Leslie Odom Jr. performed his song “Speak Now,” from the film “One Night in Miami,” on the Academy Awards’ pre-show telecast, “Into the Spotlight,” Sunday. Watch it below.
The singer is nominated for best original song for the theme, which he performs over the end credits of a drama in which he plays Sam Cooke and also sings in character as that legendary singer. Odom Jr. is nominated as a songwriter alongside his collaborator, Sam Ashworth. He’s also doing double-duty among nominees this year, being up for best supporting actor as well.
All five nominated songs this year are being performed on the 90-minute pre-show, instead of on the awards show. “Speak Now” is one of four that were all pre-recorded on the terrace of the soon-to-open Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. A fifth song, “Husavik,” from “Eurovision Song Contest,” was filmed in the city of Husavik in Iceland, with Molly Sanden leading a children’s choir from that city.
The other nominated songs are “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (performed by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste), “Io Si (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)” (performed by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini) and “Fight for You” (from “Judas and the Black Messiah”).
“We knew the song would come after ‘A Change is Gonna Come’” is heard in the film, Odom Jr. recently told Variety. “And the first question we (he and Ashworth) asked ourselves was: Has that change come? And if it has, for whom? We went back to that Bob Dylan tune and thought about those answers blowin’ in the wind. Are they still out there? We were imagining what questions an audience in 2021 might have about that.”