The Oscar competition took a back seat, however, when Gaga sat down at an all-white piano.
She launched into her song on a darkened stage. When the lights came up, she was surrounded by victims of sexual abuse.
The young women all had slogans written on their arms and finished the song with their hands in the air in a show of strength.
Gaga, who also was dressed in white from head-to-toe cranked up the volume, showing off her power vocals. The performance was flawless and the scene moving. Many in the audience were reduced to tears.
The 29-year-old singer is best known for her outlandish stage performances and eccentric costumes, which have tended to overshadow her musical talent.
But with last night’s performance, Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, cemented herself as a musical superstar.
She gave a similar moving and flawless performance when she sang the National Anthem at this year’s Super Bowl earlier this month.
Gaga has said in the past that she, too, was the victim of sexual abuse.
But her Oscar performance was not without controversy.
She’s also been criticized for being insensitive to the issue of sexual abuse because of her work with R&B singer R. Kelly, who was accused of sexually abusing an underage girl.
Kelly appeared with her in her video “Do What U Want,” which some critics claimed glorified rape.
The video was directed by celebrity photographer Terry Richardson, who has been accused repeatedly of sexually harassing young models.
Her message last night, however, was clear and unequivocal. Check out the video below, let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter.