This year’s Oscars came with far less controversy than last year’s, where Hollywood nice guy Will Smith delivered the slap seen (and heard) around the world. That doesn’t mean that the 95th Academy Awards didn’t have its moments, though. Everything Everywhere All At Once delivered a near-sweep of the night’s biggest categories (though we’d be remiss to not mention that our queen Angela Bassett still did, in fact, do the thing with or without the Academy’s recognition). But outside of that historic triumph, the night also offered us one more glance at Rihanna, who performed her Oscar-nominated song “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The glowing and very pregnant superstar — who gave us a death-defying cavalcade of hits just a month ago during the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show — took the stage dripping in jewels, sequins and sheer, black fabric for the performance while a choir and small orchestra with all Black musicians played behind her. She took the opportunity to give us live vocals, bellowing when the song called for it and even flexing her falsetto on the higher notes. Paired with the backing vocalists and strings playing with her, it gave us one of the most epic moments of the night.
“Lift Me Up” ultimately lost the Oscar to RRR’s “Naatu Naatu,” but this performance was undoubtedly a winner in our eyes. Watch Rihanna elevate Oscars night with her performance below.