The artist is nominated for Best Original Song for the song from American Symphony

Jon Batiste took to the Oscars stage on Sunday to perform “It Never Went Away” from his nominated documentary American Symphony. Batiste showcased the intimate, emotional song at a grand piano alongside the accompanying Oscar orchestra, earning passionate applause from the crowd.

The artist is up for this year’s Best Original Song award for “It Never Went Away” from his documentary American Symphony, which Rolling Stone called one of the best music documentaries of 2023. The film, directed by Matthew Heineman, follows Batiste and his partner, author-artist Suleika Jaouad, over a tumultuous year in their life as Batiste composes his first symphony and Jaouad undergoes treatment for lung cancer. “It Never Went Away,” which Batiste co-wrote with Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson, is a ballad of enduring love in the face of turmoil.


In a statement, Batiste said, “‘It Never Went Away’ details a love that outlasts any condition of the physical world. It probes the question of our mortality while at the same time speaking to the enduring quality of our deepest callings and desires. That part of us that stands in protest to the ills of the physical world is, in fact, evidence of our perpetual nature.”

Batiste performed at this year’s Grammys to honor veteran music and entertainment executive Clarence Avant. He performed Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and was joined by Ann Nesby for a celebratory performance of “Lean on Me” by Withers — whom Avant managed, and Sounds of Blackness’ “Optimistic.” The artist has won several Grammys from 20 nominations over the course of his career — in 2022, he took home five trophies, including Album of the Year for his LP, We Are, and Best Music Video for “Freedom.”

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