Lady Gaga wowed the audience when she sang the National Anthem at today’s inauguration ceremony just before Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office. The Grammy award-winning singer had said she was “deeply honored” by the invitation to participate in such a “historic inauguration.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Lady Gaga Promised to Make This Rendition Stand Out Compared to Her Super Bowl 50 Performance
Lady Gaga has performed the National Anthem on the international stage before. She sang it at Super Bowl 50 in 2016 and received high praise for that rendition. NBC’s Today show described Gaga’s performance as “stirring” and “reminiscent of the late Whitney Houston’s performance at the same event, 25 years earlier.” The clip shared on YouTube from the official NFL account has been viewed nearly 2 million times.
But Lady Gaga was determined to make the inaugural performance stand out on its own. HollywoodLife cited an unnamed source who said the singer “considers this one of the most important moments of her career” and that she didn’t want to simply offer a repeat of her 2016 rendition. The outlet cited a second source who said Lady Gaga might even cry during the National Anthem because it would be such an emotional moment. “She is so beyond ecstatic that Joe Biden is going to be President that she wants to give the performance of a lifetime and when Gaga says that and feels that, it happens.”
I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans. A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/fATHiJHCq0
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 19, 2021
Lady Gaga posted a photo from the Capitol Building following her rehearsal on January 19. She expressed hope that the inauguration ceremony would be a peaceful event. She wrote on social media, “I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans. A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.”
Lady Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, supported President Trump, according to Billboard. But in an interview with Fox News, Germanotta said he was “extremely proud” of his daughter and that he was excited to watch her perform the National Anthem. But he also expressed concern for her safety in light of the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol and said he hoped “everybody stays happy, safe and it’s a calm day.”
Lady Gaga Campaigned for Biden & Partnered With Him on an Initiative Against Sexual Assault
During the 2020 presidential election, Lady Gaga used her platform to campaign for Biden. She participated in a drive-in rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh the night before the election. Lady Gaga sang her hit songs “Shallow” and “You and I” and implored her fans to get out and vote and bring all of their friends and family members to the polls with them. As Entertainment Weekly reported at the time, Gaga added Biden’s name to the lyrics of “You and I.”
During the rally, which can be watched in its entirety here, Lady Gaga urged the crowd to “vote like your life depends on it, or vote like your children’s lives depend on it, because they do.” She impassionately asked voters of all political affiliations to “vote against Donald Trump, a man who believes his fame gives him the right to grab one of your daughters or sisters or mothers or wives by any part of their bodies.”
Lady Gaga also made the case that voters didn’t really require any extra evidence about the candidates before casting their ballots. “You probably already believe [Biden’s] the right choice over Donald Trump. You don’t need me to tell you why. Because, like me, you’ve experienced the last four years and have all the evidence you need to look at this choice and know in your heart, without any doubt, that Joe Biden is the right choice.”
Gaga’s history with Biden predated the 2020 election. She partnered with then-Vice President Biden on an initiative to raise awareness about sexual assault. The campaign, called “It’s On Us,” was founded in 201. According to its website, “has grown into the nation’s largest nonprofit program dedicated to college sexual assault prevention and survivor support activating students on hundreds of campuses in our awareness and education programs.”
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 25, 2017
Biden and Gaga made a public service announcement together in October 2017. Biden started the video by describing Gaga as a “great friend” and a “fierce advocate.” He urged viewers that it’s vital to intervene and stop abuse when they see it.” Biden and Gaga also took their advocacy on the road. In April 2016, they appeared together at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to raise awareness about the risks of assault on college campuss and spread a message about how to combat it, KSNV-TV reported.