When Queen and Rami Malek Reigned at the Oscars

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Brian May and Adam Lambert during Queen’s performance at the Oscars, February 24, 2019

Few saw this coming when the casting news was announced. Rami Malek won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 91st Annual Academy Awards for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.

In his acceptance speech, Malek said to Queen, “I am forever in your debt.”

The awards, held on February 24, 2019, had no host. So instead of an opening sketch lampooning the year’s Best Picture nominees, the producers of the ABC TV broadcast instead began with a live performance by Queen + Adam Lambert. (Watch it below.)

In his acceptance speech, Malek said: “My family… I thank you for all of this. To all of you who has had a hand in getting me here. I may not have been the obvious choice.”

To his co-star – and now girlfriend – Lucy Boynton, he said: “You are the heart of this film and you captured my heart.”

Watch the moment Malek won, and his acceptance speech

The band, on a roll with the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic a smashing success and one of the nominees for Best Picture, performed the classic rock hits, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” to the delight of the A-List audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Watch it below.)

Roughly an hour into the broadcast, Bohemian Rhapsody won three of the five Oscars for which it was nominated: Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Film Editing. Its four wins were more than any other film.

Two of Bohemian Rhapsody’s stars, Rami Malek and Lucy Boyton, watch Queen’s Oscars performance

Malek won many of the awards season’s biggest competition, scoring Best Actor wins for the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA.

For Best Picture, Bohemian Rhapsody was up against Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Roma, A Star is Born, Vice, and the winner, Green Book.

Malek faced Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), William Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate) and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book).

Earlier in the evening, on the red carpet, Malek said: “I watched [Freddie] as much as I could. Every performance, I would just see how it was just so spontaneous. His ability to look at everyone in the audience and make them feel so comfortable with themselves.”

Watch Queen + Adam Lambert open the Oscars broadcast

Queen + Adam Lambert have another big tour. Tickets are available here and here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. v2787
    #1 v2787 26 February, 2019, 15:38

    Loved the Queen performance w/Adam Lambert. It was awesome. However, I couldn’t figure out why Brian May was dressed like he’d just come back from working on his car. I LOVE Brian’s guitar playing and always will. However, it’s the Oscars, for God’s sake, Brian. It’s not a Friday night neighborhood barbecue. How about dressing up a little?

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