8 of the greatest Oscars music performances of all time

21 February 2019, 13:52

Oscars
Picture: Getty/YouTube

By Tom Eames

From Springsteen to a Robin Williams...

Sunday (February 24) sees the Oscars return to Tinsel Town, with some of the biggest names in Hollywood celebrating the best of the big screen over the last 12 months.

Who won Best Song at the Oscars? The winners and losers

Bette Midler, Queen, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will perform on the night, continuing the tradition of iconic stars heading to the stage.

We've gone back through the archives and picked the very best Oscars live performances of the past few decades:

  1. Diana Ross and Lionel Richie - 'Endless Love' (1982)

    Two of the greatest pop icons teamed up for this fantastic duet, which was the title song of the movie of the same name.

    Diana and Lionel appeared via staircases and stared deeply into each others' eyes in a truly powerful romantic performance. All it needed was a kiss!

  2. Madonna - 'Sooner or Later' (1991)

    While the song may not be one of Madonna's greatest, the performance certainly was.

    Taken from the Dick Tracy soundtrack, the Queen of Pop put on a Marilyn Monroe-inspired show and celebrating the very best of Old Hollywood.

  3. Celine Dion - 'My Heart Will Go On' (1998)

    Celine Dion showed just why she is known for her incredible voice by belting out this Titanic love theme on a night dominated by the romantic drama.

    We may have been sick of hearing it by the time she came on stage, but all those thoughts were replaced by pure mesmerisation of a singing masterclass.

  4. Elton John - 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' (1995)

    Elton John appeared at the Oscars to deliver the gorgeous love song from The Lion King, giving one of his best ever performances in the process.

    His vocals are perfect here, and you know you're watching a genius when simply singing at a piano can fill the whole auditorium and then some.

  5. Adele - 'Skyfall' (2013)

    Never before had a Bond theme held such power, and Adele's track finally won 007 an Oscar after decades of trying.

    Shirley Bassey must have been very proud at this.

  6. Michael Jackson - 'Ben' (1973)

    The future King of Pop was just 13 when he appeared on the Oscars stage wearing a red sweater vest and proving to the world the talent he already had.

    Despite singing about a horror film's killer rat, the performance was beautiful and gave the world a glimpse of what was to come from him.

  7. Robin Williams - 'Blame Canada' (2000)

    The South Park movie earned an unlikely music nomination, and to celebrate, Robin Williams was hired to belt out the song about their friends up in Canada.

    It was gloriously rude, but amazingly staged, with Williams showing just how much of a talent he was. In the end, the song lost out to Phil Collins’ 'You’ll Be in My Heart' from Tarzan.

  8. Bruce Springsteen - 'Streets of Philadelphia' (1994)

    Bruce Springsteen is one the greatest live performers of all time, but even he couldn't help but seem vulnerable when singing this beautiful song from the Tom Hanks drama Philadelphia.

    It was a simple but highly effective performance, and one we'll treasure forever.

  9. John Legend and Common - 'Glory' (2015)

    This was where John Legend proved to everyone just how amazing his voice is, in case you didn't already know.

    The anthem from Selma also had a message, and while Common rapped to the audience, a largely black crowd appeared behind him in front of a mock-up of Alabama's Edmund Pettus Bridge, chanting the song's title. Even Legend couldn't help but have a crack in his voice at the emotional spectacle.