Music at the center of the Oscars gala – Music – Arts & Culture

And Megan Thee Stallion turned up the heat at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, spitting fire with a guest rap as part of a colorful performance of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the viral hit from “Encanto.” Disney.

It was an interesting choice given that the Academy snubbed this song, the film’s most popular, from the nomination pool.

But it was part of the organization’s master plan to resurrect the once-loved show back to its former numbers.

The show’s producers controversially pre-recorded the awards presentation, including best score and best sound, editing the winners’ acceptance speeches in a perceived snub that sparked anger in the weeks before the A-listers don’t walk the mat.

The move didn’t shorten the notoriously long run, instead allowing extra space for musical performances and comedic sketches from hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall.

Eilish wins the Oscar

The added focus on pop juggernauts gave the show a Grammys Lite feeling at times, a week before the party celebrating the best in the music industry took over Las Vegas.

Top Grammy nominee Billie Eilish sang a moving rendition of “No Time to Die,” her theme song written for the James Bond film of the same name, which ultimately won the Oscar for Best Original Song.

“Oh my God, this is so amazing, I could scream,” Eilish said, accepting her trophy alongside her brother and collaborator, Finneas O’Connell, who provided haunting piano chords as Eilish sang.

It was a clean sweep for the sibling duo, who also won a Grammy and a Golden Globe for moody ballad.

Colombian crooner Sebastian Yatra performed the heartfelt, dreamy track “Dos Oruguitas” — “Two Caterpillars” in Spanish — from “Encanto,” which was also nominated for an Oscar.

Producers crafted an elaborate set, with Yatra delivering a breathless version of the song set against a lush forest stage accompanied by acoustic guitars.

Country music queen Reba McEntire then sang “Somehow You Do”, as artists such as Travis Barker and Sheila E formed an all-star band behind her.

Questlove won Best Documentary for “Summer of Soul,” which chronicled the 1969 music festival in Harlem that saw thousands celebrate black culture and music.

But while the producers scripted Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion — the latter performing in an incredible canary-yellow ruffled dress with a thigh-high slit and a cut-out corset-style bodice — to provide the show’s punctuation, it was rapper-actor Will Smith who dropped the biggest exclamation point of the night.

Smith – who won Best Actor honors for playing Venus and Serena’s father, Richard Williams, in the tennis biopic ‘King Richard’ – was the agent of chaos of the night, storming the stage and slapping comedian Chris Rock after the presenter made a joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith, the actor’s wife.

The twist ignited on social media, but the show went on, with music and stage icon Liza Minnelli appearing with pop powerhouse Lady Gaga to present the final best picture award.

“I’m so happy to be here, and especially with you. I’m your biggest fan,” Minnelli said affectionately to Gaga.

Alice P. Darby