With no A-list host on hand to open the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday, that responsibility fell on the shoulders of Adam Lambert, who teamed up with Queen to perform some of the legendary rock group’s greatest hits.
But this was hardly the first time Lambert has joined forces with the band. He performed with guitarist Brian May and Roger Taylor in 2009 when the pair appeared as guests on Lambert’s season of American Idol, followed by a second collaboration at the 2011 MTV Europe Awards. This eventually led to Lambert touring with Queen internationally as its frontman for several years; their next excursion, The Rhapsody Tour, kicks off this July in North America.
Bohemian Rhapsody, which chronicles the life and career of the band’s former frontman Freddie Mercury (played by Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek), is nominated for five Academy Awards this year: Best Picture, Best Actor (Malek), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. The film and its star have already enjoyed a successful award season, taking home Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Drama, as well as Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, among other accolades.
(Fun fact: Lambert actually makes a cameo in Bohemian Rhapsody as a truck driver with whom Mercury enjoys a brief encounter in the men’s room of a rest stop. Click here to watch behind-the-scenes footage of him filming with Malek.)
Hit PLAY on the video of Lambert and Queen’s performance below, then grade the opening number via our poll and drop a comment with your review.