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Posted at 08:38 AM ET, 02/27/2012

Esperanza Spalding’s moving Oscar performance of ‘What a Wonderful World’

This year’s Oscar “In Memoriam” tribute to stars who had died — including Whitney Houston, Sidney Lumet and Elizabeth Taylor — was presented to the sound of a Grammy-winning yet still under the radar star: Esperanza Spalding.


Esperanza Spalding sings a song for the memorial segment at the 84th Academy Awards. (Gary Hershorn - Reuters)

Spalding, to fans of Justin Bieber, will always be remembered as the person who beat the tween heartthrob for the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011. After she won, her Wikipedia page was attacked by angry Bieber fans.

Spalding sang the classic Louis Armstrong song “What a Wonderful World” at an Oscar ceremony with few live performances, other than a Billy Crystal song and a presentation from Cirque du Soleil. None of the nominations for best song were performed, and many of the sketches from host Billy Crystal and others were pre-taped.

Spalding’s performance was praised by critics. “It was a performance that allowed millions to see what Grammy voters had already seen in her last year,” wrote MTV News. See it here.

More on the Academy Awards:

‘The Artist’ wins best picture; Streep takes home third career Oscar

TV review: Oscar’s wishful thinking

Academy Award winners 2012: Full list led by “The Artist.”

At the Governors Ball, Meryl Streep, Billy Crystal, Melissa McCarthy and more

Oscars 2012: The comprehensive Academy Awards recap

Oscars red carpet Q&A

Jean Dujardin wins Oscar

By  |  08:38 AM ET, 02/27/2012

Tags:  Oscars, Awards season

 
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