Credit: Eric Ryan AndersonSting received his fourth Oscar nomination on Tuesday for “The Empty Chair,” a song from the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story. And while most artists might be intimidated by the idea of performing their nominated song on the Oscars telecast for an audience of hundreds of millions, Sting says he’s totally chill about it.
“It’s pretty easy,” he tells Billboard about the prospect of performing “The Empty Chair” at the Academy Awards on February 26. “I just stand there and open my mouth and out it comes.”
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, it was much harder singing the song in front of James Foley‘s family at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Foley was a journalist who was captured and subsequently beheaded by ISIS.
“The stakes are higher when you’re writing about a person who really existed, a person with family and friends you want to honor,” Sting tells Billboard. “I’m glad I found the metaphor of the empty chair. I said no at first…I said ‘This is beyond my powers.’ I curated the song from what [Jim’s] family and friends said about him. It’s their song.”
Sting will kick off a tour in support in his latest album, 57th and 9th, on February 1 in Vancouver, Canada. He’s got shows on the 25th and 27th, so we assume he’ll be showing up for the Oscars on the 26th. That night, tune into the 89th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, live on ABC.
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