The music portion of this year’s Academy Awards was thrown off balance when Oscar-nominee Peter Gabriel pulled out of the telecast to protest his allotted 65-second performance time and then M.I.A. gave birth one week before the show. What would the show’s producers do with their planned 3-song medley?
First of all, the show is over and the last man standing, A.R. Rahman, won the Oscar. As for the medley, the show went on with Rahman performing both “Jai Ho” and “O Saya,” the song he co-wrote with M.I.A. John Legend stepped in for Peter Gabriel, singing the 65-second version of “Down to Earth” that the producers demanded of Gabriel. Even though M.I.A. had been reportedly eager to perform on the show only days after giving birth, there was no sign of the singer.