Lady Gaga was a pretty fantastic choice to sing the National Anthem

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

I realized yesterday that I needed the schmaltz. Most days, I roll my eyes at cutesy, twee, crying-at-the-Anthem kind of stuff. But holy hell, we are all climbing out of a deeply traumatic experience with the Trump presidency. Just two weeks beforehand, armed terrorists laid siege to the Capitol, where they hunted for congressional leaders to murder, erected gallows on federal grounds and beat a Capitol Police officer to death. So yeah, I’m totally okay with Lady Gaga tearing up as she sang the National Anthem. I was also okay with her crazy ensemble, which involved a giant red skirt and a giant gold dove brooch. She made me cry!

Many people believed Gaga would wear Givenchy to the Inauguration, because she wore that label to the rehearsal the day before. But she had something custom made for the inauguration: a Schiaparelli haute couture ensemble which consisted of a navy cashmere fitted jacket and a red silk faille skirt. Maison Schiaparelli is a French label, but the house’s current creative director is Daniel Roseberry, a Texan.

Also, I was so charmed by the fact that Gaga seemed to hang out for a while after the inauguration. I saw a lot of pics of her taking photos with National Guardsmen and some of the military men and women who were there for the parades and such. She also was seen glad-handing with all of the politicians, including the Obamas and Clintons, and she gave Amy Klobuchar a big hug.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Getty.

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100 Responses to “Lady Gaga was a pretty fantastic choice to sing the National Anthem”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    She nailed the anthem. I think she is such a character sometimes that it’s easy to forget that she has serious pipes. And her outfit was perfect – I said on Facebook the whole thing was just very “Lady Gaga came to slay.”

    • BayTampaBay says:

      And she did it in a Ball gown!

      WAY TO GO!

    • Laughysaphy says:

      I loved it. She was great, and I loved her gown.

    • Seraphina says:

      I agree with you all. She has a voice and it is easy to forget until she sings. And I loved her outfit, a bit over the top but hey, it’s the inauguration. A dove for peace and maybe the black ribbon for the loss of lives to COVID, or am I reading too much into it? Would have been awesome to have the skirt in purple.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      I loved that her gown was over the top but not costumey and very much fit the occasion. And so many great singers still manage to screw up the anthem because they just try to dress it up too much, but she absolutely nailed it. The best thing, though, was just her utter joy at being there. It radiated from her. And afterward, she hugged President Obama several times, like she just couldn’t help herself. She was all of us in that moment.

    • FHMom says:

      She was perfection on all fronts. Exuberant and glowing

    • liz says:

      She was absolutely wonderful.

      Two nitpicks on the clothes – the dropped waist did her no favors and the zippered back was not meant to be on camera – her turning around mid-performance put it front & center. That said, the dove created fantastic visual interest on an otherwise bland top half. Her hair & makeup were stellar.

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I have been telling people to shut it about her outfit. What? She’s wearing a gorgeous gown under a black blazer and wore a dove as a symbol of peace. She looked gorgeous. And its Gaga – she’s not going to show up in a Hillary pant suit. She was dressed more appropriately than Garth Brooks in his jeans. And her singing is what we should all be talking about.
      Same with Katy Perry – she cosplayed Jackie Kennedy’s inauguration gown last night. I didn’t care. She did an amazing job on Fireworks.

      • Badrockandroll says:

        She nailed it!
        Canada’s national broadcaster has an interesting backstory. Although it lauded Lady Gaga’s performance, the CBC indicated that Francis Scott Key was a slaveowner who sought to execute abolitionists. I did not know that, but I did know that Amazing Grace was written by a reformed slave merchant.
        In either case, both tunes beat YMCA or anything by Lee Greenwood!

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/gaga-biden-america-1.5881149

    • Traveler says:

      I thought she was great!
      As Kaiser said, I needed it too. It gave me chills knowing just how close we came to losing it all and the devils we still need to fight in congress.
      I also loved the dove and olive branch symbols she wore. The whole day and the celebrating america show in the evening were dignified and uplifting.

