Beyoncé is showing up to save the Oscars

Queen Bey is set to pay homage to King Richard.

INDIO, CA - APRIL 14:  Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts ...
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After weeks and hope of speculation since the Oscar nominees were announced on February 8, it’s finally confirmed that Beyoncé will be performing on the award show telecast this Sunday. She’ll sing her Best Original Song nominee “Be Alive,” which she co-wrote with Dixson for the film King Richard.

But Beyoncé doesn’t have to play by the same rules as even other celebrities, who often do splashy press tours after such a nomination to court favor from the academy. The infamously private star hasn’t succumbed to any of that pressure, so it has been a mystery up until now if she’d be participating in the awards ceremony at all. The Academy Awards revealed just after voting closed, that Bey will perform, with other performers including Billie Eilish, Finneas, Reba McEntire, and Sebastián Yatra.

The rumor mill is churning now as to what Beyoncé’s performance will entail. Variety reported that Beyoncé’s camp has been in talks to sing from a Compton tennis court to pay homage to the themes of King Richard, which tells the story of Venus and Serena Williams’ father and the tennis stars’ upbringing. Some insiders have even said Will Smith, who plays the lead role and is nominated for Best Actor, might even make a cameo. But as of now, the details are still unclear. It was reported that Beyoncé would only agree to pre-tape her portion of the show if all of the other musical acts were pre-taped, or had the option to be, as to not receive special treatment. She also reportedly had discussed backing out of performing altogether if the news of her plans leaked. Luckily, it seems like everything is set in stone now.

It is certainly a huge deal for the Academy to secure Beyoncé for their big night, as they’ve been in an unprecedented ratings slump. The 2021 ceremony saw a 56% viewership decrease from 2020, a hit that the Academy is strategically trying to recover from. This year has decent buzz surrounding it though, seeing as the film industry has been bouncing back from the pandemic and delivered a competitive crop of contending films and respective actors up for awards. This year also marks Beyoncé’s first-ever nomination, after she was snubbed for her roles in 2006’s Dreamgirls and 2008’s Cadillac Records. The Grammy record-holding singer has previously performed at the Oscars in 2005, 2007, and 2009, but this year feels like it will be her most iconic turn on the stage yet. The 94th Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, March 27.