Lady Gaga Reportedly Set for Surprise Oscars Performance
Lady Gaga was not expected to be at the 95th Academy Awards Sunday night, but that is reportedly changing. Sources told Variety Sunday afternoon that Gaga will be on hand to perform "Hold My Hand," her Oscar-nominated song from Top Gun: Maverick. The track is competing for Best Original Song.
Gaga's decision to come to the Dolby Theatre came at nearly the last minute, as producers were fully prepared to stage the show without her star power. She is in the middle of filming Joker: Folie à Deux with Joaquin Phoenix, so executive producer and showrunner Glenn Weiss said she would be missing.
"We have a great relationship with Lady Gaga and her camp," Weiss said at a creative team press conference on March 8. "She is in the middle of shooting a movie right now. Here, we are honoring the movie industry and what it takes to make a movie after a bunch of back and forth... It didn't feel like she can get a performance to the caliber that we're used to with her and that she is used to. So, she is not going to perform on the show."
While Gaga will be there, another key part of the Top Gun: Maverick team will be missing. Star Tom Cruise, who was everywhere during awards season, recently returned to the U.K. to resume work on Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, reports Deadline. If Maverick shockingly won Best Picture, producers Jerry Bruckheimer and David Ellison would have to accept the award. Cruise and Dead Reckoning director Christopher McQuarrie were also nominated as producers on Maverick.
All five nominees for Best Original Song will now be performed during the ceremony. Rihanna will perform "Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, while Diane Warren and Sofia Carson will perform "Applause" from Tell It Like a Woman. "Naatu Naatu," the beloved song from RRR, will be performed by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. David Byrne, Son Lux, and Stephanie Hsu will perform "This Is a Life" from Everything Everywhere All at Once. Lenny Kravitz was also picked to perform along with the In Memoriam segment.
Gaga already has a long history with the Oscars. In 2019, she won Best Original song for A Star Is Born's "Shallow," which she famously performed with Bradley Cooper. Gaga was also nominated for writing "Til It Happens to You," which she also performed during the Oscars, with Warren for The Hunting Ground. In 2015, she performed songs from The Sound of Music. Last year, she joined Liza Minelli to present the Best Picture Oscar.
The 2023 Oscars begin at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting.