In case you need the definition of slayage, look no further than Lady Gaga’s latest performance. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, the Grammy and Oscar winner hit the steps of the U.S. Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony. While this year’s inaugural ceremonies are packed with celebrity appearances (ahem, Demi Lovato and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few), Lady Gaga’s national anthem performance at the 2021 inauguration absolutely gave me chills — and has Twitter calling it Gaga's inauguration.
Just after 11:35 a.m. ET, Gaga appeared in a red ball gown, navy sweater, and oversize bird brooch for her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which truthfully made me tear up. As she performed, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held their hands over their chests and honorably watched. From “O say can you see” to “and the rockets' red glare” and every other lyric embedded in your head, Gaga managed to deliver hair-raising vocals that prove why she was invited to sing in the first place.
Memorably, Mother Monster impressed the world back in 2016 when she kicked off Super Bowl 50 with an ace performance of the national anthem. For years, she and Biden have maintained a close friendship tied to their professional projects. Back in 2017, the duo teamed up for the “It’s On Us” campaign to release a PSA urging an end to sexual assault. In the video, Biden called Gaga a “great friend” and “fierce advocate.”
And in November 2020, Gaga encouraged fans to “vote like this country depends on it” at a drive-in Biden rally in Pennsylvania. “Like me, you’ve experienced the last four years and have all the evidence you need to look at this choice and know in your heart, without any doubt, that Joe Biden is the right choice,” she said at the time.
Just after Lady Gaga wrapped "The Star Spangled Banner" on Wednesday, fans freaked out at the excellence she put forth.
Following the announcement of Gaga’s inauguration performance on Jan. 14, she took to Instagram to say she’s “deeply honored” for the opportunity to perform. On Jan. 19, less than 24 hours before the inaugural ceremonies, she also shared a message of hope for the country.
“I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,” she wrote on Instagram. “A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.”