That wasn’t just the balmy 42-degree weather in Washington, D.C., warming your heart just now.
Accompanied by the United States Marine Corps. Band, Lady Gaga spread good vibes from sea to shining sea Wednesday, Jan. 20with her rendition of the national anthem at Joe Biden‘s presidential inauguration, belting out “The Star-Spangled Banner” moments before Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president of the United States, her oath of office administered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
In what was a dramatically scaled back celebration due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Grammy winner gave the strictly structured proceedings her signature star power. And she couldn’t help but bring it, her booming voice ringing with emotion on this historic day that saw a woman of color break this country’s second-highest glass ceiling.
Lady Gaga didn’t dial it down in the fashion department, either, choosing a dramatic look by Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli. Her dress combined a full red skirt and coat-style navy top, a gigantic brooch in the shape of a golden dove with an olive branch in its mouth providing just the right accent for the moment.
“I pray tomorrow will be a day of peace for all Americans,” Lady Gaga had tweeted Tuesday. “A day for love, not hatred. A day for acceptance not fear. A day for dreaming of our future joy as a country. A dream that is non-violent, a dream that provides safety for our souls. Love, from the Capitol.”
The angle of her photo showed her, clad in suffragette-white from head to toe, standing inside the rotunda of the recently embattled Capitol building underneath the famous Dome, the fresco Apotheosis of Washington directly above.
Arriving at the Capitol today she wrote, “Singing our National Anthem for the American People is my honor. I will sing during a ceremony, a transition, a moment of change—between POTUS 45 and 46. For me, this has great meaning.”
A longtime supporter of Biden’s since meeting him back during the Obama presidency to discuss ways to combat the scourge that is sexual violence, Gaga appeared at an election eve rally for him at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field back in November.
“I’ve known Joe for a long time,” she told the crowd. “I remember when I was hanging out with him one day and I was like, ‘So you’re going to run for president, right?’ And we had a little talk and he did it. But I was like, ‘Listen, we need you, because we needed somebody that was going to bring us all together for this moment, this very important moment. It’s going to be clear what this country is, tomorrow.'”
After the race was called for Biden and Harris the morning of Nov. 7, following several days of counting around the clock in states that remained too close to call on Election Night, Lady Gaga registered her happiness and relief, writing, “@joebiden @KamalaHarris and the American people, you just gave the world one of the greatest acts of kindness and bravery humanity has ever seen. nothing but love for our new Commander in Chief and the 1ST female VP elected to the White House. Also, way to go PA.”
Biden, who co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act when it was first passed in 1994, introduced Lady Gaga’s performance of Best Original Song nominee “Til It Happens to You”—from the documentary The Hunting Ground, about sexual assault on college campuses—at the 2016 Oscars. Then still Barack Obama‘s vice president, he received a standing ovation.
“Too many women and men…are still victims of sexual abuse,” Biden said in encouraging the audience to “take the pledge. A pledge that says, ‘I will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.’ Let’s change the culture.”
Lady Gaga never forgot Biden’s pledge, and almost five years later—after making sure he was going to run and all—she got to see him sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.