Lady Gaga took the stage alongside dozens of survivors of sexual abuse for her performance of "Til It Happens to You" at tonight's Academy Awards. Gaga and power ballad master Diane Warren are nominated on behalf of The Hunting Ground, a documentary about a series of sexual assaults on American college campuses. She was visibly emotional for much of the performance, and she was joined on stage by the aforementioned survivors. They clasped hands for the song's dramatic finale before receiving a standing ovation. (She lost the Oscar for Best Original Song to Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes' "Writing's on the Wall" a few minutes later.)
"Too many women and men... are still victims of abuse"
Her performance was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, a veteran advocate for women's rights. "Too many women and men on and off of college campuses are still victims of abuse," said Biden. "Take the pledge: I will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given. We must, and we can, change the culture."
This is the second straight year Gaga has delivered a showstopping performance on the Oscar stage: she delivered an operatic The Sound of Music medley at the 2015 ceremony. She's also been recognized for her work as an actress in recent months, winning the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series for her work as The Countess on American Horror Story: Hotel.
Watch Leonardo DiCaprio's speech after winning Best Actor for The Revenant