Eminem shocks Academy Awards with 'Lose Yourself' performance

Rapper received a standing ovation for surprise performance of Oscar-winning hit

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Eminem was at home sleeping when his "8 Mile" anthem "Lose Yourself" won an Academy Award in 2003. 

He made up for it, sort of, during Sunday's Academy Awards. 

Eminem performs "Lose Yourself" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Detroit rapper received a standing ovation at the Sunday's Oscars ceremony after delivering a surprise performance of "Lose Yourself."  

The performance came after a montage celebrating popular songs in movies through the years, including "Eye of the Tiger" from "Rocky," "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic" and "I Will Always Love You" from "The Bodyguard." The snippets were set to clips from their respective movies. 

Worked into the package were scenes from "8 Mile" showing Eminem, as his character Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr., warming up for a performance. 

Those scenes segued into a live shot of the Dolby Theater as Em, a band and a string section arose from beneath the stage.

Dressed in all black and a sporting a gold chain around his neck, Em performed the song as cameras cut to reaction shots in the audience. "Captain Marvel" star Brie Larson looked like she couldn't believe what she was seeing; Grammy winner Billie Eilish gave her approval; "Frozen" singer Idina Menzel looked confused; "Star Wars'" Kelly Marie Tran rapped along from her seat; Martin Scorsese was caught looking slightly sleepy. 

The performance, which was heavily censored by ABC, ended with a shot of Detroit on the stage's video screens that included the Detroit Tigers' Olde English D and the Saint Andrews Hall marquee. 

As the audience awarded Eminem with a standing ovation, Em saluted the audience as the telecast went to a commercial.  

It was Eminem's Oscar debut. When "Lose Yourself" won the Best Original Song trophy at the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony, Eminem was not in attendance, and producer Luis Resto — memorably wearing a Detroit Pistons jersey underneath a sport coat — accepted the award on his behalf. 

Following the performance, Eminem tweeted his gratitude for the opportunity to perform on the show. 

"Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @TheAcademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here," he said in a tweet. 

Several years ago, Eminem explained why he didn't attend the 2003 ceremony. 

"I just felt like I had no chance of winning," he said in a 2015 interview, explaining he was sleeping at the time of the show. "At that point in my life I always thought like rap never gets as fair shake on anything. That was (also) one of the reasons I didn’t go for the first Grammys I was invited to, because I pretty much protested it."