Common and John Legend gave a rousing performance of their song Glory - bringing some in the audience to tears - moments before the pair won an Oscar for the song written for the movie Selma.
Actor Chris Pine was among those brought to tears by the Oscar-winning song.
Chris Pine is in tears. The audience is in tears. Everyone is in tears. Glory. pic.twitter.com/sB3oZKT1AHhyphen; Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) February 23, 2015
Selma chronicles Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights through a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.
Oscars 2015 winners
Oscars 2015 winners
1/15 Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne picks up his award for Best Actor (Robyn Beck AFP)
2/15 Best Actress
Julianne Moore picks up her award for Best Actress for her role in Still Alice (Robyn Beck AFP)
3/15 Best Picture
The cast and crew of Birdman accept their Best Picture Oscar on stage
4/15 Best Supporting Actress
5/15 Best Supporting Actress
6/15 Best Director
'Birdman': Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu accepts the Best Director Award for Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
7/15 Best Screenplay
Birdman: Director Alejandro G. Irritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
8/15 Best Documentary Feature
CitizenFour: Laura Poitras (2nd L) embraces The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald (C), as Mathilde Bonnefoy (R) and Dirk Wilutzky (L) (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
9/15 Best Adapted Screenplay
The Imitation Game: Graham Moore (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
10/15 Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
11/15 Best Visual Effects
Interstellar: Paul Franklin (2ndL) , Andrew Lockley (R) , Ian Hunter (L) and Scott Fisher (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
12/15 Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6: Don Hall (C), Chris Williams (R) and Roy Conli (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
13/15 Best Cinematography
Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
14/15 Best Sound Editing
American Sniper: Alan Robert Murray (R) and Bub Asman (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
15/15 Best Foreign Language Film
Ida (Poland): Pawel Pawlikowski (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
In their acceptance speech, both Common and John Legend - real names Lonnie Lynn and John Stephens - spoke on the state of racial equality in the US. Legend said that there are more black men imprisoned in the US today than were enslaved in 1850, a poignant stat following the powerful performance.
Me and Brandon crying at the oscars pic.twitter.com/V90SWsdPOrhyphen; Aden Elmi (@FredoZimbabwe) February 23, 2015
Watch the trailer for Selma
Selma also is nominated for Best Picture.