Songs from RBG, Mary Poppins Returns, Buster Scruggs to be performed at Oscars
The 91st Oscars just got a whole lot more musical.
On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the Oscar-nominated songs “I’ll Fight,” from RBG, and “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” from Mary Poppins Returns, will be performed at its annual awards ceremony. A day later, the Academy added fellow nominee “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, to the performance lineup.
The news that these songs will be featured on the broadcast should come as a welcome relief to many Oscar fans. Previously, Variety reported that only Black Panther’s “All the Stars” and A Star Is Born’s “Shallow” would receive performance time during the ceremony.
Though the Academy never officially confirmed this decision to any outlets, the report had many in a tizzy, with music industry professionals blasting the notion as unfair and reporters and pundits calling out the Oscars for shying away from the sort of spectacle that has been a hallmark of the show.
The Academy first revealed that Jennifer Hudson would be performing “I’ll Fight,” tweeting Thursday: “Things we’d like to announce today: 1. @IAMJHUd will perform the nominated song ‘I’ll Fight’ on the #Oscars! 2. This has been our favorite tweet of the day.”
About two hours later, the organization added: “Spoiler Alert: ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ from ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ will be performed on the #Oscars. BONUS SPOILER ALERT: It will be performed by a surprise special guest!”
And on Friday, the Academy tweeted, “Time to update your Songs That Will Be Performed On This Year’s Oscars Playlist: We’re excited to welcome @GillianWelch and David Rawlings to the #Oscars stage to sing ‘When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings’ from ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’”
Hudson recorded “I’ll Fight,” the theme song to the acclaimed Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, which earned a Best Original Song nomination for the track and songwriter Diane Warren. This will mark Hudson’s return to the Oscar stage after performing “I Can’t Let Go” during the In Memoriam segment in 2015. She also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2007, for her portrayal of Effie White in Dreamgirls.
While the Academy has yet to confirm who will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” on the broadcast, it would make sense for Emily Blunt to reprise her role as Mary Poppins to sing the nominated song, by composer Marc Shaiman, who co-wrote the lyrics with Scott Wittman. But the options are truly endless (and we wouldn’t complain if they somehow coaxed Julie Andrews into it).
Rawlings and Welch wrote the music and lyrics for “When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings,” which appears in the Tim Blake Nelson-starring segment of the Coen brothers’ Western anthology film. Rawlings and Welch are both first-time Oscar nominees.
The Oscars will air live on ABC at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 24.