By James Hibberd
February 24, 2019 at 08:17 PM EST
  • Movie

Does the Oscars really need a host’s monologue full of awkward jokes when they have Queen?

The iconic band now fronted by Adam Lambert opened the 91st annual Academy Awards Sunday night.

With no preamble or introduction, the band jumped straight into “We Will Rock You” at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. A-listers found themselves standing in their suits and gowns, clapping and nodding along. Then the band cut the song short and segued into “We Are the Champions.” And that was…it! A surprisingly short set.

The band was chosen, of course, because of last year’s box office hit Bohemian Rhapsody — which is nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for star Rami Malek (and both the film and Malek won Golden Globes last month).

American Idol alum Lambert has been filling in for late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in live performances since 2011. “I lived in Los Angeles for 17 years and to open the Oscars, I never would have dreamed this is possible,” Lambert said on the red carpet before the show. “Queen and I have been working together for six years and been traveling the world and we’re performing this song in celebration of Bohemian Rhapsody — everybody worked hard and we’re celebrating together.”

The band’s performance was confirmed before it was announced last week that rapper Kendrick Lamar would not be performing his Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” at the ceremony.

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release date
  • 11/02/18
  • Rami Malek
  • 20th Century Fox
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