Lady Gaga is slowly morphing from eccentric pop star to Old-Hollywood chanteuse, displaying a composure and a voice whose power reminds us of divas the likes of Cher and Barbra Streisand.
For the 2016 Oscars, after being introduced by none other than Joe Biden, she sang Til It Happens To You, a song that she co-wrote it with Diane Warren for the documentary The Hunting Ground, which deals with campus rape in the United States.
She performed on her piano and was accompanied by a string orchestra—soaring strings are part of the original production as well. The highly emotional performance was not just a stage play: Gaga reportedly struggled to record the song because it made her recall her own trauma she endured.
In the second half of the performance, an array of victims marches onstage, bearing writings such as “not your fault” and “survivor” on their bodies. Ahead of the performance, Lady Gaga declared she would “think of” pop singer Kesha, whose ongoing legal battle against her producer Dr Luke recently made the headlines and caused a significant outpouring of support for Kesha in the music industry.
Gaga received a standing ovation for the emotional gravitas she showed in that performance and, even though we know by now that her voice is extremely powerful and versatile, her ability to hit higher notes always gives us chills.