Dave Grohl paid tribute to those in the film industry who have passed away in the last year, playing the Beatles’ “Blackbird” over the “In Memoriam” segment.
The Foo Fighter gave a spare, acoustic performance of the song, paying tribute to the likes of Wes Craven, Alan Rickman, Leonard Nimoy, Holly Woodlawn, Omar Sharif, David Bowie and various other members of the industry who’d died over the last year.
Little was known about Grohl’s performance prior to his appearance at the ceremony, but the list of performers did stir up controversy given the notable absences of two Best Original Song nominees, including the Academy Awards’ first trans nominee Anohni who wrote an open letter critiquing her exclusion from the ceremony in favor of more “commercially viable” acts. Anohni and composer J. Ralph were nominated for “Manta Ray” from the documentary Racing Extinction.
Earlier this month, Foo Fighters were up for two Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Performance for track “Something From Nothing” and Best Music Film for Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, a documentary miniseries that brought the band to eight different cities and explored the history of American music.