Feb 24, 2009
The Soweto Gospel Choir became the first South African group to perform at the Academy Awards when they appeared with soul singer John Legend on Sunday night.
Nine of the 26-member group took to the stage at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles to perform the song Down to Earth, from the film Wall-E, which won the Oscar for best animated feature film.
The choir’s manager, Beverly Bryer, told The Times from Los Angeles that they did “phenomenally well” for first timers at the event. The group will return to South Africa today.
“Everyone was excited to walk the red carpet and we are all overjoyed with the performance,” she said.
Bollywood dominated Hollywood with Slumdog Millionaire scoring eight Oscars in the nine categories for which it was nominated.
Sean Penn won best actor playing a trailblazing gay politician in Milk, and Kate Winslet won an Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of a Nazi death camp guard in The Reader. Penn said: “Thank you, you commie, homo-loving sons of guns. I did not expect this.”
Clasping her statuette, Winslet said the award was the fulfilment of a childhood dream: “I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror and this would have been a shampoo bottle. It’s not a shampoo bottle now.”