Makeup-Free Lady Gaga Sings 'Hold My Hand' During Last-Minute Oscars Performance

The singer performed the Oscar-nominated single from the 'Top Gun: Maverick' soundtrack.

After initially declining to perform live at the 95th Academy Awards, Lady Gaga made a last-minute decision to sing "Hold My Hand," her Oscar-nominated single from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack. And while it was reported that she didn't want to participate because she didn't have enough time to deliver a performance at the caliber she's used to, Gaga did not disappoint when she took the stage on Sunday. 

Gaga hit the stage in a stripped-down look -- far from what we're used to seeing the glamorous actress-singer wear while performing -- wearing her hair in a French braid, created by celebrity hairstylist Frederic Aspiras on behalf of Joico, and sporting little to no makeup while singing to the crowd in a black T-shirt and jeans.

Before delivering the powerful ballad, Gaga had a message for the audience about unity, telling the crowd of famous faces, "I wrote this song with my friend, BloodPop, for the film Top Gun: Maverick, in my studio basement. It's deeply personal for me, and I think that we all need each other. We need a lot of love to walk through this life."

She continued, "And we all need a hero sometimes. There's heroes all around us in unassuming places, but you might find you can be your own hero, even if you feel broken inside."

The equally stripped-down performance earned Gaga a standing ovation by much of the crowd who were in awe of her last-minute appearance.

As previously reported by ET, Gaga, who was nominated for Best Original Song for the Top Gun sequel, was unable to perform due to her commitment to filming Joker: Folie à Deux. The sequel to 2019's Joker started production at the end of 2022 and will see the singer portraying Harley Quinn alongside Joaquin Phoenix, who returns as the titular Batman villain.

Before taking the stage, a source told ET that, "Lady Gaga wasn’t going to perform at The Oscars at first due to her busy filming schedule, but she really wanted to and genuinely just changed her mind."

Sunday's performance, meanwhile, marked Gaga's third time singing live at the Oscars. She previously performed "Til It Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground in 2016 and "Shallow" from A Star Is Born in 2019, with the latter earning her first win in the Best Original Song category. 

In addition to Gaga, the four other nominees took the stage throughout the evening, with Diane Warren teaming up with Sofia Carson on "Applause" from Tell It Like a Woman; Rihanna singing "Lift Me Up" from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Indian singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava performing "Naatu Naatu" from RRR; and "This Is a Life" from Everything Everywhere All at Once being performed by David Byrne, Son Lux and Best Supporting Actress nominee Stephanie Hsu. 

The 2023 Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel aired live on Sunday, March 12 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. In the meantime, stay tuned to for complete Oscars coverage and the full list of winners.