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April 26, 2021

Questlove quizzes Academy Award nominees on Oscars music knowledge

'The Roots' drummer was responsible for handling all musical elements at Sunday night's ceremony in Los Angeles

TV Oscars
Questlove Oscars Academy Awards ABC/YouTube

Questlove put Andra Day, Daniel Kaluuya and Glenn Close on the spot with his Oscars music trivia game during the 93rd Academy Awards Sunday night.

Questlove served as the musical director at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night, and among his duties included hosting an Oscars music trivia game with some of this year's nominees.

"The Roots" drummer was joined by actor Lil Rel Howery in asking some of the biggest Hollywood stars if they knew whether a song had won an Oscar, been nominated for an Academy Award or received no recognition at all.

The first song played by Questlove was "Purple Rain" by Prince, and Andra Day was tasked with guessing whether the hit had received any love from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Day was nominated for best actress for her portrayal of singer Billie Holiday in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday."

Day guessed that "Purple Rain" wasn't nominated, and she was half right. The entire "Purple Rain" soundtrack was nominated and won for the now-defunct best original song score category at the 57th Academy Awards in 1985. However, the actual song "Purple Rain" was not nominated for an Oscar.

Daniel Kaluuya was up next in the trivia game, and Questlove played "Last Dance" by Donna Summer for the actor to ponder.

Kaluuya guessed the song had been nominated, but did not win. However, Kaluuya was wrong. Summer's hit, which appeared in "Thank God It's Friday," won best original song at the 51st Academy Awards in 1979.

But the real winner of the trivia game was Glenn Close, who was given "Da Butt" by E.U. Close was nominated for best supporting actress for her role as Bonnie Vance in "Hillbilly Elegy."

Close guessed the song had not been nominated for an Oscar, and she was right. The hit song appeared in Spike Lee's 1988 film "School Daze," but received no recognition from the Academy.

In fact, the actress knew everything about the song's history and dance, which she broke into at the end of the game. 

"Nomadland" led the way Sunday night with three Oscar wins, including best picture. Frances McDormand won best actress for her role in the film. Chloé Zhao, the film's director, became the first woman of color and second woman to win best director.

Anthony Hopkins won best actor for his performance in "The Father." Kaluuya won best supporting actor for his role as Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah." Youn Yuh-jung won best supporting actress for her performance in "Minari."

The full list of this year's Oscar winners can be found on the Academy's website.

The 2021 Oscars ceremony was held both in-person in Los Angeles and virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis forced the ceremony to be pushed back by two months.

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