Lady Gaga took to the stage at the Oscars to perform her nominated track Til It Happens To You from the documentary The Hunting Ground, shining a light on sexual assault survivors.
She began the performance perched at a white piano but was later joined by a group of sexual assault survivors who all had things like “not your fault” and “survivor”, written on their arms. It was a powerful moment only heightened by the group joining hands in solidarity as Gaga brought the song to a stirring climax.
Gaga and the victims received a standing ovation for the performance with many audience members looking visibly moved.
The performance was introduced by US Vice President Joe Biden who delivered a speech about preventing sexual assault. “Too many women and men, on and off college campuses, are victims of sexual assault,” Biden said.
Preceding the awards ceremony, Gaga took to Twitter to dedicate her performance to Kesha who is currently in a legal battle with her alleged rapist Dr. Luke.
“I’ll be thinking of u 2nite,” she wrote.
“This is not over we’ll stand by u until you are free to live a HAPPY life. Everyone deserves that.”
She also took to Facebook to thank her fiancé Taylor Kinney. “I never thought anyone would ever love me because I felt like my body was ruined by my abuser,” she wrote. “But he loves the survivor in me. He’s stood by me all night proud and unashamedly. THATS a real man.”
Despite the stirring performance, Gaga did not walk away with the award for Best Original Song. That was won by Sam Smith for his James Bond theme Writing’s On The Wall.
For those needing assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732, while Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14.
Watch: Lady Gaga – Til It Happens To You
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 29, 2016
.@kesharose I'll be thinking of u 2nite. This is not over we'll stand by u until you are free to live a HAPPY life. Everyone deserves that.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 28, 2016