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Watch John Legend and Common’s heartbreaking Oscar performance of Selma’s “Glory"

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

It wasn't easy to stand out on Oscar night — a night that featured technicolor cowboys, storm troopers, and Neil Patrick Harris singing and dancing. But Common and John Legend's soaring and ultimately heartbreaking performance of "Glory" from the movie Selma did it.

The song itself is a soaring marvel, flying on the wings of John Legends's vocals. But there's also a brutal, brilliant strength to it with Common's rapping.

There's an added level of emotion to this performance. Selma, the movie in which "Glory" appears, was left out of the Best Director and Best Actor categories — a reminder that the Oscars still perpetually struggle with diversity.

"Glory" ended up winning the Oscar for best original song on Sunday night.

Selma's David Oyelowo after the performance (ABC)

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