    • SomeChick says:

      I think that Lady Gaga should be the official singer of the anthem. It is a difficult song to sing well and she is one of the few who can do it justice.

      That said, I wish our anthem was America the Beautiful, which is about peace and unity. It’s also a song that more people could sing well. The anthem is crouched in war and conflict and Francis Scott Key is definitely a problematic person.

      • MyOpinion says:

        @ SomeChick, I agree!! She should be the only authorized singer!! And as far as what she wore, I think she looked fabulous and was incredible!! She has been such a strong advocate for Biden and Harris. Lady Gaga can wear what ever she wants, as an incredible performer as she is, she looked stunning and happy!! I admire her for her strength in what she has overcome and talent.

  2. ABritGuest says:

    Meh. Thought all three musical performances were disappointing (expected with JLo).

    • Darla says:

      Wow really?! Not me, I gloried in them. I thought they were amazing. And I miss live music. What a treat.

    • Julie says:

      Same. Lady Gaga really can sing but didn’t bring it yesterday. Maybe it’s just that she chose such a vocally basic version. I thought at first maybe she was trying to keep it basic because of the time in history we find ourselves but then why did she wear that monstrosity that rips your attention from the anthem? I had to go view the last three inauguration anthems to check whether I’m nuts to expect the anthem singer to subdue their clothing in favor of the moment – turns out I wasn’t crazy. THIS DAY IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Skirt doesn’t need to be a red tent and you don’t need a whole ass gold bird on your chest. Just this one day tame the narcissism.

      • Chaine says:

        ITA with you on her ensemble. It’s like a wedding, as a guest, you don’t want to outshine the bride or take attention away from her, If you are at the inauguration of the first woman vice president, tone it down and let her (or the First Lady) be the visual star! That being said, I thought her rendition of the national anthem was amazing and perfect, and I appreciated how excited she seemed to be about singing it.

      • lucy2 says:

        Yeah I felt the dress was a bit too “Look at meeeee!” but not at all surprising.

    • B n A fn says:

      JLo. was the weakest. Gaga was strong, she really is very talented. Don’t look at the cover, read the book, that’s Gaga, beautiful voice.

      • shanaynay says:

        I’m sorry. I’m not a fan of JLo at all. I was actually quite surprised she was there to perform. Ugh! WTF!!!!

    • lisa says:

      ABritGuest: totally agree! It wasn’t Gaga’s best. I think she was intimidated. She made basic mistakes like taking a breath in the middle of the word “land”. Garth Brooks dropped 80% of the consonants in Amazing Grace, it was terrible. And then he body-slammed W. JLo was fine, not amazing.

    • Linda says:

      I agree. I didn’t like it.

    • Amando says:

      Gaga was good, but Jlo and Garth were meh. JLo was such an odd choice since she’s not a great singer. Garth doesn’t have the pipes (anymore?) for Amazing Grace.

  3. Sofia says:

    She sang well. The outfit was very hunger games-esque for me but this is Gaga that I’m talking about so it’s in character for her.

    • Case says:

      This is exactly what I was going to say. Terrifyingly Hunger Games-esque outfit! Good performance though.

  4. Soupie says:

    Loved it! Perfect! She always delivers. Reminded me of her Super Bowl performance which was outstanding.

    Hated the red bottom part of the dress it would have been so cool if she had done a slinky sheath but she loves those weird ball gowns. Very neo-Victorian. The ball gown look was terribly out of place with all those dignitaries and the occasion. I think she should have realized that but apparently she was pretty cool afterwards so all in all she gets an A- from me.

  5. Savu says:

    It’s like yesterday it finally hit me just how traumatic the last four years have been. I’m a reporter, and I was at our state capitol all day monitoring for protests or threats. I caught pieces of the inauguration after the fact, and then when my fiance and I got home, we watched it in full on the big screen. And wow. It just hit different.

    I cried during the national anthem, which I usually find corny and sometimes even creepy. But I couldn’t help it. And then for some reason, watching the fireworks during the evening special, it all really hit me. Totally burst into tears. I was just so relieved it’s all over.

