Campbell, a nominee for Best Original Song, is unable to attend the Oscars, as his Alzheimer’s disease continues to progress. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” is the final song of the legendary entertainer’s 60-year career, written and recorded for his 2014 documentary, Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me, which just recently received a Critics’ Choice nomination. (Watch the scene from the film featuring the song below.) The nominated track, co-written with Julian Raymond, is a bittersweet love song that gives a silver lining to the memory loss that comes with Alzheimer’s. Raymond tells Rolling Stone Country his elation at the nomination is accompanied by sadness that Campbell isn’t able to comprehend the honor.
“It’s a cliché thing to say, but I’m just so happy to be nominated, for him and his family,” says the songwriter-producer. “I feel just so happy that this whole thing is creating a brand-new legacy for him and getting some of those great old songs heard. As we joke, he’s lived a thousand lifetimes. He’s amazing in so many ways.”
Campbell’s family personally requested McGraw to perform on the icon’s behalf. “Glen was always a fan of his music and Tim is sure to bring great emotional depth to the performance,” his loved ones write in a statement.
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This won’t be McGraw’s first Oscar rodeo — he’s attended a handful of times to support films, including The Blind Side, but it will be his first time to perform at Hollywood’s biggest annual event. Coincidentally, his wife, Faith Hill, performed on the 2000 Academy Awards, filling in for an ailing Whitney Houston.
The Academy Awards air live from Los Angeles on February 22nd at 7 p.m. ET on ABC. Neil Patrick Harris will host.