On January 20, Lady Gaga performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” during Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony because hitting those high notes takes more than just a good singer. That was no problem for Gaga, whose performance was named one of the top ten best inauguration performances of all time by USA Today. On November 23, she commented on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “It was one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had as a musician and a performer.”
Gaga also saw Biden’s inauguration as an opportunity to reach out to those who might not have seen her perform otherwise. “I have two minutes and thirty seconds to talk to the entire world… the world is on fire, and everyone deserves love,” she stated. But it wasn’t all fun and games. In one of the most symbolic parts of her performance, Gaga extended her right arm toward the American flag before turning to face it. However, that touching gesture came perilously close to being a blunder. This was due to the flag being in a different location during rehearsal, she said to Colbert “I started turning, and I was like, ‘Oh, girl, just keep turning and maybe it will show up,’” she laughed.
While the incident was amusing and surprising, Gaga arrived prepared in case a much more serious issue arose.
President Joe Biden was sworn in just two weeks after what is widely regarded as one of the worst days in American history. A mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to disrupt the Congress session convened to affirm Biden’s victory, resulting in five deaths. With the inauguration only a few days away, many feared a repeat of the attack as a safety precaution. Lady Gaga chose to have a bulletproof vest sewed into her garment with this in mind. The artist wore a long-sleeved black Scaparelli dress with a scarlet skirt that helped her to go unnoticed on a chilly January day in Washington, D.C. On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Gaga added, “It was a scary time in this country.”
Gaga admitted that she was worried about her safety, but that she was prepared to accept the risk in order to be a part of American history.
“As a performer, I understand that I put myself in all types of dangerous situations in order to do what I love,” she said. However, her family had been in distress over her performing in the same place that had been attacked mere days before. “I care a lot about my family … So I did that for myself but for my family as well, so that my mom and dad and my sister would feel confident,” Gaga told Colbert.
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