Lady Gaga will not perform at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday, Glenn Weiss — one of the show’s executive producers and showrunners — said in a Zoom call with entertainment journalists on Wednesday (March 8).
Weiss explained that Gaga is busy making a movie and felt that she couldn’t give a performance the time and commitment it would need to meet her expectations. Gaga is nominated for best original song with “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick.
“We actually invited all five nominees,” Weiss said on the Zoom. “We have great relationships with Lady Gaga and her camp. She is in the middle of shooting a movie right now, and 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.”
As a result, this will be the second Oscar telecast in a row in which one of the five nominated songs was not performed on the show. Last year, Van Morrison declined to perform “Down to Joy” from Belfast.
Gaga is in the midst of filming director Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux. She is playing Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phoenix, who won an Oscar for best actor for playing the title character in The Joker. Warner Bros. plans to release the film Oct. 9, 2024 — five years to the day after the release of the first film.
Gaga has performed on the Oscars three times. 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.
Two weeks ago, the Academy announced that Rihanna will perform “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The following day, they announced that actress and singer Sofia Carson, accompanied by songwriter Diane Warren, will perform “Applause” from Tell It like a Woman.
Last week, the Academy announced that Stephanie Hsu, an Oscar nominee for best supporting actress for Everything Everywhere All at Once, will join David Byrne and Son Lux to perform that film’s “This Is a Life.” They also announced that Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava will perform “Naatu Naatu” from RRR.
“Hold My Hand,” which Gaga co-wrote with BloodPop, peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 (in June). The song might well have reached 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.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.
Oscar show production talent who participated in the Zoom call were Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, executive producers and showrunners; Molly McNearney, executive producer; Sarah Levine Hall, producer; Rickey Minor, musical director; and Dave Boone, Agathe Panaretos and Nefetari Spencer, writers. The session was moderated by Jacqueline Coley, awards editor for Rotten Tomatoes.