Lady Gaga performed her Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens to You” at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, and it was, hands down, the most emotional moment of the show.
Clad in a sleek white suit, Gaga returned to her roots and performed the song at the piano. Choking back tears, Gaga sang the tune with pitch-perfect aplomb and even threw in some classic Mother Monster jerky movements for good measure.
The performance reached its emotional height when dozens of sexual assault survivors joined Gaga on stage holding hands. Their arms had survivor-affirming phrases like “Not your fault” and “Unbreakable” on them. They, too, were near tears–and some even were full-on crying.
Gaga stood with the survivors at the end of the performance, allowing a few tears to fall. The entire audience gave Gaga a well-deserved standing ovation, with Rachel McAdams and Brie Larson looking noticeably moved.
Gaga and Diane Warren lost the Best Original Song Oscar to Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes for “Writing’s on the Wall.”
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