This is the last week before the 91st Academy Awards, which will take place in the Dolby Theater as planned despite every controversy and problem that has beset it since the year before. No host will tie the whole program together, with celebrities seeing the job as too much hassle or increasingly irrelevant. Controversies such as the Popular Picture category, the presenting of awards during commercial breaks to shorten TV airtime, and the plan to perform only two of the five Best Original Song nominees live have all been slammed and aborted. If there is anything good coming out of this year’s Oscars, news of this new addition to the evening’s performers may be it.
CNN reports that legendary British rock band Queen, whose story has been pushed to the forefront of the popular imagination by Fox biopic and Best Picture nominee “Bohemian Rhapsody,” will be onstage to rock Los Angeles Sunday, February 24 during Academy Awards night. While their most iconic front-man Freddie Mercury has been gone for decades, Queen is ready to rock the Dolby Theater audience and make the hammer fall, as it were, with the help of their current lead vocalist, “American Idol” veteran Adam Lambert.
“We will rock the Oscars,” Adam Lambert tweeted on his personal page, much to the joy of his and Queen’s combined fandoms; the Monday Twitter post has already garnered over 11,000 likes, more than 3,000 re-tweets and 700-plus comments. While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has kept silent on how Queen was going to be part of the 91st Oscars performance schedule, it is highly likely that the originators of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” song and their hit collaborater “Glam-bert” will serve as the epic opening act of the night. It is just as well, seeing as their hit song’s namesake movie is up for no less than five Academy Award categories.
On the subject of live performances, the interpreters for four of the five Best Original Song nominees in this year’s Oscars have also been revealed. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will naturally do their theme song “Shallow” from “A Star is Born;” a duet between Gillian Welch and David Rawlings is expected for “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs;” Jennifer Hudson will do “I’ll Fight” from “RBG” while Bette Midler will interpret “All the Places I’ll Go” from Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns.” As for the fifth nominee, “All the Stars” from Marvel’s “Black Panther,” it has not yet been determined if the original performers Kendrick Lamar and SZA will handle it themselves.
The 91st Oscars will be broadcast Sunday night on ABC.
Image from The Hollywood Reporter