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How Texas made its mark on the 2022 Oscars

Two famous Houstonians performed, a UT alumnus won for his sound work and a sweet treat from Austin landed in stars' gift bags.

LOS ANGELES — The stars at night were very bright at the 94th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. And several Texas residents were among them.

Before the Oscars ceremony even started, Texas was making its mark on the show. According to Texas Monthly, designer Brandon Maxwell, one of the night's red carpet correspondents, is a Longview, Texas, native. Also prior to the televised portion of the ceremony, Mac Ruth, an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin's Moody College of Communication, won the Oscar for Best Sound for "Dune."

The televised ceremony kicked off with a performance by one of the most famous Texans of them all: Queen Bey herself. Houston native Beyoncé performed her Oscar-nominated song "Be Alive," from "Best Picture" nominee "King Richard." The performance took place on a tennis court in Compton, California, where Richard Williams coached his daughters, Venus and Serena. 

Beyoncé would later settle in at the Dolby with the rest of the stars.

Texas' presence didn't stop there. Texas Monthly noted that Houston jazz pianist Robert Glasper was in the wings, playing winners off the stage. The magazine also stated that actress Stephanie Beatriz grew up in Webster, Texas. Beatriz introduced a performance of "Dos Orugitas" from the animated film "Encanto," as well as participated in a performance of "We Don't Talk About Bruno" from the same film, in which Beatriz starred.

Speaking of "Bruno," that performance allowed yet another Texan to shine. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion, a Houston native, came out to rap a new verse on the popular "Encanto" song.

But Texas artists weren't the only way the Lone Star State made its impact on the Oscars. Co-hosts Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall performed a bit where they handed out unwanted gifts to audience members. Among them? A shredded voter registration form from the State of Texas – a commentary on Texas' controversial voting restrictions.

Not all Texans at the Oscars were winners. Actor Jesse Plemons, a Texas native well-known for his role in one of the most Texan shows of all time ("Friday Night Lights"), was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in "The Power of the Dog." He lost to "Coda" actor Tony Kotsur.

Finally, even one of the treats at the Oscars had a Texas tie! Brownies from Austin-based bakery Wunderkeks made it into the stars' gift bags.

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