U2, Paul Simon will play at the Oscars. The Irish rockers and the veteran singer/songwriter will perform their nominated tunes

By Brian Hiatt
Updated March 14, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
U2: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

Unlike Eminem, Best Song nominees U2 and Paul Simon aren’t afraid of a little Hollywood glitz. Both acts are set to perform at the Oscars next week, according to the Academy and Simon’s publicist. It’ll mark U2’s first appearance at the Academy Awards, though they did attend this year’s Golden Globes, where they picked up the Best Original Song prize.

U2 will perform their ”Gangs of New York” tune ”The Hands That Built America,” while Simon and his band will perform ”Father and Daughter” from ”The Wild Thornberrys Movie.” Confirmed as well are Latin folk artists Lila Downs and Caetano Veloso, who will play the Best Song-nominated ”Burn it Blue,” from ”Frida.” Eminem, nominated for ”8 Mile”’s ”Lose Yourself,” will be on vacation during the ceremony and won’t be attending, a spokesperson said this week.

The team of John Kander and Fred Ebb is also nominated in the category, for ”Chicago”’s ”I Move On.” The song, which runs over the movie’s closing credits, was performed by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellwegger, but it’s far from clear that the duo is willing to sing it front of a live audience of millions. A spokesperson for the very pregnant Zeta-Jones tells EW.com that no decision has been made, but Zellwegger seemed hesitant when EW mentioned the idea to her earlier this year. “Oh, Jesus!” she said. “It’s not something I do easily in front of people. You first!” We’d rather fill in on ”Lose Yourself,” thanks.