Rihanna gave a moving performance of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Chadwick Boseman tribute song at the Oscars 2023.
The singer, who is pregnant and recently headlined the Super Bowl halftime show, stood onstage at the Dolby Theater on Sunday while singing “Lift Me Up,” which is nominated for best original song.
She had an orchestra behind her, including several violinists and background singers, who helped bring the ballad she co-wrote to life. Tems, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson also worked on the track.
Rihanna began to get up while singing the words “lift me up” near the end of the song. She was wearing a black outfit with sheer trim that revealed her tummy a bit.
The pop star earned loud applause from the public, including Oscar nominees. Black Panther actress Angela Bassett and her partner A$AP Rocky.
Black Panther actress Danai Gurira introduced the performance and talked about Boseman. She also called Rihanna “royalty in her own right.”
Other Best Original Song nominees include Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick; MM Keeravaani and Chandrabose “Naatu Naatu” of RRR; “Applause” by Diane Warren of say it like a woman; and “This Is a Life” by David Byrne from Everything everywhere at once.
Ruth Carter won the Oscar for best costume design on Sunday for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She became the first black woman to win two Oscars and the first designer to win for both an original film and its sequel.
Bassett was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Marvel film, but lost to Jamie Lee Curtis for Everything everywhere at once.
Check out Rihanna’s performance below:
Plus, check out the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.