The 2020 Oscars Opened With Janelle Monae And A Big Splashy Musical Number

Janelle Monae in Hidden Figures

It’s finally here, folks! The 92nd Academy Awards are underway, and naturally the event kicked off with a special opening to get people even more hyped up for the festivities. This year, we got a musical number carried out by singer and actress Janelle Monae, which honored to the various movies that came out in 2019.

Walking out onto a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood-like stage, Janelle Monae donned the kind of sweater that the eponymous host would wear on the children’s program. She then went into the crowd to serenade those in the front row, while also adjusting the lyrics to reference the 2020 Oscars. It was especially nice to see her specifically spend some time in front of Tom Hanks, who played Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and was competing in the Best Supporting Actor category (Brad Pitt took home that award for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

From there, Janelle Monae transitioned into a more upbeat song that included dancers dressed like characters from 2019’s most memorable movies, like Midsommar, Joker, 1917 and Jojo Rabbit. Joined by Pose’s Billy Porter, who wore a flowing gold cape, Monae kept on getting those at the front of the 2020 Oscars audience to chime in, particularly when it came to the ‘la la la's’. Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t seem to into it, but Brie Larson looked jazzed to take part.

Man, when she said they’d be going low, she really meant it! Musical numbers are a tried and true classic when it comes to opening the Academy Awards, and Janelle Monae definitely brought the right kind of energy to this year’s kickoff. During the performance, Monae also said how this year, those in attendance were celebrating “all the women who directed phenomenal films” in 2019, referencing the lack of women in the Best Director category.

While Janelle Monae has been singing for nearly 20 years now and began her rise to worldwide stardom at the beginning of the last decade, she’s also been leaving her mark on the film world. Her notable credits include Rio 2, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Harriet and Disney+’s Lady and the Tramp. Later this year, she can be seen in The Glorias and Antebellum.

With a resume like that, it’s no wonder Janelle Monae was chosen to kick off the 2020 Oscars, and considering that this year’s Oscars followed in the footsteps of last year’s by not having a host, it was all the more important that the event kicked off with a bang. And who knows, maybe in the years to come, Monae will find herself in the crowd of an Academy Award ceremony as a nominee for one of those gold trophies.

Stick with us at CinemaBlend as we provide more updates on the 2020 Oscars winners. Feel free to also look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.