Oscar Song Category Sparse This Year

Terrence Howard, playing a pimp, is surrounded by three young women.

hide captionTerrence Howard, shown here in a scene from 'Hustle & Flow,' won't perform 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp' at the Oscars.

This year marks only the second time in Oscar history that just three songs were nominated. Murray Horwitz, director of the American Film Institute's Silver Theater, talks about this year's best song nominees.

The composers of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from Hustle & Flow, will perform it during Sunday night's show, making it the first hip-hop song to be performed at the Oscars. (Actor Terrence Howard, who rapped in the movie, said he is too out of practice to do it this weekend.)

The other Oscar nominees are "Travelin' Thru," from Transamerica, which was written and performed by Dolly Parton; and "In the Deep," from Crash. The latter was written by Michael Becker and Kathleen "Bird" York and sung by Ms. York.

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