Lady Gaga really has a knack for surprising people.
At the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday, the Oscar winner gave a stripped-down performance of her song from Top Gun: Maverick, “Hold My Hand.” The executive producers explained that she “wanted it to be raw” in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“She was really appropriate about the fact that this is a meaningful song to her, and she wanted to really strip it down and do it not as an ‘Oscar performance,’ but as her,” the showrunner Glenn Weiss explained. “And that’s exactly what we tried to capture.”
The singer initially turned down the gig because of scheduling conflicts, as she was currently filming the Joker sequel ‘Folie a Deux’. It was reported on Sunday that she would be able to make it after all, hours before she walked the red carpet in a black Versace gown, a big contrast from her makeup-free look in her performance.
Executive producer Ricky Kirshner noted that they have “built up trust in the relationship with Gaga over the years” after working together on her Super Bowl halftime show in 2017 as well as her performance with Bradley Cooper for her Oscar-winning song “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” at the award show in 2019.
“She really wanted to do something. She honestly was shooting her movie. There was no trickery involved,” he said of the last-minute shakeup.
“And Thursday, at 4-something, we got a text that she wanted to try something, didn’t have time to put together a big performance,” Kirshner recalled. “But wanted it to be raw and people to see the real Gaga and with a voice like that, you don’t need much more than that.”
The singer went for a makeup-free look in a black t-shirt, ripped jeans, and sneakers as she sat on a stool and performed with her band onstage. She explained the song is “deeply personal for me” during her intro.
“I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life. We all need a hero sometimes- there’s heroes all around us in unassuming places,” Gaga said. “But you might find that you could be your own hero even if you feel broken inside.”
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