Lenny Kravitz Leads Oscars ‘In Memoriam’ Tribute With ‘Calling All Angels’
Lenny Kravitz helped honor the scores of film industry professionals who died in the last year with a performance of “Calling All Angels” at the Oscars Sunday, March 12.
The performance was introduced by John Travolta, who snuck in a touching reference to his late Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John as he honored all those who’ve died over the last year: “They’ve touched our hearts, they’ve made us smile, and became dear friends, who we will always remain hopefully devoted to.”
Kravitz then took the stage to play his 2004 song, “Calling All Angels.” John was among those celebrated in the tribute, which also included Kirstie Alley, Ray Liotta, Angelo Badalamenti, Jean-Luc Goddard, Irene Cara, Julie Reichert, Burt Bacharach, Angela Lansbury, Mary Alice, James Caan, and Raquel Welch.
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There were several notable figures left out of the televised broadcast, such as Tom Sizemore, Anne Heche, Gilbert Gottfried, Topol, and Leslie Jordan. Arguably most surprising was the absence of Charlbi Dean, who starred in one of this year’s Best Picture nominees, Triangle of Sadness and died suddenly last summer. However, all the aforementioned performers — and many others — were recognized in an extended photo gallery on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ digital magazine, A.frame (a good reminder that the “In Memoriam” segment is only four minutes long after all).
Along with Kravitz, the 2023 Oscars featured performances from all five Best Original Song nominees (as is traditional). Those include Rihanna, performing “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; actress Sofia Carson and Diane Warren doing “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman; Indian vocalists Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava playing “Naatu Naatu” from the Telugu-language smash RRR; and David Byrne, Stephanie Hsu, and Son Lux collaborating on “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (Hsu — who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress — was filling in for Mitski, who sang on the original track). Lady Gaga was also added to the lineup at the last minute, performing her Top Gun: Maverick ballad, “Hold My Hand.”