The star swiftly buttoned her shirt back up without missing a beat

By Aurelie Corinthios
February 09, 2020 08:45 PM
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Leave it to Janelle Monáe to shake off a wardrobe malfunction like a champ.

The Harriet actress kicked off the host-less 2020 Oscars on Sunday night, taking the stage at the Dolby Theatre to perform the song a “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” from the movie of the same name starring nominee Tom Hanks.

She emerged on stage wearing a black jacket but struggled to wriggle out of it — which unfortunately resulted in one of the buttons on her white shirt popping open. Once she got the jacket off, she had some trouble hanging it on a coat rack as she slipped into the classic red cardigan worn by beloved television icon Fred Rogers (Hanks).

Without missing a beat, Monáe swiftly buttoned her shirt back up, belted out the song — “Let’s make the most of this beautiful day, we’re here at the Oscars, so might as well stay!” — and made her way into the audience to deliver her top hat to Hanks himself, who was sitting in the first row.

Kevin Winter/Getty

She was joined by Billy Porter as she transitioned into an Oscar-ified version of her hit “Come Alive (The War Of The Roses),” where she called out the lack of female nominees in the Best Director category. The dancers on stage were also in costumes that represented snubbed films, and Monáe herself transformed into Midsommar‘s May Queen.

“I’m so proud to stand here as a black, queer artist telling stories,” said the singer, 34. “Happy Black History Month!”

Earlier in the night, Monáe stunned on the red carpet in a custom metallic tulle mesh A-line gown from Ralph Lauren Collection with a draped hood and open back. The dress boasts over 168,000 hand-embroidered Swarovski crystals — and took 600 hours to make.

She needed a team of four people to deliver the gown to her dressing room, proving that a major fashion moment doesn’t come without a little sweat.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.