Lady Gaga delivered one of the most powerful and poignant performances of her song Til It Happens to You at the 88th Academy Awards.
The song was co-written by Diane Warren for the film The Hunting Ground, about rape on college campuses. Gaga started off the performance by playing solo on piano, but midway through the song, numerous sexual assault survivors appeared on stage beside her. On their forearms were words and phrases like “survivor” and “not your fault.”
Gaga was visibly moved at the end, with her performance garnering a standing ovation.
The 29-year-old previously spoke out about her own direct experiences of sexual violence in 2014, revealing she was raped by a music producer while she was still a teenager.
Earlier this week, she became one of the numerous female musicians to publicly announce her support for Kesha, who’s injunction request against her label Sony Music was denied, despite the singer’s allegations of abuse at the hands of her long-time producer and collaborator, Dr Luke.
— kesha (@KeshaRose) February 29, 2016
Gaga’s emotional performance of ‘Til It Happens to You’ was introduced by US Vice President Joe Biden, who used the appearance to speak about the Obama administration’s ‘It’s On Us’ campaign to tackle sexual assault. You can watch the performance in full below:
This year has already seen Gaga win an Emmy for her performance in American Horror Story: Hotel, and stun audiences with her Superbowl National Anthem rendition and Grammys tribute performance to David Bowie.
But despite the stunning rendition, Gaga missed out on the Oscar for Best Original Song, which went to Sam Smith for his Bond theme Writing’s on the Wall.