Lady Gaga will perform “Hold My Hand” on the 2023 Oscars on Sunday (March 12) after all.
Variety first reported the surprise reversal. Oscars executive producer and showrunner Glenn Weiss stated that Gaga would not be performing during a press meeting with the Oscars creative team on March 8. He implied that the Oscars team and Gaga had mutually decided to pass because of the demands of her co-starring role in the Joker: Folie à Deux, which is currently shooting.
“We have a great relationship with Lady Gaga and her camp,” he said at the time. “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,” Weiss said.
With Gaga now on the bill, all five of this year’s best original song nominees will be performed on the show. The other performers are Rihanna (“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Sofia Carson and Diane Warren (“Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman), Stephanie Hsu, David Byrne and Son Lux (“This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava (“Naatu Naatu” from RRR).
This will be the first Oscar telecast in three years to include performances of all five nominated songs.
Two years ago, all five songs were performed, but on a pre-show. That move was seen as disrespectful by many in the music community. Last year, Van Morrison declined to perform “Down to Joy” from Belfast, so only four of the nominated songs were performed on the telecast.
This will be Gaga’s fourth performance on the Oscars. In 2015, she performed a medley of four songs from The Sound of Music to honor that film on its 50th anniversary. In a memorable Oscar moment, Julie Andrews came out at the end of Gaga’s performance and the two stars embraced.
In 2016, Gaga sang the nominated song “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground. In 2019, she and Bradley Cooper sang “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, which went on to win the award. The staging of “Shallow” was memorable, with Gaga and Cooper stepping up from their front-row seats to take the stage.
“Hold My Hand,” which Gaga co-wrote with BloodPop, has thus far peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 (in June). The song may reach a new peak following the Oscars. Both of Gaga’s previous Oscar-nominated songs reached new peaks following the telecast. “Shallow” shot from No. 21 to No. 1 on the Hot 100 the week following the Oscars. It had previously peaked at No. 5. “Til It Happens to You” had failed to make the Hot 100 when it was first released, but entered the chart at No. 95 following the Oscars.
The most dramatic example of a televised performance reigniting a Gaga song came after she headlined the Super Bowl halftime show in In February 2017. “Million Reasons” re-entered the Hot 100 at a new peak, No. 4, following her performance. The song had previously peaked at No. 52.
It was a coup for the Oscars to book Rihanna and Gaga, two of the hottest singers on the planet, on the same show. But then, when Oscar calls, even the biggest stars usually say yes. Beyoncé opened last year’s show with a memorable performance of “Be Alive” from King Richard. Such other superstars as Adele, U2, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Sting, Elton John and Billie Eilish with Finneas have performed nominated songs on the Oscars in the past decade.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 95th Oscars will be held Sunday (March 12) at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.