    We have a lot of healing to do as a nation, but holy hell, we have a lot of trauma to heal on a personal level too. And we are privileged white people with a roof over our heads and food on the table – I can’t imagine what it’s been like to be Black, Latinx, an immigrant, LGBTQ, a Muslim, basically anything but a white Christian for the last four years. But here we are – we made it!

    • grabbyhands says:

      This!!!

      I feel the same way about the anthem, but I pretty much cried my way through the inauguration, the virtual parade and the evening celebration (PS awards to the team that put all the virtual stuff together because it was perfect and beautifully illustrated the theme of the day). I think a lot of us didn’t realize how long we’d been clenching our teeth.

      I had my giggles about the performances, for sure – but everyone gets a pass today. We all needed to feel our feelings.

    • FHMom says:

      Very well said. I wish I could have written the last paragraph because that’s exactly how I feel. I remember 4 years ago picking up my kids from school the day after the election, and one of my mom friends who is Muslim kept asking over and over, what are we going to tell our children. I think she was in shock. It hit everybody so hard, and I’m relieved it’s over.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      I feel like I can breathe deeply again. The relief is palpable.

      I was so anxious that something bad would happen at the inauguration yesterday. I am so glad it went smoothly!

    • Sandra says:

      Yes. I woke up this morning and thought, I don’t have to dread opening my phone and reading the newest horrific headline about what Trump did or said. It’s going to take time to get used to that. There is a kind, sane adult in charge now.
      Thank you so much for your journalistic work. I’m so glad that monster can’t demonize your profession anymore.

      • Savu says:

        @sandra thank you for the kind words. I had one of those out-of-body “is this real life?” moments when our hired security guard had to brief us on what pipe bombs look like, give us code words, and tell us where his safe houses are in the city. I’ve covered a lot over the last year, I’ve been in a lot of compromising situations. But nothing that felt like that. It’ll be one of those things I remember for the rest of my life.

  6. mellie says:

    I thought it was beautiful and she was Gaga for sure! I wouldn’t expect her to come out in a navy pantsuit.

  7. Darla says:

    I think that the line “gave proof through the night that our flag was still there” was imbued with a more modern meaning post-January 6th. And I think she emphasized that.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yes that was one of the lines that made me cry. Our flag is still there.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Yes, Darla! She engaged the environment she was in, and it hit me that they were EXACTLY in the spot where insurrectionists tried to overthrow our democracy just weeks ago. Gaga really brought it home for me when she referenced the flag.

      I never get emotional over the National anthem, but Gaga made me weep.

      • paddingtonjr says:

        I actually got goosebumps at that line. January 6th really gave new meaning to the words of the anthem. For the first time I can remember, I could imagine seeing the bombs and feeling first helpless and then hopeful as the flag was still waving. I think Gaga looked fine, not my style, but it was her. Her performance was appropriately subdued and she seemed a bit nervous.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        ” January 6th really gave new meaning to the words of the anthem. For the first time I can remember, I could imagine seeing the bombs and feeling first helpless and then hopeful as the flag was still waving.”

        Yes, this soooo much! It gave me goosebumps too!

  8. Noki says:

    Now this is one artist where at the end of the day despite all her theatrics she can actually sing,completely stripped down and no gimmicks.

  9. whateveryousay says:

    She was fantastic.

    JLo was painful.

  10. Lucy2 says:

    I thought she did a very good job! I find her whole persona a bit much, but there’s no doubt she can sing.
    JLo…was she live…Or pre-recorded and auto tuned? Sticking her own lyric in there was a bit tacky, but she looked great.

  11. Ariel says:

    Am I the only one who thought maybe she was headed to the bbq at Twelve Oaks, neighbor to Tara, after the inauguration?
    Hoop skirt.

  12. SarahCS says:

    I’m not much of a fan pf hers but she can absolutely sing like a champion and I thought her outfit was fabulous in a way which combined her love of theatrics (which is part of what puts me off her, I mean meant dress??) with the occasion itself. Great choice.

