Pregnant Rihanna Glows in Emotional 'Lift Me Up' Performance as A$AP Rocky Cheers Her On

The singer took the stage to perform her heartfelt ballad from the 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' soundtrack.

Rihanna took to the stage at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday and gave viewers a show-stopping rendition of her Oscar-nominated single, "Lift Me Up," from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. 

Wearing a gorgeous, shimmering shirt and trouser pants set, Rihanna sang the ballad penned by herself, singer Tems, Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson and Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler. The song serves as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who played King T'Challa, aka Black Panther, and died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. 

The Oscars audience was in awe as Rihanna belted out her ballad, hitting every high note with power and grace. Standing on a feathered platform, Rihanna looked emotional as she was met with a standing ovation. 

At the end of her performance, the camera panned to Rihanna's partner and the father of her son and baby-on-the-way, A$AP Rocky, who appeared to be filled with pride as he cheered her on. Rocky also was celebrating Hollywood's biggest night with a glass of champagne in his hand. 

A source previously told ET that A$AP was in New York solo while Rihanna stayed in Los Angeles to do last-minute performance rehearsals. The rapper made it back to L.A. in time to escort his partner to the awards show. "Rihanna is feeling good and is excited to perform again on Sunday," the source said, adding that her Super Bowl LVII halftime performance really reignited the singer's passion for live performing. 

While her halftime performance was decidedly different from her live edition of the soundtrack's single, it's clear that Rihanna has made her musical comeback in a big way.

Released in October, "Lift Me Up" marked the soon-to-be mom of two's first single in six years as she embarks on the next era of her iconic career. The single picked up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song (Motion Picture), but ultimately lost to "Naatu Naatu" from RRR

In Sunday's Best Original Song category, the song is up against Diane Warren's "Applause" (Tell It Like a Woman), Lady Gaga's "Hold My Hand" (Top Gun: Maverick), NTR and Ram Charan's "Naatu Naatu" (RRR) and Son Lux, Mitski and David Byrne's "This Is a Life" (Everything Everywhere All at Once). 

At the Wakanda Forever premiere, Coogler shared with ET that Göransson drew on his own travels to not only record the track in five different countries but bring a worldwide feel to the song.

"It has elements from his time in Senegal, several years ago, it has elements from -- obviously I recorded here in the states, recorded in the U.K., also recorded in Mexico. And then Tems and I and Ludwig sat down in Nigeria, and put some real work in on it, a few months back," Coogler shared.

"After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I've lost in my life. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them," Tems said in a statement. "Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor."

"I'll say this, I didn't get [Rihanna] to do anything. I don't think anybody can get her to do anything, she's a person who marches to the beat of her own drum," the director said about having the new mom jump onto the soundtrack. "I'm just thankful that she wanted to contribute to this, and I'll be forever grateful and not just to her, but all the other fantastic musicians that are on the soundtrack."

The 2023 Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel airs live on Sunday, March 12 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. In the meantime, keep checking back into for complete Oscars coverage including all the night's big winners.