Initially, due to scheduling conflicts with filming of the "Joker" sequel, it was not anticipated that the 36-year-old singer would perform at the ceremony. However, a reliable source close to the production confirmed on Sunday afternoon that Lady Gaga would indeed perform "Hold My Hand," the Oscar-nominated original song from "Top Gun: Maverick.
For her performance, Lady Gaga changed from her arrival gown to a more relaxed outfit, donning a black t-shirt and ripped jeans. She also removed her makeup and partially undid her French-braided updo, letting the braid hang loosely. Prior to her rendition, Gaga delivered a sincere speech about the process of writing the song.
"For me, it's a deeply personal matter, and I believe that we all require support from each other," Lady Gaga expressed. "Love is crucial for us to navigate through life, and at times we all seek a hero. Heroes come in unexpected places, and we can find the strength to be our own hero, even when we feel shattered inside.
Despite the impromptu decision to perform, Lady Gaga was well-prepared to sing "Hold My Hand," as it has been a regular part of her repertoire during the ongoing Chromatica Ball Tour.
Lady Gaga delivered a stripped-down rendition of the song, with the majority of the performance featuring a close-up of her. She began singing a cappella before being accompanied by a piano, and then, after the first chorus, a full band joined in.
Lady Gaga has graced the Oscars stage four times, beginning with a memorable mashup performance of four songs from “The Sound of Music” in 2015 to commemorate the film's 50th anniversary. The following year, she was introduced by then-Vice President Joe Biden for her performance of the nominated song "Til It Happens to You" from the documentary "The Hunting Ground." In 2019, she and Bradley Cooper gave a stunning rendition of "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born," which went on to win an Oscar that same night.