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Rihanna, Lady Gaga, John Travolta and Naatu Naatu gang steal the show at 95th Oscars

Rihanna’s emotional rendition of Lift Me Up and Kaala Bhairava-Rahul Sipligunj’s performance of Naatu Naatu received standing ovations from the audience

Smera Marcia Toppo Calcutta Published 13.03.23, 11:38 AM
Rihanna performs at the 95th Academy Awards

Rihanna performs at the 95th Academy Awards Disney+ Hotstar

From Rihanna’s soul-stirring rendition of Lift Me Up and Lady Gaga’s stripped-back performance of Hold My Hand to the fun and frolics of Kaala Bhairava-Rahul Sipligunj’s Naatu Naatu, a host of brilliant performances lit up the Oscars stage at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on March 13.

Sofia Carson’s emotional rendition of Applause from the Oscar-winning anthology feature Tell It Like A Woman started off the proceedings. The song was backed by a diverse choir with 14-time Academy Award-nominee Diane Warren playing the piano.


For the second performance of the night, Everything Everywhere All At Once star Stephanie Hsu took the stage with Son Lux and David Byrne for This Is A Life from Everything Everywhere All At Once. David rendered the song with sausage fingers, a highlight from the most-nominated film this year.

Stephanie Hsu and David Byrne

Stephanie Hsu and David Byrne

Deepika Padukone became an Oscar presenter as she introduced one of the most-awaited moments of the night — a live performance of the Naatu Naatu, sung by original singers Kala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj, on the Oscars stage. The high-octane production received a standing ovation at the end of the performance. Later, the song from S.S. Rajamouli’s epic period action drama RRR went on to win the Oscar in the Best Original Song category.

In what turned out to be a surprise appearance, Lady Gaga stepped on to the stage next. The American singer-songwriter received wild cheers from the audience as she was not supposed to perform at the ceremony. Taking the stage in a simple black t-shirt and ripped jeans, Lady Gaga opted for a no-makeup look. Her emotional performance of the Top Gun: Maverick song Hold My Hand was given in memory of Top Gun director Tony Scoot.

Another anticipated performance of the night came with Rihanna, who sang the Oscar-nominated Lift Me Up as a tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman. Introduced by Danai Gurira as “royalty in her own right,” Rihanna’s mesmerising performance didn’t just leave audience members emotional but also got a nod from her boyfriend A$AP Rocky who cheered her on. A pregnant Rihanna wore a custom-made crystal embellished black bra with matching black pants and black opera gloves, paired with layered diamond jewellery and black pumps.

The last performance of the night was another heart-wrenching number. John Travolta gave a touching nod to his late Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John and introduced Lenny Kravitz as the final performer of the night. The 58-year-old singer performed an emotional rendition of Calling All Angels while remembering industry members who passed away last year including Robbie Coltrane, Irene Cara and Kirstie Alley.

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