Plea to Oscars: Let ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ singer Joni Eareckson Tada intro ‘In Memoriam’

One month ago, quadriplegic singer Joni Eareckson Tada was on top of the world. Her rendition of the title tune “Alone Yet Not Alone” was nominated for Best Song and she was preparing to sing it at the Oscars. Then the song was disqualified after it was learned that composer Bruce Broughton, a former Oscar governor, had campaigned directly to academy voters during the nomination process.

All of a sudden, Tada really was alone.

Her Oscar dreams turned into a nightmare as the press began attacking Broughton for his dubious dealings and dismissing her film for its overtly Christian values.

Who’s the ultimate victim in all of this?

It’s not “Alone Yet Not Alone,” it’s not Broughton, it’s not even Tada. Those most affected by the song’s disqualification are the tens of millions of people worldwide who won’t get to hear the beauty of her voice during the Oscarcast.

That’s where my personal plea to producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron comes into play: Let Tada sing during the “In Memoriam” tribute on Oscar night!

Naysayers may cry foul because Tada isn’t a famous enough name to feature in this coveted spot and they may have a point. In recent years, that honor has gone to Barbra Streisand (2012), Esperanza Spalding (2011), Celine Dion (2010), James Taylor (2009) and Queen Latifah (2008).

But show me the academy rule that says the singer has to be famous. After all, the average Oscarologist probably can’t tell you who sang the tune in what year, while the everyday viewer likely can’t remember who sang the “In Memoriam” an hour after it airs.

In other words, Oscar night will be filled with famous faces from start to finish. Why not make one very important exception and welcome Tada back to their stage during the telecast? You just know she’d do justice to those we’ve lost throughout the year by giving them a fitting vocal tribute.

Below: Watch Tada sing the title track from “Alone Yet Not Alone” and then cast your ballot using our easy drag-and-drop menu as to which of the four remaining nominees —  “Let It Go” (“Frozen“), “Ordinary Love” (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom“), “The Moon Song” (“Her“) and “Happy” (“Despicable Me 2“) — will win Best Song. 

10 thoughts on “Plea to Oscars: Let ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ singer Joni Eareckson Tada intro ‘In Memoriam’

  1. I respectfully disagree. The segment should be about the artists who have passed. To have her perform the song during the “In Memoriam” section would be a distraction.

  2. I think it’s a great idea, in large part to make it clear to the Christian community that the problem with the nom was Broughton — *not* Tada *or* being a Christian song from a Christian film. As I’ve posted here before, she was big in Christian music back in the late ’70’s & early ’80’s, when Amy Grant & Sandi Patty were still newcomers even in that field. Tada may not be Idina, U2, Pharrell or Karen O, but leaving her out would send the WRONG signal to all sorts of Christian artists — not just Grant & Patty, but even well-known black gospel artists like CeCe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, etc.

  3. This song is in the Oscar conversation by virtue of it in the Best Original Song award written for the movie. The reward and the focus is to the songwriters, not the singers. In this case, the songwriter broke the rules and got disqualified. Why reward this song with publicity?

  4. Stop anti-Christian bigotry. “Alone Yet Not Alone” was removed from the Academy
    Awards for Best Original Song because it was a Christian Singer, doing a Christian
    song for a Christian movie. Here is the song done by Joni Eareckson Tada.
    Write the Oscars and demand that this song be honored at the Award’s
    show on March 4th even though the voting has already been done.

    Paul David Swinford

  5. I was a fan of her books and the movie about her life, but Tada had already stated there would be no way for her to sing live on the broadcast. In the studio, her husband had to push onto her diaphragm in order for her to sustain most of the notes.

  6. Joni Eareckson Tada IS quite famous, particularly in Christian circles. You’d have to live in a cave not to have heard of her if you grew up in the 70’s. So, she is quite well known. I think the honour should have gone to her.

  7. It was the high notes she couldn’t sing without her husband pushing on her diaphragm, not most of the notes. If you look closely in the video, you will see when he had to do this for her.

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