Oscar 2019: Queen, led by Singer Adam Lambert, Opens Show with Rousing Edition

Queen and lead singer Adam Lambert opened the 2019 Academy Awards Sunday night with a powerful, abridged version of the group’s 1977 double-sided single, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.”

The performance opened with drummer Roger Taylor thundering out the iconic drumbeat of “We Will Rock You” as Lambert, in a sparkling turquoise jacket with black pants, a black shirt and black cravat, roared out the song’s lyrics, originally sung by Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS in 1991.

The group then segued into “We Are the Champions,” and the song’s rousing chorus as stars in the audience, from Tom Cruise to Viola Davis to Glenn Close to Jennifer Lopez, were seen singing along.

Rami Malek, who portrays Freddy Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Malek, was shown seated in the crowd.