  13. GuestwithCat says:

    Well, that’s a very subdued look for Gaga. She genuinely can sing and she’s a fiend on piano, which makes me wonder about the state of the music industry that she has to be so over the top in everything she does. Unless that is really who she is and she’s chosen a career that lets her be as crazy as she wants to be. If I recall, people working with her on “A Star is Born” had a hard time keeping her looking “normal” for the role and the promotional efforts. I guess she really is that flamboyant at heart. I hope she’s having fun.

    I will save my J-Lo comment for her post.

    But what happened with Garth Brooks? I think he showed up late. There was that awkward pause in the proceedings when he should have performed and then he was put in at the end instead.

  14. Miranda says:

    Gaga is one of the precious few pop musicians who have any business going near the National Anthem. She has a great voice and lets the performance rest on that. Not too much note bending or ridiculous flourishes. And I adored her ensemble! I’m of a similar build, and I’m filing that away for when someone tells me my wedding dress can’t be a ballgown because I’m too petite.

    • equality says:

      I agree. I hate it when the artist tries to re-write the song and she can hit the notes without being shrill.

      • Alexandria says:

        I really like it when Jennifer Hudson sings it. She controls her voice well like Whitney without being shrill…most of the time. Anyway I don’t mind Gaga and she looked proud and so happy to be there, as we would be! She did great!

  15. Indywom says:

    I loved even more that the orange demon was somewhere crying into a Diet Coke about how the A list hated his guts. Even better that Scott Baio, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock realized that Trump doesn’t consider them A List.

    • MyOpinion says:

      @ Indywom, that’s an excellent perception and probably true!! Agent Orange had been fuming and shaking his baby fists over the last few days in regards to the talent Biden brought in. It was also mentioned that when he asked Garth Brooks to perform for his day, Brooks was not available. It’s been speculated that Brooks was using that as cover for not wanting to perform or be associated with Agent Orange!!

  16. Lightpurple says:

    She totally nailed it and delivered it with great joy. And as she walked away and greeted the new President and Vice President, she can be heard to thank him for honoring her with such a privilege. Gaga and Biden have been friends for years so this must have been a real thrill for her.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      Is that what she said?? I so desperately wanted to know what she said to them because you could see how incredibly honored she was to be there.

      • LightPurple says:

        Yes. She said hello to him, then to VP Harris and then as she was walking away, she thanks him for the privilege. Lady did everything perfectly and was clearly loving every second of it.

    • HoofRat says:

      I also loved that, before she stepped forward to sing, she said a polite thank you to the officer who escorted her; she has impeccable manners. (However, I wish she had abandoned them long enough to conk Mike Pence on his homophobic head with her golden mic.)

      • LightPurple says:

        She got Pence years ago at the Super Bowl he attended when she opened with God Bless America but quickly switched to This Land is Your Land. Guthrie wrote the second as a protest song in response to the nationalist/populist/fascism growing at the time that he thought the first song represented. Lady Gaga knows her history of protest songs.

      • Chickie Baby says:

        Yes! I really loved that there was a Marine escorting her, especially down all those steps. That was A LOT of dress and she couldn’t see her feet, and he was hanging on to her arm like Velcro so she wouldn’t stumble. It was just a really lovely touch to have a big, strapping Marine there to assist, and she was smiling at him like she was grateful. And then she belted out the Anthem! Love her!

  17. TIFFANY says:

    She was dressed like the flag. The brooch was a very nice touch.

    I thought Gaga looked and sounded fantastic.

  18. Lotta says:

    I cried too, but I was also suprised that everyone were hugging each other. What happened to social distanceing? A mask is not 100% protection and I saw a lot of people fingering on their masks. Two of those I noticed doing that was Obama and Jill Bidén.

    As I nurse, and a person in a risk group because of having cancer, I couldn’t help wondering why they packed people together like that.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I saw some overhead shots and they were actually further apart than it seemed. I got a little nervous when the performers and speakers greeted people without their masks on, but I am assuming everyone involved was tested and cautious, and probably most of the politicians have been vaccinated.

