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Oscars 2017: Everything you need to know ahead of tonight’s big show

Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monee, Octavia Spencer star in "Hidden Figures" ((Photo Source: 20th Century Fox official poster for movie "Hidden Figures" to be released in January 2017)

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

The Oscars 2017 are here and it all goes down at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles tonight. In anticipation of the night celebrating the highest honors in filmmaking, we’ve broken down everything you need to know ahead of the big show. You’re welcome!

A new host
Jimmy Kimmel will be taking on host duties for the first time; so get ready for a little “revenge on the Academy.” Kimmel’s new role as master of ceremonies marks the show’s first new emcee since Neil Patrick Harris hosted in 2015. “I’ve come to terms with the fact that someone is going to be disappointed in me at the end,” he joked to The New York Times. “I just don’t know who it will be yet.”

Diverse nominees
After two years where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences came under fire for snubbing Black actors and films, the current nominee list is far more diverse. The list of acting nominees includes Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Dev Patel (Lion), who are nominated in the best supporting actor category. Three of the Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominees are Black: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures).

Meanwhile, the lead categories aren’t as colorful — Denzel Washington is vying for Best Actor for his role in Fences and Ruth Negga has been nominated for Best Actress for her role in Loving. Still, if films with Black leads like Hidden Figures is snubbed in favor of flicks with White stars, such as Manchester by the Sea, a new #OscarsSoWhite fire may very well ensue.

Oscar-winning presenters
Along with former Oscar winners Halle Berry, Octavia Spencer, Warren Beatty, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, and Faye Dunaway, Hollywood heavy hitters Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Sofia Boutella, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Taraji P. Henson, Dev Patel, Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn, Alicia Vikander, Amy Adams, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Chris Evans, Dakota Johnson, David Oyelowo, Dwayne Johnson, Emma Stone, Felicity Jones, Gael Garcia Bernal, Hailee Steinfeld, Jamie Dornan, Janelle Monáe, Javier Bardem, John Cho, Kate McKinnon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Leslie Mann, Mark Rylance, Riz Ahmed, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Shirley MacLaine are slated to hit the main stage as presenters.

Memorable performances
On Friday, Feb. 24, show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sting, Justin Timberlake and John Legend will be performing at this year’s Oscars. “We’re thrilled to welcome these world-class artists to the Oscars. These performances will not only celebrate the five extraordinary nominated original songs, but also the integral part music plays in movies.” they said in a statement.

The ceremony will air live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST. Will you be watching? Tell us your predictions in the comment section below.