Lady Gaga has hit yet another awards season high, following her Grammy’s tribute to David Bowie, and last year’s Oscars Sound of Music tribute to Julie Andrews.
Taking to the stage at the Oscars 2016 ceremony, Gaga brought many among the Academy Awards audience to tears with a moving live rendition of her song ‘Til It Happens To You, written with Diane Warren for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape on campus.
Dedicating her performance to popstar Ke$ha, who is currently embroiled in a legal battle to free her from a contract with Sony and producer Dr Luke, following accusations of rape and abuse, Lady Gaga highlighted the #NotYourFault movement, campaigning for victims of sexual assault.
Introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, who delivered a speech urging the audience to help change the dialogue surrounding sexual assault, Lady Gaga was then joined on-stage by a group of sexual assault survivors all bearing phrases such as "Not Your Fault," "Survivor" and "It Happened To Me" written on their arms.
Rachel McAdams and Kate Winslet were among those visibly moved by the performance, which received a standing ovation from the Dolby Theatre.
Lady Gaga wasn’t the only star to use her stage time to highlight a powerful cause, however.
On winning his first ever Academy Award, Leonardo DiCaprio used his Oscars acceptance speech to highlight climate change issues, and the urgency with which peole need to back real action.
After thanking his parents, friends and Revenant co-star Tom Hardy, DiCaprio went on to say: “Climate change is real, it is happening right now.
“It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this.
“For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted.”
Following the huge #oscarssowhite backlash surrounding the lack of diversity among Academy Awards 2016 nominations, ceremony host Chris Rock addressed the issue in his opening speech.
Tackling the issue head-on, Rock opened the show with: “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist.”
The comedian then went on to discuss the wider, more intricate issues of subtle and hidden racism that surrounds diversity in Hollywood, explaining: “it’s a different type of racist.”
He concluded with a clear call for action, directed at casting bosses, directors and producers: “We want opportunity - give black actors the same opportunities as white actors. That’s it. Leo gets a great part every year. What about Jamie Foxx?”