    • Adi says:

      I must say I felt the same, there was a LOT of hugging going on and barely any social distancing which didn’t make sense to me given the age of a lot of attendees. I know they were all tested twice in the 72 hours leading up to the inauguration but social distancing should still have been followed and especially no hugging!

  19. Stacy Dresden says:

    Gaga really killed it. I was in love with Katy Perry’s fireworks finale, and I am not a Katy fan.

    • JanetDR says:

      Same! I adored the shots of the couples silhouetted against the fireworks. Like a freaking Disney cartoon, only better because it’s real. I had such a feeling of peace last night. Like I took a deep breath for the first time in 4 years.

  20. Lizzie says:

    I loved Gaga. I also loved her gown, she was just the right amount of over the top for me.

  21. Willow says:

    Compared to her award show performances, this was very dialed down but still Gaga. I loved it when she pointed dramatically at the flag with her arm raised. A classy f-u to 1/6. Did you see the pictures of her with her military escort? They were comfortable and friendly with each other and that takes effort from the celebrity for that to happen. I also really appreciated how she went out of her way to spend so much time with the troops there.

  22. Heat says:

    I loved her performance; she didn’t over-sing it, as many tend to do. I had goosebumps and felt teary-eyed…and I’m a Canadian.
    J Lo was…okay.
    Garth Brooks was great, too. But when he started running around to meet everyone, all I could think was “put your mask back on!!!”

    • emu says:

      Agree – didn’t try to over-sing or have too much coloratura. J.Lo has a lovely soft voice, but I liked Gaga’s strong voice much more.

  23. Ann says:

    She was fabulous. Thank you for the opportunity to rewatch, because I saw new things – look at Cole Emhoff’s eyes – he is so so happy while watching her sing. And Michelle’s eyes clearly approve!!

    • Miranda says:

      Michelle’s patented side-eye gets all the attention, but I actually love her “oh HELL yes!” approving looks, too. Because despite being an absolute goddess, even SHE can’t help looking a little…mommishly dorky when she’s into something, especially a musical performance. Like, check her out when she was watching Lin-Manuel Miranda performing proto-Hamilton at the White House. God, I love that woman.

  24. fluffy_bunny says:

    My son thought she looked like Effy from the Hunger Games. I was wondering if Joe is a closet Little Monster. We decided that maybe one of the grandkids made the suggestion for Lady Gaga to perform.

    • LightPurple says:

      Joe Biden and Lady Gaga have been friends for years. They worked together on It’s On Us, a project to bring awareness to sexual abuse on college campuses, and to establish trauma centers for sexual abuse centers on college campuses. Joe himself would have made the decision for her to perform. They adore each other.

    • Malificent says:

      My tween kept going on about how huge her skirt was. I’m like, it’s Lady Gaga, so tbe skirt could have been made out of corned beef.
      I thought her look was a great balance of her theatricality and dressing appropriately for a solemn occasion.

  25. Tilewa says:

    Beautiful and controlled voice for a tough song to sing.and she had presence. Loved it!!!

  26. BearcatLawyer says:

    The best part for me was when VP Pence had to hand her the gold microphone. Take that, you homophobic troll!

    But when she gestured towards the US flags during the song, I lost it. After the last four years of hell and a damn insurrection, Lady Gaga gave me what I needed!

  27. Kim says:

    I loved the whole thing. It was a big screw you to the insurrection riot. GaGa’s outfit was big message – we’re not going to let you steal or ruin our joy, our hope, our possibility.

  28. sgkh says:

    My husband died recently and he was a HUGE Lady Gaga fan, so I had a huge smile on my face watching her sing the anthem, knowing how much he would have loved it. She truly is talented, and I appreciated that she kept her rendition fairly simple. Too often singers try to jazz it up. It’s a very difficult song to sing.

