Janelle Monae opened the 2020 Academy Awards with a medley of songs from some of the year’s nominated films, as well as paying tribute to some that were not, Entertainment Tonight reports. Monae, with a little help from Billy Porter, touched on the lack of people of color and female director nominees during her performance, “I’m so proud to stand here as a black, queer artist telling stories,” Monae said. “Happy Black History Month.”
In a surprise, Eminem delivered an unexpected performance of his 8 Mile song “Lose Yourself,” nearly 18 years after he won an Oscar for the track, but was a no-show to collect his award. “Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @TheAcademy,” Eminem tweeted after the performance. “Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.”
The rapper’s onetime nemesis Elton John not only won Best Original Song for Rocketman’s “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” he performed it as well.
Billie Eilish closed out the musical performances during the In Memoriam segment with a spare and haunting version of the Beatles song “Yesterday.”
Other singers who took to the Oscars stage included Idina Menzel, Chrissy Metz, Randy Newman, and Cynthia Erivo.