The former *N SYNC front-man scored his first Oscar nod this year for Best Original Song thanks to his offensively catchy disco song "Can't Stop the Feeling!" from the animated film Trolls. And before host Jimmy Kimmel even took the stage, Timberlake helped set the tone for the evening when he performed the Billboard hit live.
Timberlake started his performance outside the auditorium and worked his way down the aisles, dancing his way to the stage followed by a gaggle of well-dressed backup dancers. After delivering some of his signature style and dance moves, Timberlake once again returned to the crowd, briefly breaking into Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" before closing out the opening number by singing "Can't Stop the Feeling!" again — this time alongside his wife Jessica Biel and a bevy of Oscar nominees.
Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling!" has stiff competition in the category this year, having to go up against two songs from La La Land, "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" and "City of Stars," "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story and "How Far I'll Go" from Moana.
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" already lost the Golden Globe for original song, but it did score a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media.
The last time Timberlake attended the Oscars was in 2011 for his role in the Oscar-winning film The Social Network. He also acted in the Oscar-nominated film Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013, although he didn't attend the ceremony. He first performed at the Oscars in 2000 with*N SYNC and Gloria Estefan, when the title track from Music from the Heart was nominated.