Lady Gaga’s First Oscar Win

There’s no doubt that “Shallow,” Lady Gaga’s only song to be no. 1 on the top chart for five consecutive weeks, has been a huge success. The song hits hard, speaking on determination, courage and strength, which is clear every time it’s performed. At the 61st Academy Awards on Sunday night, Gaga and Bradley Cooper had the honor of singing “Shallow” together.

All eyes were on Gaga and Cooper during their intimate duet of “Shallow.” People switched positions in the seats to get the best view as the two walked up to the grand piano to take center stage. Gaga stood in front of Cooper as he started off the song. The chemistry between them was genuine; you couldn't even tell if it was just for the performance as they never left each other’s gaze.

As Gaga’s verse came up, she sat at the piano and sang directly to him as if there were no else in the room. Gaga’s solo verse was stunning. She pointed to herself as she sang “Crash through the surface/Where they can’t hurt us,” supporting the idea that the song means so much more. Cooper then joined Gaga at the piano for the ending duet verse. Almost as if they were in character, they sang sharing the microphone with their heads comfortably rested on each other. The performance was electric, illustrating the fantasy of their love. It stood in stark contrast from Gaga’s rockstar-like solo performance at the Grammys earlier this month.

After the performance, “Shallow” was announced the “Best Original Song,” awarded to Gaga. She walked up to the stage with tears in her eyes alongside her writing crew, Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando, and Mark Ronson to accept her first ever Oscar win. Lady Gaga had another nomination for “Best Actress” in A Star Is Born, though Olivia Coleman took home the award for her role in The Favorite. Gaga’s film was also nominated for “Best Picture,” along with seven other featuring nominations.

In her acceptance speech, she stated, “I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about winning. But what it’s about is not giving up, if you have a dream fight for it. If there’s a discipline for passion—and it’s not about how many times you get rejected, or you fall down and are beaten up, it’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going.”

Getty Images Barcroft Media

Getty Images Barcroft Media

Although it was a huge honor for Gaga, backstage she told Elle, “I have a true dream that these awards shows will not be male and female, that we will include everyone.” The Academy still has not evolved in the way we hoped. This is evident through awarding art based on marketing ploys, and productions that don’t portray the best picture. As a female artist that has lived through the horrors of the music industry, she talks the truth behind Hollywood, and how the industry has demonized and sexualized women on numerous occasions.

This past year, we have seen an incredibly vulnerable side of Gaga as she has stood up against her fight with mental illness. As a sexual assault survivor in the music industry, she continues to use her influence and star power to make mental health a global priority. She embodies empowerment, growth, and unity, focusing on the fact that mental illness is real, and it should not be overlooked. Lady Gaga is a reborn woman, and has become a leader and an activist for so many people that have struggled. Now as a Oscar winner, she is deserving of nothing less than the praise and honor of this prestigious award.