Eminem Explains Why It Took Him 17 Years To Perform Lose Yourself At The Oscars

by : Julia Banim on : 11 Feb 2020 08:47

Back in 2003 – now an unbelievable 17 years ago – Eminem earned a Best Original Song Oscar for Lose Yourself, becoming the very first hip hop artist in history to receive this prestigious accolade.


Although many musicians would have leapt at the chance to deliver a lengthy speech before the brightest lights in Hollywood, Em decided to swerve the glittering evening entirely, with his collaborator Luis Resto accepting the award in his place.

So it was somewhat unexpected when the 47-year-old rapper rocked up the 92nd annual Academy Awards to give an explosive performance of Lose Yourself, complete with footage from the semi-biographical 8 Mile.


Eminem’s belated arrival earned him a standing ovation, with the excitement palpable among those in attendance.


Speaking about his surprise performance with Variety, Eminem opened up about why it had taken him so long to get up on the Dolby Theatre stage:

I kinda figured maybe since I didn’t get a chance to do it at the time, maybe it would be cool.

Back then, I never even thought that I had a chance to win, and we had just performed Lose Yourself on the Grammys with the Roots a couple of weeks before the Oscars, so we didn’t think it was a good idea.

And also, back at that time, the younger me didn’t really feel like a show like that would understand me. But then when I found out I won, ‘That’s crazy!’ That to me shows how authentic and real that award is — when you don’t show up and you still win. That makes it very real to me.

He added:

I don’t know that I was disappointed [to have missed it], I was blown back by the fact that I won.

I don’t even think I understood back then that you could get an Oscar for a song, and I remember being kinda confused about why I was even up for one, because as a kid with the Oscars, it was like a vacuum.

Eminem went on to explain what he had been doing that night instead, and his answer was actually very sweet:

I think I was just at home with my daughter — and I didn’t watch it, either. At that point in time Hailie had to be at school early in the morning, so [I was sleeping].

Luis Resto, my keyboard player who produces records with me, went up and accepted it — and I know people were probably like, ‘Who the f— is this guy?’

So he called me, and I remember the phone kept ringing, and I’m like ‘Motherf—, I’m tryin’ to sleep!’ But [I answered] and he’s like ‘Hey man, you won!’ ‘I did? Sh–! Cool!’ But that was a different time and I was in a different place in my life.

Eminem’s Oscars performance followed a montage celebrating the Academy Award for sound editing/mixing, and had been kept tightly under wraps during rehearsals.


Even though he may have appeared to have let his one shot slip, an Oscars invite has since turned out not to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Em reportedly greatly enjoyed his time at the ceremony, and apparently even got the opportunity to hug multi-award-winning actor Salma Hayek.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Celebrity, 8 Mile, Academy Awards, Eminem, Lose Yourself, Oscars


  1. Variety

    minem Reveals Why He Finally Performed at the Oscars, 17 Years Later (EXCLUSIVE)