The 94th annual Academy Awards Ceremony is already slated to be a glamorous, star-studded affair. But things just got all the more fabulous with the announcement that the proceedings will be graced with an appearance by none other than Beyoncé.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts made the announcement that the iconic songstress will appear during the Sunday 3/27 broadcast with a performance of her Best Original Song nominee, “Be Alive,” from the motion picture King Richard.
According to Deadline, speculation is swirling that Beyoncé will not hit the Dolby Theater stage for her performance, as is tradition. Instead, she’ll perform remotely via satellite from the same Compton tennis courts on which Venus and Serena Williams trained to become tennis phenoms.
Beyoncé’s Best Original Song nomination is one of several for King Richard, the sports biopic depicting the journey of Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams, as he pushed his daughters toward greatness with extensive training and discipline. The ceremony is likely to be a big night for the film; Will Smith is nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of the titular character, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood honoree Aunjanue Ellis is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Oracene Williams, and the film itself is up for the Best Picture nod. The film is also nominated in the Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing categories.
This announcement comes in a succession of several others touting appearances by popular celebrities and comedians in hopes of luring a large audience to the Will Packer-produced telecast. Comedian Wanda Sykes and comedic actress Regina Hall have each been tapped to co-host, with the presenters’ list ranging from Academy Award-winner Daniel Kaluuya, legendary actor Wesley Snipes, and Disney princess-to-be Halle Bailey to name a few.
As they have for the rest of the awards season, both Williams sisters are also anticipated to be in attendance to support the film that tells the triumphant story of their father’s determination and their subsequent successes.
Packer’s involvement, paired with the announcement of A-list hosts, performers, and presenters, is likely a move to inspire film enthusiasts and casual viewers alike to tune in in larger numbers. Viewership for the annual broadcast had been steadily dipping for years, largely credited to streaming viewership, with a notable drop-off occurring as the pandemic hit. Awards programs like the Oscars have been turning to movie directors and producers paired and popular celebrity appearances in hopes of drawing viewer interest in the often lengthy award show broadcasts.