How Sara Bareilles Captured Billie Jean King’s Courage in Original ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Song

Published to The Hollywood Reporter on December 15, 2017

“I just want people to feel like they can do anything when they hear this,” says the six-time Grammy nominee of creating the anthem for the tennis icon and gay rights activist.

“It was a little bit of a cosmic nod,” says Sara Bareilles of how she came to write her song “If I Dare” for Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who were in need of an original song for their finished biopic about Billie Jean King, happen to be the next-door neighbors of Jessie Nelson, Bareilles’ writing partner on her Tony-nominated musical Waitress. “The universe was like, ‘Hey! Take a look at this!’ ” Introductions were made and a screening was set.

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