Watch: Lady Gaga Gives Surprise Performance of Oscar-Nominated ‘Top Gun’ Song, “Hold My Hand”

In a last-minute turn of events, Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12 to perform her Oscar-nominated “Hold My Hand,” featured in the 2022 film Top Gun: Maverick

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Gaga, who was not expected to perform at the Oscars due to a scheduling conflict on her upcoming film Joker: Folie à Deux appeared on a dimly lit stage, wearing a black t-shirt and ripped jeans for a stripped-down and solemn performance of the song.

“I wrote this song with my friend BloodPop for the film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ in my studio basement,” said Gaga before performing. “It’s deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life. And we all need a hero sometimes.”

She added, “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.”

Starting off more hushed from the opening Tell me you need me / Hold my hand, everything will be okay / I heard from the heavens that clouds have been grey, her stirring performance opened up around the bigger chorus So cry tonight / But don’t you let go of my hand /You can cry every last tear / I won’t leave ’til I understand / Promise me, just hold my hand.

Nominated for Best Original Song, “Hold My Hand” was featured in the long-awaited 2022 sequel to Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise reprising his role as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, and was written and produced by Gaga and BloodPop with additional production by Benjamin Rice along and music by Harold Faltermeyer and Hans Zimmer. The Best Original Song nomination is one of six for the film, including Best Picture.

“This song is a love letter to the world during and after a very hard time,” said Gaga about the song when it was first released. “I’ve wanted you to hear it for so long. I’m so grateful to Tom [Cruise] and Hans and Joe [director Joe Kosinski] for this opportunity—and it’s been a beautiful experience working with them.”

Along with Gaga, other performers in the Best Original Song category include Sofia Carson and songwriter Diane Warren, who opened with a performance of “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman. David Byrne, Son Lux and Stephani Hsu also performed “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once, while Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava gave a rousing rendition of “Naatu Naatu” from RRR. Rihanna is also scheduled to perform her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever song “Lift Me Up.”

“Hold My Hand” marks Gaga’s return to writing and producing original music for film, following her most recent work the 2018 film A Star is Born. The film earned her an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow,” along with co-writers Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, and Anthony Rossomando, and two Grammys for Best Song Written for Visual Media and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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