The Academy Awards have long carried a reputation as a stuffy, conservative award show. However, Sunday night at the 84th annual Academy Awards, some updates were made.
The Oscars used famed drummer Sheila E., best known for her tenure with Prince, and singer/producer Pharrell Williams to play the award show into and out of commercials. In past years, the Oscars always used the house orchestra. The ceremony had the same regal, cinematic sound it always has, but with a little spice thrown in.
Williams also collaborated with famed composer Hans Zimmer on a number of pieces for the award show. He told MTV News that he was excited about the prospect and playing for a different audience, “It’s like some of us love music and art that blindsides, comes out of nowhere with a crazy impact.”
Sunday night, Twitter was buzzing about the attractive violinist in the balcony neighboring Sheila and Pharrell’s setup. Her name is Ann Marie Calhoun, a half-Chinese, half-“hillbilly” native of Virginia. She’s also an Oscar alum: Her work with Hans Zimmer for the “Sherlock Holmes” score received an Oscar nod in 2009.