely new musical… with a top-flight contemporary pop score.”
While still working on "Dear Evan Hansen," Pasek and Paul were also composing the lyrics for the hit movie musical "La La Land" directed by Damien Chazelle. Their songs from the film, “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” were both nominated for the Academy Awards. “City of Stars,” sung by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone, was awarded the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. "La La Land’s" soundtrack reached number two on the Billboard 200.
Following their huge success with "La La Land," the duo began composing the music and lyrics for the musical biopic "The Greatest Showman," about P.T. Barnum, which came out in December 2017. Their song "This Is Me" won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and was also nominated for Best Original Song at the 90th Academy Awards.
Pasek and Paul also composed the Anna Kendrick song “Get Back Up Again” for the DreamWorks animated film "Trolls," which was produced by Justin Timberlake. Earlier this year, the songwriting duo were nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class – Short Format Daytime Program for the song “Unlimited,” featured in an Old Navy YouTube campaign.
The dynamic pair have become hot commodities in Hollywood, and are currently writing songs for Disney's upcoming live-action film adaptation of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." They are also slated to write new songs for Disney's live-action film adaptation of "Aladdin" in collaboration with Alan Menken, which will come out in 2019.
Benj and Justin met in their first year at the University of Michigan while pursuing their BFAs in musical theater. After discovering their shared interest, they quickly began working together.
Their first collaboration, "Edges," was a song cycle that went viral within the musical theater-student community and was performed at schools around the country. In 2006, they were awarded the prestigious Jonathan Larson Award–which highlights writers and composers trying to break into the field–making them the youngest to have ever won the accolade.
Pasek & Paul rose to prominence in 2012 with their Tony-nominated score for the Broadway musical "A Christmas Story: The Musical," an adaptation of the classic holiday film of the same name. They also received great acclaim for their musical "Dogfight," which in 2013 won Off-Broadway’s highest honor, the Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Musical. Also in 2013, they contributed several songs to NBC’s "Smash," landing at the top of the iTunes charts with songs such as “Caught in the Storm.” The duo has also written songs for PBS’s "Sesame Street" and the Disney Channel’s "Johnny and the Sprites." Before that, they worked on the stage musical version of "James and the Giant Peach."