Gwyneth Paltrow, who has gone from Oscar-winning actress to singing awards-show mainstay — having performed “Forget You” alongside Cee Lo Green and puppets at the Grammys — was one of the featured performers in the Best Original Song category.
Paltrow, who joked to MTV News on the red carpet that she’d calmed her pre-Oscar nerves with a beer, called the ceremony “so, like, freaking serious” as compared to her previous stints on both the Grammys and the Country Music Awards.
After being introduced by Jennifer Hudson, a calmer Paltrow (who Hudson described as “a singing sensation and country music’s new
star”) donning a sleek, off-the-shoulder nude and bejeweled gown, sang some of “Coming Home” for the Kodak Theater and millions of Oscar viewers around the globe.
With a starry stage set-up behind her, Paltrow crooned the chorus, “After all of my running/ I’m finally coming home/ The world tried to break me/ I found a road to take me home.”
But Paltrow wasn’t the only familiar face to appear as a performer during the ceremony. Fellow singer/actress Mandy Moore, wearing a flowing blue gown, sang the nominated “I See the Light” from her hit animated film “Tangled” alongside her co-star Zachary Levi, with Alan Menken accompanying them on piano.
Later in the telecast, Florence Welch, frontwoman for 2010 breakout act Florence and the Machine, helped Oscar winner A.R. Rahman perform “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” while images from the Best Picture nominee appeared in the background.
Welch, who wore a striking burnt-sienna gown, showcased her beautiful, moody voice as she stepped in for Dido (who co-wrote the song, as well as sang on the film’s original track).
However, those were the only moments those songs and their performers had any Oscar glory on Sunday, as perennial nominee Randy Newman walked away the winner in the Best Original Song category.
Newman, who had performed “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ at the piano on the Oscar stage, won his second career Academy Award, besting the songs from “Country Strong,” “Tangled” and “127 Hours.”
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