Rihanna performed her song, “Lift Me Up,” from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack at the 95th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday night. It was her first live performance since taking the stage at Super Bowl LVII, earlier this year. On stage, she rocked a black bra embellished with crystals over matching black pants. Her partner, A$AP Rocky, watched on from the audience.
“Lift Me Up” was nominated for Best Original Song, alongside Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, and “Applause” from Tell It like a Woman. “Naatu Naatu” ended up taking home the award.
Rihanna On Stage At The Oscars
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler previously spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about convincing Rihanna to take the job. He said that her experience with becoming a mother made her a perfect fit. “It’s her experience with loss in there, and her being a mother,” he said. “She’s a new person now. [Parenthood] changes you to your core. I hear it in her voice. It’s her, but it’s a new her.”
Composer Ludwig Göransson also reflected on working on the song with Rihanna during an essay for Variety. “For the first time in six years, Rihanna returned to the studio, and I had never heard her voice sound like this before. There was a new kind of conviction and softness in her sound. She took the chorus of the song to a new level,” Göransson said. “I imagined Shuri (Letitia Wright) singing to her brother the same way Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) sang to her son. After three weeks of meticulously fine-tuning every word, the feeling and melody line that Rihanna added to the chorus was a feeling of timelessness. It felt like the past, present and future all came together at the same time.”