The musical extravaganza began with Monae on a recreation of the Mister Roger’s Neighborhood set, where she slipped into that iconic red sweater while crooning a sweet rendition of the children’s show’s theme song. She even ventured into the audience to personally serenade Tom Hanks, star of the Fred Rogers biopic Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
Monae was briefly joined on stage by Billy Porter, who sang a bit of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing.”
“Tonight we celebrate all the amazing talent in this room,” Monae said at the end of her performance. “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films. And I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History Month.”
Following Monae’s performance, Chris Rock and Steve Martin took the stage. “While we were backstage watching [the opening number], Steve said to me, ‘J.Lo’s killing it two weeks in a row!'” Rock joked.
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Hit PLAY on the video above to watch Monae (and Porter… and the dancing Jokers) open he Oscars, then grade the performance below. And while you’re down there, drop a comment with your full review.