Jon Batiste Leaves Oscars Fans Emotional With Stunning “It Never Went Away” Performance

While the 96th Academy Awards featured categories like Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Director, all eyes were on Best Original Song. Thanks to the hit film Barbie, the category featured two songs up for an Oscar. One for “I’m Just Ken” and the other for Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?”. Although both are popular songs, Jon Batiste also found himself in the category for his song “It Never Went Away”, featured in his documentary American Symphony. And showing his mastery of music, his performance alone was enough to bring home an award. 

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Having performed alongside icons like Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, and Stevie Wonder, Batiste’s appearance at the Oscars held a special place in his heart. Besides gaining a nomination for American Symphony, the documentary featured sensitive subjects close to his life and love with Suleika Jaouad. Throughout the film, the singer worked to compose a symphony while Jaouad struggled with her cancer returning. Featuring profound music and the unbreakable bond between two lovers, Batiste shared that love during his performance of “It Never Went Away.”

Looking at what fans had to say about his performance, comments included, “Nicely done Jon Batiste! (See him in AMERICAN SYMPHONY.)” One person admitted, “Jon Batiste is amazing!! And one fan wrote, “John Batiste is just super talented. And it seems like he is a beautiful person. Prayers up for all he and his love are going through.”

Jon Batiste Explains He Didn’t Know If His Wife Would Live To See The Film

Discussing American Symphony with Variety, Batiste admitted that his main drive was to stay focused on his original idea. “It’s a matter of staying focused and disciplined while following the ideas you had in the first place, because you never know where something’s going to end up.”

[RELATED: Jon Batiste Opens Up About Getting Vulnerable for New Documentary ‘American Symphony’]

Although capturing his journey to create a symphony, he added that his wife’s cancer left him wondering if she would live to see it. “We didn’t know that my wife would make it to the end of the film or what its end would be, or if there even would be a film given that we didn’t have funding to start it or finish it.” 

While still uncertain about the future, Batiste is proud of what they accomplished, insisting, “The position we’re in now is again a testament to that divine spark of inspiration really having a meaning. That’s something you have to trust, even when it doesn’t make sense.”

(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Net-A-Porter)

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