John Travolta choked when he hosted the In Memoriam segment at the 2023 Oscars, which featured a performance by Lenny Kravitz.
Travolta was teary-eyed as he spoke onstage at the Dolby Theater on Sunday before Kravitz’s performance of “Calling All Angels.” Before Kravitz could act, Travolta choked as she paid a subtle tribute to Fat Co-star Olivia Newton John: “Our hearts have been touched. They made us smile and became dear friends to whom we will always remain hopelessly devoted.”
Kravitz sang and played the piano as photos of famous faces who recently passed away, including Newton-John, Burt Bacharach, Ray Liotta, Kirstie Alley, Irene Cara, Mary Alice, Raquel Welch, Nichelle Nichols and many others, appeared on the big screen.
It was one of several performances on Sunday night.
Rihanna sang “Lift Me Up” by Black Panther: Wakanda Forever while Lady Gaga performed “Hold My Hand” by Top Gun: Maverick. Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava sang the Indian Telugu language “Naatu Naatu” from RRRwhich won for best original song.
Diane Warren was at the piano for the first performance of the night as Sofia Carson sang the ballad “Applause” by say it like a woman, an anthology of seven short stories directed by women. Warren wrote the song and it marked her fourteenth Oscar nomination.
“To each and every woman in this room, and to all the women in the world, give yourselves a round of applause,” Carson said during the performance. The actress and singer shone vocally accompanied by 16 violinists.
David Byrne, Best Supporting Actress nominee Stephanie Hsu and Best Original Score nominees Son Lux joined forces to perform “This Is a Life” from Everything everywhere at once. They were backed by white-clad dancers performing wild choreography and wrestling moves on stage. The acting was bizarre, just like the movie, and in honor of it, Byrne wore hot dog fingers.