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Academy Reportedly Asked Queen to Open Oscars in Wake of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Success

The legendary rock band allegedly turned the Academy down, so it's still unclear how the 91st Oscars will open.

"Bohemian Rhapsody"

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

20th Century Fox

What to do without an Oscars host? That’s the question continuing to plague the Academy with just a few weeks left before the 91st Academy Awards. Ever since Kevin Hart exited the gig after the resurfacing of homophobic jokes from his past, the Academy has been figuring out how to pull off a host-less ceremony. No host means no opening monologue, and Variety reports one idea was to have Queen open the show with a live performance given the massive success of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The Academy reportedly sent out feelers to members of Queen to see if they would be open to the idea of performing at the start of the Oscars telecast. “Bohemian Rhapsody” isn’t just a box office powerhouse with over $800 million worldwide, but it’s also nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rami Malek. Queen has always been a worldwide favorite, but “Bohemian Rhapsody” has reignited the band’s global popularity (see Japan’s Queen fever).

Despite the Academy reportedly wanting the band, Queen has allegedly turned down the request. Variety reports Queen will not open the Oscars. The decision to have the rock band open the show could have been met with backlash, as their presence at the show would be tied to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the year’s most controversial nominees given its credited director is Bryan Singer. The director was recently accused of sexual misconduct against underage boys.

While Queen will reportedly not be preforming, the five tracks nominated for Best Original Song will be featured in performances during the broadcast. Rumor originally had it that the Academy was going to cut the Best Original Song performances save for “Shallow” and “All the Stars,” but Variety reports the nominees banded together to convince the Academy to have all the songs featured or none at all.

The 91st Academy Awards air Sunday, February 24 at 8pm ET on ABC.

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