The 85th Oscars focused on the role of music in film as one of the biggest themes of the night. Host Seth MacFarlane performed in several musical numbers, but Sunday night highlights included performances by Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Hudson and Adele's first live performance of the James Bond-theme song "Skyfall."
It was a very musical Oscars, and MacFarlane started off the awards show with several segments, including surprise dance numbers by Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe.
There was also a controversial musical segment, where MacFarlane sang about all the actresses who have “bared their chest” onscreen.
Following a video tribute to the James Bond franchise, Dame Shirley Bassey appeared for the first time at the Oscars, and gave a thrilling performance of the theme song from “Goldfinger.” Britain's 007 would have a big night, as later in the telecast, “Skyfall” won the Academy Award for best original song, a first for a Bond film -- though three previous Bond-themes have received nominations ("For Your Eyes Only," "Nobody Does It Better," and "Live and Let Die.").
The Oscars also included a tribute to the musical feature, an integral part of Hollywood history. Catherine Zeta-Jones reprised her role as Velma Kelly from “Chicago” and sang “All That Jazz.”
Jennifer Hudson followed that up with a stirring rendition of “You're Gonna Love Me” from “Dreamgirls.”
And certainly not least was the live medley of songs performed by the cast of “Les Miserables,” including Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit and Samantha Barks.
Several of the Oscar nominees for Best Original Song also performed. Norah Jones sang “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,” and “Suddenly” from “Les Misrables” was performed during the musical tribute segment.
In perhaps the most-anticipated musical moment of the night, Adele gave an exclusive, live performance of “Skyfall.”
During the "In Memoriam" segment, Barbara Streisand sang “The Way We Were,” in tribute to her best friend, composer and conductor, Marvin Hamlisch.
Another interesting musical moment from the Oscars involved the “wrap up” music that indicated a winner needed to finish their speech. In a change of pace, the orchestra would play the “Jaws” theme, adding a fun element to an otherwise awkward moment, where the winner is trying to speed up and finish their acceptance speech. The visual effects artists who won for their work on “Life of Pi” had the dubious honor of having the “Jaws” theme played and had their mic turned off.
For the closing segment, Kristin Chenoweth joined MacFarlane to sing a musical number celebrating the losers of the night.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.