How exactly did Wolfgang Van Halen end up on an Oscar-nominated song from the Barbie soundtrack? It's a case of being in the right place at the right time, and that place was the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts put on by Foo Fighters in the fall of 2022.

That was where the Mammoth WVH star first crossed paths with songwriter, producer and performer Mark Ronson, as both took part in the September 2022 tribute at London's Wembley Stadium.

“Mark Ronson and I hit it off,” Van Halen told Billboard. “And he reached out and hit me up and it was just a really good time. I spent two days in his studio and we just played around with ideas and it was a really good time. (Ronson) and his writing partner Andrew [Watt] are such wonderful dudes and amazing at what they do that it was an honor just to see how they worked.”

Who Played on Barbie's "I'm Just Ken"?

While film star Ryan Gosling sung the track in the film, he had an all-star backing band in the studio. In addition to Wolfgang Vah Halen, Guns N' Roses' guitarist Slash is on the track, along with Foo Fighters drummer Josh Freese (who also played the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts) and Jellyfish keyboardist Roger Manning. Ronson and Watt co-wrote and co-produced the song.

Last July, after attending the premiere for the movie, Van Halen told fans through an Instagram post, "If anyone is curious about specifics, I have a lot of textural stuff throughout the film with two major spots where I do some soloing. One in particular is pretty cool because it’s the big song that Ryan Gosling sings and Slash plays on it as well!"

He added, "There’s a specific moment in this song that’s only in the movie where I’ve got this fun solo with some tapping and stuff lol. Such a cool opportunity. Honored to be a part of it."

"I"m Just Ken" Became a Hit

Per Billboard, “I’m Just Ken” was a Top 5 hit on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart during the summer and hit No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100, while Barbie The Album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Soundtrack Albums chart.

Ryan Gosling, "I'm Just Ken"

Will Wolfgang Van Halen Do More Movie Work?

“I’m honestly happy just to be a part of it, to have an opportunity to play a super small part in it. It was a really, really wonderful opportunity. I knew (the movie) was good just from being involved in it and seeing what I was able to see. But to see the song I played on blow up as much as it did was pretty crazy,” Wolfgang told Billboard.

He adds, “For Mark and Andrew to bring me into it, just to play some guitar in the movie, it was really, really wonderful. I’d love to do something like that again, especially with those guys. They’re wonderful dudes and incredibly talented. Everybody in the movie, the whole production of it, are so deserving of every accolade they’re getting. It’s really exciting.”

But will Wolfgang get into film scoring as a result? “I’m still very much focused and driving on building Mammoth and seeing what is possible with that,” he explains. “But certainly, opportunities like the one that Mark gave me for Barbie, when they come up it’s very, ‘Okay, we can certainly make time for something like this.’ But I’m very much driven in terms of, ‘Let’s see where we can take Mammoth.’”

At present, Mammoth WVH will return to the road on March 28 in Dublin, Ireland. A European tour will keep them overseas through April 29 until they return stateside on May 4 to begin a string a May dates. Mammoth WVH tickets are currently on sale.

READ MORE: Wolfgang Van Halen Responds to David Lee Roth's Recent Attacks

Who's Nominated for Best Original Song at the 2024 Oscars?

"I'm Just Ken" will face some stiff competition at the 96th Academy Awards this Sunday (March 10), including another song from the same movie. The Billie Eilish-sung and "What Was I Made For"  from Barbie is also on the competitors.

Also nominated this year are "It Never Went Away," performed by Jon Batiste from the film American Symphony, "Wahzhazhe (A Song for My People)," performed by the Osage Tribal Singers from Killers of the Flower Moon and "The Fire Inside," performed by Becky G from Flamin' Hot.

The ceremony is being hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will air on ABC at 7PM ET / 4PM PT this Sunday (March 10).

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Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff

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