Oscars Add Color: African-Americans Among New Presenters & Performers

As the 85th Annual Academy Awards ceremony closes in, new presenters and performers have been added to Hollywood’s biggest night in film.

Oscar winners Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry and Octavia Spencer have been named as presenters, as have Oscar nominee Queen Latifah, who will present along with “Chicago” cast members Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones; and Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, who will present along with his “Marvel’s The Avengers” cast mates Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.

Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will perform in celebration honoring movie musicals of the last decade. Performing alongside Hudson will be fellow Oscar winners Zeta-Jones and Russell Crowe, as well as Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barksand, and Helena Bonham Carter. The tribute will recognize the resurgence of musicals over the past decade with performances highlighting “Chicago,” “Dreamgirls” and “Les Misérables.”

Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson & Shirley Bassey

The show will also include performances by Norah Jones, Barbra Streisand and Adele, in addition to first the appearance by legendary Dame Shirley Bassey.

“We are thrilled to welcome the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey to our Oscar show. Her association with film music is world renowned and we are proud that she will be making her first Oscar appearance on our telecast,” said show producer, Craig Zadan.

Best Actor winner Denzel Washington is nominated for Best Actor again for his role in “Flight.” He will go against Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) in that category.

The 9-year-old actress Quvenzhané Wallis becomes the youngest nominee ever in the Best Actress category for her starring role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” She faces off against Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) in her category.

Quvenzhané Wallis, Reginald Hudlin, Kelly Rowland & Adele

Reginald Hudlin is also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture along with fellow producers of “Django Unchained,” Pilar Savone and Stacey Sher.

Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland will make her Academy Awards debut on Sunday. The singer/actress will be hosting the Oscars pre-show for ABC alongside actress Kristin Chenoweth, “Good Morning America” correspondent Lara Spencer and Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle.

The 2013 Acadamy Awards will take play at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 24 and air live on ABC. The pre-show begins 7pm EST.

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