After weeks of controversies over the length of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, and which traditional events may be cut out of the ceremony in order to save time, the show’s producers have announced that they are adding a performance to the show.
Queen, the band that was the subject of the Academy Award-nominated film Bohemian Rhapsody, will perform at the Oscars on Sunday night, Deadline reported Monday, citing a tweet by singer Adam Lambert.
The band’s longtime frontman Freddie Mercury died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991, but the band will perform with Lambert on vocals along with original Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May. John Deacon, the band’s bassist during its heyday, is retired and no longer performs with the group.
Queen will perform even though all of the music in the film are classic songs from Queen’s heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, and it’s rare for musical performances to take place on the awards show that are associated with specific movies but aren’t nominated in the Best Original Song category.
The Academy Awards producers, who are known to be trying hard to keep the telecast from going past the three-hour mark, had floated the idea of not including performances of all of the original song nominees, but later backed off of that idea. The producers also announced that they would give out some of the awards during commercial breaks, but after an outcry, they pulled off of that proposal as well.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) February 18, 2019
Bohemian Rhapsody, the film about Queen’s history that starred Rami Malek as Mercury, was assailed by many critics when it came out in November, but that didn’t stop it from becoming a major worldwide box office hit, earning over $850 million to date, per Deadline. Taylor and May are both producers of the film and had spent many years working to bring the band’s story to the screen.
The film has overcome a series of controversies, including a major magazine article with numerous accusations of sexual misconduct against credited director Bryan Singer, to win the Best Picture (Drama) award at the Golden Globes. Singer was fired from the film near the end of production in 2017, although his name remained on the film as director. Singer was not mentioned by name in either acceptance speech following the film’s Golden Globe wins.
Bohemian Rhapsody has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor.