Music

Jon Batiste Revisits Love Stories With His ‘It Never Went Away’ Performance at the 2024 Oscars

Jon Batiste added some romance to the 2024 Oscars on Sunday (March 10) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles when he took to the stage to perform “It Never Went Away” from American Symphony.

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Dressed in a stylishly cut white suit, the five-time Grammy winner sat at a grand piano and delivered the sweet lyrics. “Summertime adventure/ That’s what we were meant for/ I need you/ And that’s never goin’ to change,” he sang. “It never went away, oh, oh/ Every time I see your face, oh, oh/ The feeling’s just the same, oh, oh/ It’s never goin’ away.”

As he performed, scenes from love stories from films past and present played behind him, including Brokeback Mountain, Shakespeare in Love, and of course, American Symphony, a documentary about Batiste’s journey to writing a song for his wife Suleika Jaouad as she undergoes cancer treatments. “It Never Went Away” was nominated in the best original song category, alongside “I’m Just Ken” (performed by Ryan Gosling) and “What Was I Made For?” (Billie Eilish and Finneas) from Barbie, “The Fire Inside” (Becky G) from Flamin’ Hot and “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” (Scott George and The Osage Singers) from Killers of the Flower Moon.

Batiste — who used to be the band leader of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert — won his first Oscar in 2021 for best original score for Disney/Pixar’s Soul, which he scored alongside Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

The 96th annual Academy Awards were hosted for a fourth time by Jimmy Kimmel, and aired live on ABC.

Watch Jon Batiste’s moving performance of “It Never Went Away” below:

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