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Oscars Reveal Original Song Performers and Aftershow Plans

Chris Willman
·2-min read

The Oscars have confirmed that the best original song nominees will be performed in full on the pre-telecast “Oscars: Into the Spotlight” show Sunday, April 26, with each of the five performed in full by the singer who introduced the song on film.

Four of the five performances will be pre-recorded on the Dolby Family Terrace of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, with the fifth being filmed in Húsavík, Iceland — the last of those being, of course, the nominee that is actually titled “Húsavík,” from the film “Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga.”

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Leslie Odom Jr., a double nominee for acting and songwriting for “One Night in Miami,” will perform the end-titles theme he co-penned for the film, “Speak Now.” Diane Warren and singer Laura Pausini will join forces again for “Io Si (Seen),” which they co-wrote for “The Life Ahead.” “Fight for You” will be performed by the singer/co-writer H.E.R., who performed the old-school-soul throwback anthem over the end credits for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” “Hear My Voice,” the closing theme from “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” will see Celeste joined by the film’s composer and her co-writer on the song, Daniel Pemberton.

As for “Húsavík,” the mystery of whether actors Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrell might join in seems to have been solved with the announcement Barring any unannounced international cameos, Molly Sandén is the sole representative officially on board for that particular power ballad; it was the Swedish pop singer who did the behind-the-scenes belting for “Húsavík,” although McAdams’ voice was blended in.

The 90-minute “Oscars: Into the Spotlight” will be hosted by actors Ariana DeBose (“Hamilton”) and Lil Rel Howery (“Bad Trip”). The show will air on ABC April 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Also on the books is an after-party. “Oscars: After Dark” will commence immediately following the conclusion of the Oscars, at whatever hour that might be, hosted by actors Colman Domingo (“Zola”) and Andrew Rannells (“The Prom”), with interviews by film critic Elvis Mitchell, recaps of show highlights and promised glimpses of the winners getting their statuettes personalized.

Variety previously reported on plans, then unconfirmed by the Academy, to move the best song performances to the pre-telecast and record them in days to come atop the yet-to-open museum. Pausini and Warren are known to be filming their performance Tuesday night.

Initially, there were reports that the Dolby Theatre would be used for the performances. The ceremony itself will largely take place at Los Angeles’ Union Station. This year’s telecast is being dramatically reimagined with a smaller audience that is primarily composed of nominees and presenters, due to COVID restrictions.

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