February 22nd 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of The Academy Awards. It was a memorable night filled with talent, inspiration, and the passing on of generation to generation. As always, history was made. Best Picture went to the phenomenal film Birdman, Lady Gaga performed an amazing tribute to The Sound Of Music, and Best Original Song went to “Glory” from the movie Selma and was performed expertly by Common and John Legend.
John Legend and Common used social capital to bring to America the grit embedded in Selma’s wisdom tale. The technique of the Gospel Church, rooted in soul music and faith and struggle, were evident in the younger generation performers as the older generation sang form of choir. The powerful Gospel vocals created a rousing the spirit in the room that changed the air around them. The energy and history of this performance wrapped the audience and John Legend and Common received three standing ovations. The crowd cheered and had tears glistening in many eyes.
Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music left the audience in awe. Her look was a perfect marriage of her edgy and quirky nature with a soft yet powerful look that was quite breathtaking. The wispy white gown and long blond locks contrasted with her tattoos in a way that blended old Hollywood with a new twist. The change in her look was noted after she came off the road with Tony Bennett. It is clear that she’s repositioning herself as a singer with reckoning.
She is remaking herself as a vocalist and entertainer, away from her prior highly choreographed and physically demanding performances. Gaga’s new persona will likely appear in Vegas or on the Broadway Stage. Lady Gaga is very smart, creative and centered in her vocal power. She really made herself the new Madonna, her idol and template, who transitioned her image from a sexy pop star into a film goddess inEvita.
As Lady Gaga finished the medley with “Climb Every Mountain,” Julie Andrews glided onto the stage and embraced Gaga with much-deserved praise. This was a memorable moment and a symbol of a generational passing of the torch.
The ceremony, in its entirety, was marked by moments such as these. Music performance sculpted the evening with emotional highlights that were heartfelt, filling the evening with a poignant mastery and sophistication.