In a last-minute addition, Lady Gaga brought her powerhouse voice to the 2023 Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

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Lady Gaga performs at the 2023 Oscars

Just a few days ago, Oscars executive producer Glenn Weiss said Lady Gaga — who is up for an Oscar for best original song — would be unable to perform at the ceremony because of a busy schedule that includes filming for the “Joker” sequel (she’s the Harley Quinn to Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker), TVLine reported.

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“We invited all five nominees,” Weiss said during a recent virtual press conference, per Variety. “We have a great relationship with Lady Gaga and her camp. She is in the middle of shooting a movie right now. Here, we are honoring the movie industry and what it takes to make a movie after a bunch of back and forth … it didn’t feel like she can get a performance to the caliber that we’re used to with her and that she is used to. So she is not going to perform on the show.”

But on Sunday, ABC News Live shared on Twitter that the pop star had arrived at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre and would, in fact, be performing her original song “Hold My Hand” — written for “Top Gun: Maverick” — at the ceremony after all. Variety also reported that the artist would be making a surprise appearance.

Before diving into the song Sunday night, Lady Gaga shared how she wrote “Hold My Hand” in her studio basement with her friend and fellow musician BloodPop, and that it was “deeply personal” to her.

“I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life,” she said. “And we all need a hero sometimes. There’s heroes all around us in assuming places, but you might find that you can be your own hero even if you feel broken inside.”

It was a last-minute performance, but Lady Gaga delivered a stripped-down, powerful rendition and got massive applause from the audience.

“Hold My Hand” was nominated for best original song. On YouTube, the official music video for the song has 158 million views.

The nomination made Lady Gaga the first artist to receive three nominations in the original song category, following nominations for “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground,” which premiered in 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival, and “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born,” per Variety.

“Shallow” marked Lady Gaga’s first Oscar win, Variety reported.


Who were the 2023 Oscar nominees for best song?

According to the Deseret News, the five nominees for best original song were:

  • “Hold My Hand” — Lady Gaga (“Top Gun: Maverick”).
  • “Lift Me Up”— Rihanna (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”).
  • “Naatu Naatu”— Kaala Bhairava, M.M. Keeravani, and Rahul Sipligunj (“RRR”).
  • “Applause”— Diane Warren (“Tell It Like a Woman”).
  • “This Is a Life”— David Byrne, Ryan Lott, and Mitski (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).

“Naatu Naatu” ended up winning the Oscar for best original song.