The In Memoriam Song At The 2018 Oscars By Eddie Vedder Was A Tribute To Tom Petty Too
Each year during the award show, those who were lost in the world of film production and acting are honoring during the 2018 Oscars In Memoriam segment. This year, Eddie Vedder took to the stage to sing a cover of Tom Petty's "Room At The Top" while photos and clips of actors, producers, designers, and more who have passed over the past year were shown behind them. It was a choice that also immortalized someone lost from the music world, whose work has been heard in many films.
In 2017, the In Memoriam performer was Sara Bareilles, who sang a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now". In 2016, Dave Grohl sang The Beatles' "Blackbird." And in 2015, Jennifer Hudson performed "I Can't Let Go," a song from the Series Smash. While this Tom Petty track might not be as instantly recognizable as "Both Sides Now" or "Blackbird," but its gentle and melancholy tone struck the appropriate note.
Before appearing on the stage, Vedder was introduced by Jennifer Garner, who used a quote from a classic movie star to explain why the Academy Awards take a moment to remember the artists and technicians who passed over the past year. "The work they left us as Academy Award Winner Audrey Hepburn said so beautifully, 'gives pleasure, creates beauty, awakens our conscience, arouses our compassion, and perhaps most importantly, gives millions a moment of respite in our violent world,'" Garner said. She previewed the song by saying that Vedder would be paying tribute to "an inspirational artist we lost this past year."
Watch the full in memoriam tribute and watch the performance below:
The segment honored such deceased luminaries as George A. Romero, Jerry Lewis, Sam Shepard, Glenne Headly, Roger Moore and Jonathan Demme, plus editors, costume designers producers, and other behind-the-scenes artists whose names and faces you may not have recognized but whose work you've probably seen.
Petty passed away in October 2017, leaving behind a musical legacy. The In Memoriam segment is not always scored by a song by an artist who was also lost in the past year, but this choice was fitting and served the purpose of also recognizing Petty's work. The singer-songwriters music has appeared memorably in several films. "American Girl" welcomed you to high school in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Jerry Maguire sang along to "Free Fallin'" after closing a promising deal in Cameron Crowe's romantic comedy by the same name. And along with his band the Heartbreakers, Petty composed the full soundtrack for She's The One from 1996.
Vedder has done his fair share of work in film as well. The Pearl Jam frontman has contributed original songs and covers to movies such as I Am Sam, Dead Man Walking, and Eat Pray Love. And this cover had fans all over Twitter weeping.
And why shouldn't they be? The song, by a beloved artist who's no longer with us, is the perfect abstract way to honor the Academy's list of lost friends. Here are the full lyrics:
The combination of Vedder's performance, Petty's songwriting, and the somber occasion made for the most emotional segment in this year's Oscars ceremony.