Queen and Adam Lambert Kick Off 2019 Oscars With Epic Performance of Iconic Hits
Without a host to kick off the show with a rambling monologue or half-funny, pre-taped skit, this year’s 91st Annual Academy Awards raised the bar right out of the gate with an incredible rock n’ roll moment.
The living original members of Queen took the stage, along with Adam Lambert singing lead vocals, for a rolicking rendition of their iconic hits.
The star-studded audience at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood took to their feet to sing along with Lambert as rock superstar Brian May shredded on the guitar.
The band kicked things off with “We Will Rock You,” before the blue-suited Lambert belted out the group’s 1977 hit “We are the Champions,” complete with a video tribute to Freddie Mercury on the screen behind them, and a wild pyrotechnic display you don’t usually to see at the Oscars.
The legendary rock band is the subject of the hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody — named after their beloved song which they notably did not perform. The film has been cleaning up during the long awards season and focuses primarily on the life of late rocker and the band’s frontman, Freddie Mercury.
The film is nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, with star Rami Malek — who brilliantly portrayed the larger-than-life Mercury — a frontrunner to take home the Best Actor trophy.
Queen + Adam Lambert have been touring the globe performing the band’s most iconic classics since 2011, and the collaboration teased their high-profile performance on Instagram almost a week before the Oscars kicked off.
“Queen + @adamlambert will ROCK YOU! Feb 24th. 5pm PST. The Oscars,” the band wrote alongside a clip of them performing their 1977 hit, “We Will Rock You.”
Queen and Adam Lambert open 2019 Oscars, brings A-listers to their feet
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.
Queen And Adam Lambert Opened The Oscars Way Better Than Any Host Could Have
They performed two of Queen’s biggest hits
Queen and Adam Lambert kicked off the 2019 Oscars telecast in style with a killer medley that had every person inside the Dolby Theatre on their feet.
Roger Taylor set the tone as soon as he started banging out the familiar “We Will Rock You” drumbeat behind the rising curtain. Moments later, Brian May walked to the front of the smokey stage for some of his signature shredding before Adam Lambert’s voice sang out the lyrics that everyone knew.
Best Actress nominee Glenn Close, Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga were sufficiently rocked, meanwhile Rami Malek — who played Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the Best Picture-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody — danced along from the front row.
The trio then transitioned into a blue-lit somber tone with “We Are The Champions,” probably a not-so-subtle nod to all of the champions who made their way into the room on Hollywood’s biggest night. Appropriately, the entire orchestra section waved their arms along with the anthem.
As the performance reached its end, sparks rained down on the stage and images of Freddie filled the screen behind the band, honoring the late musician. The whole opening was history in the making as Queen and Adam Lambert became the first rock band to ever open the Academy Awards.