It has been a pop-music year marked by a renewed embrace of political protest, particularly surrounding civil rights. It may have been too soon to see that reflected in the winners at this month’s Grammy Awards, but the shift was on tear-jerking display last night at the Academy Awards.
Common and John Legend won the Oscar for Best Original Song at last night’s event for “Glory,” from the historical drama Selma. They also performed the song, inspiring weeping from the audience with a rendition backed by a full choir in a staging based on the historic march to Selma. In their acceptance speech, Common and Legend linked the song’s inspirational message to present-day police brutality, voter suppression and mass incarceration. Hong Kong’s umbrella protests also drew a mention.
It was the only Oscar for Selma, following public debate over the lack of nominations for director Ava DuVernay or actor David Oyelowo. Common and Legend held off Tegan and Sara and the Lonely Island’s “Everything Is Awesome” (from The Lego Movie), Rita Ora’s “Grateful” (from Beyond the Lights), Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me) and Adam Levine and Keira Knightley’s “Lost Stars” (from Begin Again).
Watch the performance and acceptance speech below, via Vulture.