Cynthia Erivo stood center stage at the 92nd annual Academy Awards February 9 to sing the Harriet power anthem "Stand Up," the song that earned her and co-writer Joshuah Brian Campbell a Best Original Song Oscar nomination. Erivo was also nominated for her title performance in the biopic.
Watch her stoic performance, featuring a gospel choir that extended into the aisles of the Dolby Theatre, above. The set, by theatre and TV designer Jason Sherwood, offered a tableau of Tubman herself as Erivo sang the final lyrics "I go to prepare a place for you," believed to be Tubman's last words.
The song was nominated alongside Elton John and Bernie Tuapin, who won for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez's "Into the Unknown" from Frozen 2, Randy Newman’s “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4, and Diane Warren’s “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough.
John and Newman performed their respective songs as well, with Idina Menzel and a group of fellow Elsas from around the world singing "Into the Unknown" and Chrissy Metz singing “I’m Standing With You.”
Additionally, Tony winner Billy Porter performed alongside Janelle Monáe in the ceremony's opening number, and Utkarsh Ambudkar, who recently appeared on Broadway as part of Freestyle Love Supreme, offered an impromptu recap rap in the middle of the broadcast.