With Bohemian Rhapsody being one of the biggest movies of the past year, it just would feel wrong to not have a Queen performance at the 2019 Academy Awards. Sadly, of course, the band's frontman Freddie Mercury can't rock the house since his death in 1991, but the glam-rock group has the perfect replacement: Adam Lambert. The American Idol breakout star has been performing with original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor for 10 years now, so it was no wonder why Queen and Adam Lambert's Oscars performance was the perfect way to honor the rock band's decades of hits.
The announcement that Adam Lambert and Queen would be performing during Sunday night's Oscars actually came as a surprise to many fans, since it breaks with the Academy Awards' tradition of having only Best Original Song nominees perform during the ceremony. Of course, Bohemian Rhapsody did not include an original song written for the film, with the biopic only using Queen's previously released greatest hits, so the movie was actually ineligible for Best Original Song. There was a hole in the scheduled performances, though, with Kendrick Lamar and SZA confirming they would not perform their Best Original Song-nominated track "All the Stars" at the Oscars. The rest of the Best Original Song nominees will be performed, along with Queen and Adam Lambert's performance.
Queen and Adam Lambert opened up the Oscars by performing a medley of the band's iconic hits. The band got things started with a high-octane performance of "We Will Rock You," which was followed by a grand performance of "We Are the Champions." Twitter immediately lit up with people raving about the opening performance.
Adam Lambert first performed with Queen's active members Brian May and Roger Taylor in 2009, during the season finale of American Idol. Lambert had actually auditioned for the singing competition show by performing "Bohemian Rhapsody," and May revealed that watching that audition was a big reason why he asked Lambert to join on as the band's new frontman.
Along with Adam Lambert's solo singing career, he's toured with Brian May and Roger Taylor as Queen + Adam Lambert internationally over the past eight years. The group has performed several televised performances, as well as a brief Las Vegas residency this past fall.
The Queen performance at the Oscars also comes shortly after Adam Lambert announced his upcoming fourth studio album. Lambert posted a note on Twitter the week of the Oscars, sharing that he had become disillusioned and depressed by the music industry recently, but credited performing with Queen with recharging him.
Along with the note, Adam Lambert also released his first single from his upcoming album, a soulful ballad called "Feel Something."
Bohemian Rhapsody was not only represented on Sunday night by Adam Lambert and Queen's performance. The rock doc was also up for five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.