Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five nominees for best original song.
The Academy teased this on Jan. 31 by tweeting, “Spoiler Alert: It will be performed by a surprise special guest.”
This was in the aftermath of a Variety report about the original plan, which was to perform only two of the five nominated songs (“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” and “All the Stars” from “Black Panther”). The backlash resulted in the Academy’s decision to perform all five nominated songs, including the one from “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Shaiman is expected to accompany Midler on piano.
“As a child of the ’60s,