Why Did Eminem Perform At The Oscars? Rapper Shocks Audience With 'Lose Yourself' Rendition

He performed his hit song "Lose Yourself" from the film "8 Mile"!

Why Did Eminem Perform At The Oscars? Rapper Shocks Audience With 'Lose Yourself' Rendition

There were plenty of memorable moments during the Academy Awards on February 9, 2020, which was broadcast live, worldwide, from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, CA. But there was one moment that was more memorable than most — and it had to do with a musical performance that no one expected, or could even predict was coming. 

And yet, from the minute he took the stage, the Internet was ablaze with comments ranging from confusion to exhilaration. 


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Regardless of whether it was a comment of confusion or a comment of exhilaration, the question was still the same: why did Eminem perform at the Oscars 2020? 

Let's look at what we know about this surprise performance. 


1. Why did Eminem perform at the Oscars 2020? By his own admission, he was making up for lost time. 

Right after he took the stage and performed "Lose Yourself" — which was censored multiple times throughout the live broadcast — Eminem took to Twitter to thank the Academy for having him perform at the Oscars 2020. "Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @TheAcademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here," he wrote.

2. In previous interviews, Eminem said he didn't go to the Oscars when he was nominated because he didn't think he'd win. 

Back in 2003, Eminem's "Lose Yourself" won the Academy Award for Best Song, and Barbra Streisand presented the award to him. However, he told a radio host in 2007 that he didn't attend the ceremony at the time because he didn't think he was going to win the award. "I just felt like I had no chance of winning because, you know, when I heard I was nominated, I thought that was for actors. I wasn't sure what exactly Grammy or Oscar meant, what certain awards meant, I was not sure what they meant, so even MTV awards, all that stuff, I just didn’t know what awards meant and this particular award…I didn’t go to the show…I just felt like I had a snowball’s chance of hell of winning," he said.

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3. Eminem's surprise performance at the Oscars 2020 came right after a musical montage. 

Hamilton hero Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a musical montage that featured some of the best musical moments in cinematic history, including a performance of "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel in the film Say Anything. Right after the montage was over, a live orchestra fired up and the beat for "Lose Yourself" dropped. You can check out a clip of the performance below. 


4. His appearance was kept a secret until he got on the stage. 

To get Eminem to appear onstage and do a surprise performance is a Herculean task, to be sure. According to the Oscars live blog, his performance didn't even appear on the "run of show," which is the information given to everyone who works a show so they can "go with the flow," so to speak. 

5. Just one week ago, Eminem surprised fans with a new album. 

In January 2020, just before his surprise performance at the Oscars 2020, Eminem surprised his fans with the release of his new album, Music To Be Murdered By. The album, which had no advanced promotion, featured a who's who of hip hop and included performances by the likes of Anderson .Paak and Young M.A.


6. Celebrities responded positively to Eminem's performance. 

As you can see in the YouTube clip above, celebrities from Gal Gadot to Spike Lee seemed to enjoy Eminem's surprise performance at the Oscars 2020. 

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There was, however, one notable exception: Martin Scorsese, who seemed less-than-thrilled by the performance. 

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.