Talk about taking your breath away.
After fans wondered for weeks if Lady Gaga will sing at the 2023 Oscars, the pop star indeed landed back at the Dolby Theatre to take the stage during the March 12 ceremony. The singer gave a soaring performance of "Hold My Hand," her and BloodPop's track from Top Gun: Maverick.
Sitting on a stool on the sage, Gaga shared the story behind the song before launching into a stripped back and nearly makeup-free performance.
"It's deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other," Gaga shared. "We need a lot of love to walk through this life. And we all need a hero sometimes. There's heroes all around us, in unassuming places. But you might find that you can be your own hero, even if you feel broken inside."
For the raw performance, Gaga changed into a darker and more casual ensemble—a black tee and ripped black jeans—following her glamorous red carpet arrival in a black Versace semi-sheer gown.
The power ballad is nominated for Best Original Song, an award that Gaga won at the 2019 Oscars for the single "Shallow" from A Star Is Born, which she performed onstage at the time with co-star Bradley Cooper.
Her 2023 performance again seemed to channel her Star Is Born character Ally Maine with its edgy vibes and attire.
This year, she dedicated her performance to late Top Gun director Tony Scott, who died in 2012.
In addition to "Hold My Hand," Diane Warren's "Applause" from Tell It like a Woman, "Naatu Naatu" from RRR, "This Is A Life" from Everything Everywhere All at Once and Rihanna's "Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are also nominated for Best Original Song at the 2023 Oscars.
In the weeks leading up to the awards show, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced that the latter four singles would be performed at the ceremony, while remaining mum about whether Gaga would also take the stage.
This marks the singer's sixth appearance at the Oscars. Last year, she joined Liza Minnelli onstage to present the award for Best Picture to the producers of Coda.
Top Gun: Maverick is one of 10 films nominated in the category at the 2023 Oscars and received a total of six nods overall. Main star Tom Cruise reprises the role of naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a part he originated in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun. That film won the Oscar for Best Original Song for its song "Take My Breath Away," performed by Berlin.
Keep reading to see more stars at the 2023 Oscars.