The "Best Original Song" nominees don't want any part of the Academy's shenanigans.
Kendrick Lamar and SZA are holding firm in their refusal to perform at the Oscars, despite the Academy's most enticing efforts. The Academy wants the TDE artists to perform their Oscar-nominated song "All The Stars" from the Kendrick-curated Black Panther soundtrack. And short of creating a minor snafu out of resentment, the committee will not seek a replacement Kendrick or SZA to follow through with the booking as scheduled.
As is generally the custom, the other nominated artists have consented to perform their songs on live television. They include Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper for "Shallow” from A Star Is Born, Jennifer Hudson for "I’ll Fight" from RBG, Bette Midler and Marc Shaiman for "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns, and lastly, Gillian Welch and David Rowlings for "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
In addition to the participation of all consenting "Best Original Song" nominees, a song and dance attributed to Queen and the "Freddy Mercury" biopic was also commissioned for the live broadcast.
As Variety reported late last month, the Oscar committee was forced to be more inclusive with the performing acts on the live telecast, after a host of big names voiced their displeasure with the existing "process," which is indubitably a big part of the reason SZA and Kendrick Lamar pulled out, even though "All Stars" was part of the original mock-up.