Watch Queen + Adam Lambert Kick Off the Oscars With ‘We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions’
Queen took a victory lap for the runaway box office success of Bohemian Rhapsody by opening tonight's Academy Awards. With Adam Lambert on vocals, they played "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." At the end of their performance, a gigantic image of the band's founding singer, Freddie Mercury, appeared behind the band.
Bohemian Rhapsody is nominated for five Oscars tonight, including Best Picture and Best Actor, for Rami Malek's portrayal of Mercury.
Prior to the telecast, there had been some question as to what the band would sing. Although a teaser clip featuring "We Will Rock You" was tweeted by Queen and Lambert, the Academy's text quoted the opening words of "Bohemian Rhapsody": "Is this the real life? / Is this just fantasy?"
While Lambert's tenure in the band isn't covered in Bohemian Rhapsody, which focuses on the life of Mercury, he did make an uncredited appearance in the film. He showed up, nearly recognizable underneath facial hair and wearing a flannel shirt and trucker hat, in a scene where he's waiting at a rest stop for Mercury (Rami Malek) to finish up a phone call with Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) so they can have an illicit tryst.
Lambert first sang with Queen on the 2009 finale of American Idol where Lambert, the runner-up that season, sat it on "We Are the Champions." Two years later, they joined forces again for a few songs at the MTV Europe Awards. In the summer of 2012, Queen + Adam Lambert became a touring entity, playing several dates in Europe. They hit North America for 19 shows in the summer of 2014, and returned for 25 more in 2017. Their upcoming "Rhapsody" tour kicks off on July 10 in Vancouver. You can see all the dates here.