Janelle Monae kicks off the Academy Awards with Billy Porter

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Janelle Monae kicks off the Academy Awards with Billy Porter

Janelle Monae kicked off the Oscars with a bang on Sunday, starting off the show with some song and dance, while also sending a strong message to the Academy.

The singer/actress joined forces with the one and only Billy Porter while offering the audience a musical homage to the year’s best films.

During her performance Monae, 34, boldly called out Oscar voters for snubbing female directors during this year’s awards.

But things started on a rocky note, with the singer suffering a minor wardrobe mishap during a quick costume change.

Stage presence: Janelle Monae and Billy Porter opened the Academy Awards with some song and dance on Sunday

Whoops! Things started on a rocky note, with the singer suffering a minor wardrobe mishap during a quick costume change

Janelle started the awards show while walking into a homey set, then swapping her jacket for a red cardigan before going into her own version of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. 

Though she struggled a bit during her outfit swap, first getting stuck in her jacket before her blouse popped a button, things seemed to smooth out as the song went on.

She walked into the crowd to serenade Tom Hanks himself, handing the actor her hat, as she wrapped up the theme to Mr. Rogers.

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Then Janelle sailed into her own original tune, an Oscar-inspired version of her track Come Alive (The War Of The Roses) where she was joined by Billy Porter.

Onstage, the actress was joined by costumed dancers representing some of the year’s favorite films. There were outfits evoking Hustlers, Midsommar, Us, Joker, JoJo Rabbit, My Name Is Dolemite and more. 

Fix it: Though she struggled a bit during her outfit swap, first getting stuck in her jacket before her blouse popped a button, things seemed to smooth out as the song went on

Mr. Rogers ode: The singer/actress, 34, started the awards show while walking into a homey set, then swapping her jacket for a red cardigan before going into her own version of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Crowdpleaser: Janelle proved she was a powerhouse as she serenaded the crowd while clad in her a Ralph Lauren Collection  tuxedo pant; silk satin cummerbund and shirt

Double trouble: Janelle sailed into her own original tune, ขายยาสอด an Oscar-inspired version of her track Come Alive (The War Of The Roses) where she was joined by Billy Porter

All smiles: The star smiled as she got behind a breathtaking piano

All that jazz: The actress was joined by costumed dancers representing some of the year’s favorite films. There were outfits evoking Hustlers, Midsommar, Us, Joker, JoJo Rabbit, and more

Janelle even topped off her own look with a May Queen crown à la Midsommer, before going all in with a wild garden of a top.

The Harriet actress wasn’t afraid to get critical in her song, calling out the absence of female nominees in the Best Director category. 

‘We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films,’ Janelle said. 

She also wished the audience a happy Black History Month, saying ‘I’m so proud to stand here as a black, queen, artist telling stories.’

Flower power: Janelle even topped off her own look with a May Queen crown à la Midsommer, before going all in with a wild garden of a top

Speaking out: The Harriet actress wasn’t afraid to get critical in her song, calling out the absence of female nominees in the Best Director category

Glittering: Before taking the stage, Janelle graced the red carpet in a dazzling hooded Ralph Lauren dress scattered with over 168k Swarovski crystals

Before taking the stage, Janelle graced the red carpet in a dazzling hooded Ralph Lauren dress scattered with over 168k Swarovski crystals.

Hollywood’s awards season reaches its climax tonight, with a cliffhanger over the top prize after a season marked by dark horses, renewed anguish over diversity, and a South Korean underdog that could snatch victory from the biggest names in show business.

While dark comic book movie Joker goes into the ceremony with a leading 11 nominations, it’s the immersive World War One movie 1917 that has emerged as the film to beat in the best picture race after winning a slew of accolades in the last five weeks.

Front runner: dark comic book movie Joker goes into the ceremony with a leading 11 nominations

In the running: Sentimental favorite Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is also jostling for attention from the 8,000 voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Yet a win for 1917 is far from a foregone conclusion, with South Korean social satire Parasite and sentimental favorite Once Upon a Time in Hollywood from Quentin Tarantino also jostling for attention from the 8,000 voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Korean-language film Parasite seems certain to take the renamed best international feature Oscar and would make history if the black comedy about haves and have-nots in modern Seoul also takes home the best picture statuette.

Martin Scorsese’s mob saga The Irishman seems to have lost momentum despite lavish early praise and a cast that includes Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. But it has failed to take home major acting or directing awards this season, likely dashing Netflix’s best hope so far of picking up its first best picture Oscar. 

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