Triple threat singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams is set to perform his Academy Award-nominated song "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2" on Oscar night, March 2, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. (Music video for that track below.)
Williams is the winner of seven Grammys, including two this year for collaborating on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." Does the Grammy win give him a chance of beating "Let It Go" from "Frozen," the predicted winner among three fellow nominees: U2 with their song "Ordinary Love" (clip below) from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and "The Moon Song" from "Her"? If anyone has a shot it's him.
We eagerly await news that Idina Menzel, U2 and Karen O. will also sing their nominated songs on the Oscarcast.
Meanwhile Disney is pushing "Frozen" with Oscar voters via a special concert this Friday at a Los Angeles jazz grill featuring performances from Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Santano Fontana, Christophe Beck and Menzel.
There are only four nominees, because the fifth "Alone Yet Not Alone," the title track from the movie, was eliminated by a special vote from the Academy Governors last week because they deemed that former Academy music branch governor and executive committee member Bruce Broughton had broken Academy rules by promoting his song via email directly to his fellow executive committee members. Academy president Cheryl Boone-Isaacs, well aware that a Christian song in a Christian movie sung by a quadraplegic in a wheelchair (clip here) would inevitably bring viral naysayers, has been defending this rare and controversial move all week.
The Academy did the right thing. In no way are they eliminating a song because it is Christian. Nor should they have just rapped Broughton's knuckles and taken his Oscar voting privileges away, which would have brought less negative reaction. The nomination would have been unlikely had he not used his special access to his committee colleagues to heighten awareness of his song. If Broughton had wanted to promote the song he should have hired a publicist, like everyone else.