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Rihanna’s Performance At The 2023 Oscars Was…W-O-W

Of course, one of the most memorable events at the Oscars didn’t involve a prize but rather Rihanna’s stirring performance.

As Rihanna took the stage to sing “Lift Me Up” at the 95th Academy Awards, it seemed as though all eyes were on the globally dominant superstar.

The singer, 35, took the stage to sing her Oscar-nominated song “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” at the 95th annual Academy Awards show Sunday. Rihanna was introduced as “royalty in her own right” by Danai Gurira, who portrayed Okoye in the Marvel films.

In honor of the late Chadwick Boseman, Ludwig Göransson, Ryan Coogler, Tems, and Rihanna created a heartfelt song, according to Gurira. “Our souls will always bear a permanent imprint of Chadwick’s exceptional humanity, magnetism, and powerful artistic ability. T’Challa, the Wakandan monarch, was embodied by Chadwick.”

When asked how her voice is feeling ahead of her performance, she replied, “Beautiful. God-given.” And after her amazing performance, I’d have to agree. Obviously, she’s had a string of iconic performances as of late, with the most recent being the headliner at the Super Bowl.

The singer performed in a sparkling ensemble and diamonds, giving an emotional performance that earned a standing ovation from the audience (including the artist’s super fan boyfriend A$AP Rocky, who raised his glass in celebration) in the Dolby Theater.

You can catch the full performance here:

I’m still digesting my own feelings about what just happened, so I’ll let the Twittersphere express theirs instead:

Rihanna performs the Oscar nominated original song "Lift Me Up" from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" during the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

Lift Me Up” was nominated for original song, up against “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman”,  “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”, “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR.” It is the Bajan superstar’s first Oscar nomination. The award ultimately went to “RRR.

The song, with music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson and lyrics by Tems and Ryan Coogler, peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

“Wakanda Forever” was up for five Oscars, including best supporting actress for Angela Bassett for her role as Queen Ramonda. Ruth E. Carter won her second Oscar in the costume design category for her work on the film.

Rihanna’s performance followed quite a bit of anticipation from producers.

Oscar producers were already ecstatic to have Rihanna perform her Oscar-nominated song, which was also nominated for best song at the Golden Globes. Then Rihanna stole the Super Bowl with her halftime performance and pregnancy reveal.

“We were thrilled before the Super Bowl, but it only helped to see the coverage that her Super Bowl performance received,” Oscars producer Ricky Kirshner told USA TODAY.

Before the awards show, Rihanna, who is expecting her second child, made a joke on Instagram about how her son would be upset to learn that he would have to remain at home while his new sibling attended the show.

“my son when he found out his sibling is going to the Oscars and not him,” she wrote.

But the baby quips persisted. Although it was uncertain if Rihanna’s son actually attended the Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel used the occasion to make fun of the idea that he might be backstage.

Rihanna “has a nine-month-old backstage. He’s very cute. He pooped during rehearsal. You know who the last person was to poop backstage at the Oscars? The accountant that mixed up the enveloped,” Kimmel said, referencing the best picture winner mix-up during his ill-fated Oscars hosting gig in 2017.

Rihanna’s evening at the 2023 Oscars included a stop to pose on the champagne carpet at the where she highlighted her baby bump with a sheer Alaïa gown paired with a fun updo and a long train. Photo: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY

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