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Here's Why Eminem Performed at the Oscars

'Lose Yourself' won in 2003, but he didn't even attend the ceremony
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2020 9:13 PM CST
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Eminem performs "Lose Yourself" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

(Newser) – If you were wondering what in the world Eminem was doing on stage at the 2020 Academy Awards, performing a song that won an Oscar back in 2003, you weren't alone. But as Variety explains, when "Lose Yourself" from 2002's 8 Mile was nominated, he reportedly refused to perform a censored version of the song at the ceremony, and ended up not even attending. (The Hollywood Reporter notes he also said in interviews at the time he didn't believe he'd win.) "Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @TheAcademy," the rapper tweeted after his performance. "Sorry it took me 18 years to get here."

His appearance at Sunday night's show was a huge secret, with the Dolby Theater on lockdown whenever he rehearsed; if news had leaked to the media in advance, the rapper had the option to cancel. As for the censoring issue, he sang the song the way he wanted to and was bleeped three times for the television viewing audience. Many in the audience sang along, though some looked confused as to what he was doing there, and he got a standing ovation at the end. (See all the Oscar winners and more from the show here.)

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