Queen and Adam Lambert Kick Off 2019 Oscars With Epic Performance of Iconic Hits

By
Adam Lambert and Brian May of Queen at the 91st Annual Academy Awards
Kevin Winter/Getty Image

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."

Bette Midler and Jennifer Hudson are also expected to perform at some point during Sunday's star-studded show -- singing “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns and “I’ll Fight” from RBG respectively --  while Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will perform the Oscar-nominated song "Shallow" from their film, A Star Is Born.

Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar and SZA -- who are both nominated for their song, "All the Stars," from the Black Panther soundtrack, declined to perform during the Oscars due to timing and scheduling concerns.

Check out the video below for more on how Bohemian Rhapsody recreated some of Queen's most celebrated milestones and performances.

RELATED CONTENT:

Rami Malek: From 'Gilmore Girls' to the Oscars' Best Actor Frontrunner

Rachel Bilson Posts Pic of Her High School Days With Rami Malek

Oscars 2019 Live Updates: Billy Porter, Kacey Musgraves and Yalitza Aparicio Slay on the Red Carpet

Related Gallery