Academy Awards 2016: Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Lady GaGa Perform Nominated Songs
Music

While Smith kept his set simple, The Weeknd brought out some violinists and dancers for 'Earned It' and GaGa was joined by survivors of sexual assault during 'Til It Happens to You'.

AceShowbiz - Some musicians nominated at the 2016 Academy Awards took the stage during the ceremony on Sunday night, February 28. Sam Smith and The Weeknd were among the singers performing songs that were pitted against each other in the Best Original Song category.

Smith was the first act to deliver his song for the crowd packing the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as well as millions of viewers at home. Following an introduction from Sarah Silverman, he tackled "Writing's on the Wall" that he co-wrote with Jimmy Napes for the soundtrack of the latest James Bond movie, "Spectre".

The Brit's singing voice was clearly the highlight of his relatively simple performance. Clad in a dapper suit, he stood on the minimally-lit stage and dramatically crooned the ballad, which later won the Best Original Song title.

The Weeknd, meanwhile, brought along some violinists and a number of female dancers in all-black outfits to the stage decorated with candles and chandeliers as he sang the sultry "Earned It" from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" soundtrack. The song also made the cut to his own album, last year's "Beauty Behind the Madness".

The 2016 Academy Awards also saw performances from Lady GaGa and Dave Grohl. The former played "Til It Happens to You", a Diane Warren-penned song GaGa recorded for the documentary about rape on college campuses,"The Hunting Ground".

Vice President Joe Biden introduced GaGa's performance with a speech about ending sexual violence. "Despite significant progress over the last few years, too many woman and men on and off college campuses are still victims of sexual abuse," he said.

"Tonight, I'm asking you to join millions of Americans including me, President Obama, the thousands of students I've met on college campuses and the artists here tonight to take the pledge. The pledge says I will intervene in situations where consent has not or can not be given," Biden continued. "Let's change the culture, we must and we can change the culture."

Later, GaGa appeared on the stage sitting at a white grand piano and emotionally belting out the song before numerous survivors of sexual assault joined her, showing off various messages like "Not Your Fault", "Not Alone" and "Survivors" written on their right arms.

As for Grohl, the Foo Fighters frontman covered The Beatles' "Blackbird" during the "In Memoriam" segment. He sat in the middle of the stage and played his guitar while the huge screen behind him displayed photos and videos of the Hollywood figures we lost in the past one year like Alan Rickman, Leonard Nimoy, Anne Meara, Omar Sharif, Robert Loggia, Christopher Lee, Wes Craven and David Bowie.

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