• Lady Gaga performs Oscar-nomiated 'Til It Happens To You', on stage with survivors of abuse, at the 88th Academy Awards. (AP)Source: AP
It was a powerful moment.
Georgina Cooke

1 Mar 2016 - 10:42 AM  UPDATED 1 Mar 2016 - 10:42 AM

There were a number of less-than-surprising moments at this year's Oscars  - Chris Rock, Leo, we’re looking at you – but the winner for Best Spine-Tingling Moment undoubtedly went to Lady Gaga.

Just hours before the megastar took to the stage at the 88th Academy Awards to deliver yet another knockout performance on par with her Super Bowl appearance, she tweeted a simple message of support to Kesha.

Given the 'Tik Tok' and 'Die Young' singer’s recent and very public sexual assault case, the tweet itself was unsurprising. But just over two minutes into Lady Gaga’s song 'Til It Happens To You', it became clear what Gaga meant by "we'll stand by u".

As the curtain rose behind her, dozens of sexual assault survivors stepped out on to the stage standing alongside one another with messages of their own branded onto their arms including “Not your fault” and “Unbreakable”.

Her rousing performance was met with a standing ovation at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and an outpouring of praise on Twitter, including from Kesha herself.

Gaga was also introduced to the stage as a “friend and courageous lady” by United States Vice President Joe Biden, who called on the audience to “change the culture” of sexual violence against women.

Biden has a long history championing women’s rights, having introduced the Violence Against Women Act to Congress in 1990.

'Til It Happens To You', written by Lady Gaga with songwriter Diane Warren, was nominated for Best Original Song for documentary The Hunting Ground, which explores campus rapes across America.

But the song was especially personal for Gaga, who revealed just over a year ago that she had been sexually assaulted at the age of 19.

Although Gaga did not pick up an Oscar on the night – the Best Original Song accolade going to Sam Smith for 'Writing’s On The Wall' for Spectre – it hardly seemed to matter, as the star took to Instagram to share her happiness and love for “a real man” after her performance.


Read more about the 88th Academy Awards

Read more of the latest SBS Movies news