  29. Harla says:

    I hope that she wore thermals and sweat pants under that skirt, I know that I would’ve! She has such a beautiful voice ❤️

  30. Valerie says:

    I thought she was fantastic. J Lo sounded autotuned.

  31. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Call me crazy but more than her performance, I loved how nervous she looked walking out. It meant something to me that she must have been so honored to be there and obviously wanted to do her very best.

  32. Anna says:

    Guess I’m the only one here who isn’t a fan. Had to switch off the live feed, tbh. Could say more but I’ll just stick with: her outfit was cool. Same with JLo because of the song choice, just made me really aware amidst the joy of celebration, that the U.S. really is a colonialist, imperialist nation. This land is not your land, not my land. It is stolen land. Was disappointed that there was no mention of the land on which they stood, any land acknowledgement, but at the end of the day, this is U.S. politics and it’s still a capitalist government. That said, I am beyond thrilled with Biden-Harris win as they clearly are going to be working for the people and that is *everything*! Our lives depend on it! And deeply, deeply grateful to all who worked to hard to secure this vote and the Georgia vote in particular. Didn’t realize just how much trauma I’d been carrying in my spirit and body these four years, spent the morning watching the ceremonies and ugly crying and dancing.

    • PrincessK says:

      Me too. Lady Ga ga is not my type of music. J Lo may not have a big voice but l prefer her kind of singing.

    • Valerie says:

      I hope the US will follow Canada’s lead and start including land acknowledgments in their ceremonies.

    • Willow says:

      I didn’t really think about the colonialist, land stealing part, but you are absolutely right. I thought the entire day was very uplifting and uniting. However, I did wonder how people of other beliefs or faiths felt every time someone said ‘God bless America’ or similar. That’s also a blind spot our governmental traditions has.

  33. mish-mash says:

    GAGA was PERFECT…

  34. Linda says:

    I thought her dress was a good compromise for the weather. I’ve seen inaugurations where, if it was me, I’d be dressed in a big, puffy down jacket. She got to wear a beautiful gown to one of the highlights of her life. Can you imagine being asked to perform at an event like that? What an honour.

  35. Harper says:

    I loved Lady Gaga’s ensemble. It was artistic, like her. It made a pro-peace statement with the oversized dove (I thought it was an eagle which would have been just as good!). The colors felt patriotic. The volume of the skirt was balanced with the simple dark top. The whole look was showy but respectful. After a long, fashion-starved pandemic, she really delivered.

  36. Liz version 700 says:

    She really nailed everything perfectly. Her voice was fantastic and her dress was lovely. When she sang “our flag was still there” looking at the flag that almost fell two weeks ago… I was bawling a bit…OK a lot.

  37. Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

    I thought she was flawless Queen Gaga yesterday. Her demeanor, her outfit, her rendition of the song. All of it was perfect. She sang with so much passion, that was genuine. Some artists seem so forced and superficial (like Mariah Carey for example). Gaga was there in the moment and you could feel every note in your soul as she sang it. I only felt sorry that JLo had to follow that up. I think a Jennifer Hudson or Kelly Clarkson would have been a better vocal fit for that than JLo, but maybe they were wanting to reach the Hispanic demographic, which is of course understandable. Katy Perry did a nice job as well. All in all, the performances were great IMO.

  38. Amelie says:

    I thought her outfit was on brand Gaga but with a political/inauguration twist with the big dove and poufy skirt. I actually didn’t think it was her best performance. Don’t get me wrong, I thought she did a good job, but it wasn’t her best. It was cold, she was probably nervous, and the anthem is not an easy song to sing at all.

  39. emu says:

    YES I LOVED her performance! She has such a beautiful strong voice, and I love her emphasis on different parts than is usual. It is one of my top performances of the Spangle. She didn’t have too much coloratura (which everyone seems to associate with a good voice), but enough to impress.

  40. Marni112 says:

    This was an epic performance! So hard to sing but she made it relevant to the situation and her own

  41. Marni112 says:

    This was an epic performance! So hard to sing but she made it relevant to the situation and her own