But they sat next to each other, in front row, inside the Dolby Theatre, with another superstar, Brad Pitt, seated to her left. Up until that point, the proceedings had been relatively sedate.
The 15-time Grammy victor was given a standing ovation once his performance ended. From Idina Menzel to Martin Scorsese and even Billie Eilish, all were exuding priceless reactions to seeing the singer on stage.
There was another connection to Bryant during the red-carpet portion of the Academy Awards.
England make five changes for Scotland Six Nations clash, Ben Youngs dropped
Up front, Lewis Ludlam replaces Courtney Lawes at blindside flank, with the latter relegated to the bench alongside Youngs.
Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a montage of famous musical moments from movies, ranging from "Tiny Dancer" of Almost Famous to "Don't You (Forget About Me)" of The Breakfast Club to many more.
He attached a video of Barbra Streisand announcing his Oscar win in 2003. During her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to her family in the audience, stating: "Some say never meet your heroes, but I say if you're really blessed, you get them as your parents".
In a 2007 interview, he said: "I just felt like I had no chance of winning because, you know, when I heard I was nominated, I thought that was for actors".
Currently, Joker is leading with 11 nominations, followed by 10 nominations each to Sam Mendes-directorial war film 1917, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and The Irishman. "I really just want to represent for him".