Did you think that this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was all figured out and locked down? Oh my sweet summer child, there are still a few days to go and as we’ve seen, this year’s Oscars are a constant work in progress. Today brings with it a bit of bummer news: Best Original Song nominee “All the Stars” from Black Panther will not be performed at the ceremony, but it’s not for the reason you probably think.
With all the efforts the Academy has made to try and reduce the runtime of the ceremony to help ratings, you might think that “All the Stars” was being cut for time, but that is not the case here. The Oscars were trying to get the song from Kendrick Lamar, Sounwave, Anthony Triffith and SZA to be a part of the show, but it simply came down to scheduling.
According to Deadline, Kendrick Lamar has reportedly been abroad, and after the Oscar nominations came out, there simply wasn’t enough time for him to put together a performance that would do the song justice at the Oscars. They tried to make it work, but ultimately couldn’t. Kendrick Lamar also couldn’t perform at his year’s Grammys because he was working overseas.
It wouldn’t make much sense to perform the song without Kendrick Lamar or to have someone else sub in for him, like Bette Midler is doing for Mary Poppins Returns’ “The Place Where Lost Things Go.” Moreover, the other “All the Stars” artists like SZA naturally did not want to perform the song without Kendrick Lamar. So a decision was reached between the Oscars and the Grammy winner’s team that there will be no performance of the song at Sunday’s ceremony.
This is surprising news considering that “All the Stars” seemed like one of the original song nominees that was guaranteed to be performed, along with A Star is Born’s “Shallow.” Earlier this year, it seemed that, in an effort to shorten the broadcast, only those two Best Original Song nominees would be performed.
That naturally led to backlash and the decision was reversed to have all the nominees performed. Now that number has been cut by one and only the songs from Mary Poppins Returns, A Star is Born, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and RBG will be performed. On the bright side, this should shave off a few minutes from the broadcast.
It’s a bit of a bummer that we won’t hear “All the Stars” on Sunday night, but at least the Academy tried to make it happen, and that’s commendable. I think if we were going to hear it, we would have wanted Kendrick Lamar to be there, so better to omit it entirely than deliver a performance all involved felt wouldn’t live up to the song itself.
The 91st Academy Awards airs Sunday February 24 at 8 p.m. E.T. Follow along with CinemaBlend on Sunday for all of the Oscars coverage and check out our release schedule to see the biggest movies headed to theaters this year.