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Clad in a gold floor-length gown with a thigh-high gap, Erivo belted out the best original song nominee’s powerful lyrics she wrote with Joshuah Brian Campbell against a sunset backdrop.
Erivo was joined by a group of singers in gold and silver outfits. Toward the end of the performance, they crowded behind Erivo as she harmonized. Singers and dancers came onto the stage from the audience. The performance ended with a black-and-white picture of Harriet Tubman projected onto the stage as the lights went out, illuminated only by standing lanterns. Erivo received a standing ovation from the audience.
Erivo was up for best actress and best original song for her work in Harriet, marking the only mentions for Kasi Lemmons’ biopic about Tubman and making Erivo the third person in history to be nominated in both of those categories.
She also was the only person of color up for any of the night’s acting awards. “To be in a room and not being able to see other actors [of color] who are nominated, to not be able to share that with another black actress, is saddening,” Erivo told The Hollywood Reporter. “I would love to share this moment with someone else.”
If she were to win one of the two awards for which she’s nominated, Erivo would become the youngest EGOT winner in history and the 16th person to join the elite club.
In addition to “Stand Up,” Toy Story 4‘s “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, Breakthrough‘s “I’m Standing With You” and “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2 are all up for the best original song Oscar.
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The Tragedy of Macbeth