Queen and Adam Lambert opened the
Academy Awards on Sunday with a tribute to Freddie Mercury.
Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic
based on Mercury's life, was nominated for five Oscars, including
best picture. The film won four Oscars, but Green Book took
home the best picture statuette. Rami Malek, who plays Mercury in
the film, won for best actor.
Sunday's performance included guitarist
Brian May, who first appeared on stage, drummer Roger Taylor and
Lambert on vocals. The nearly 4-minute set included scaled-back
versions of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
As the set came to a close, an image of
Mercury was displayed behind the band and the audience jumped to
Controversy surrounded Bohemian
Rhapsody after release of its first trailer, with many accusing
producers of “straight-washing” Mercury's life. As the film
opened, some critics said that the film fell short in how it dealt
with Mercury's sexuality and AIDS diagnosis. The flamboyant singer
died in 1991 from complications related to AIDS.
Lambert remembers Freddie Mercury on what would have been his 72nd