Newman is nominated for Best Original Song for the track, which scores a hilarious scene in the movie in which Woody the Cowboy tries to convince Forky (a retrofitted spork) that he is a toy and not trash.
Seated at a sleek black Steinway and surrounded by clouds shaped like Toy Story characters, Newman performed the quirky song solo, as per usual. He seemed in good spirits after recovering from hip surgery, which caused him to cancel multiple tour dates in Australia and New Zealand.
Newman is facing off against Elton John, who earned his first nod since The Lion King for Rocketman‘s “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” written with his long-time collaborator, Bernie Taupin, as well as the songwriting team of Krisen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote “Into the Unknown” for Frozen II. Songwriter Diane Warren earned her 11th Best Original Song nomination for “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough, while Harriet star Cynthia Erivo complemented her Best Actress look with a Best Original Song nod for “Stand Up,” written with Joshua Brian Campbell.
Newman also goes head to head with his cousin Thomas for Best Original Score: Randy for Marriage Story, Thomas for 1917. Newman has been nominated for more than 20 Oscars in the past, winning Best Original Song for 2001’s “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters Inc. and 2010’s “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3.
“I thought he was very funny,” Newman said of Forky to USA Today. “The sort of obstinate stupidity he showed really appealed to me.” The singer-songwriter’s most recent album, Dark Matter, came out in 2017 and was named one of Rolling Stone‘s best albums of the decade.