“Lift Me Up,” featured in the movie “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” was written as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman.
Rihanna brought the audience at the 2023 Oscars to their feet, or to their knees, as she belted out the emotional lyrics to her song “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
The “Love On The Brain” singer was introduced by Danai Gurira, one of the Marvel film’s stars, who spoke about “Lift Me Up” being dedicated to the late Chadwick Boseman.
“His legacy will live on for future generations,” Gurira said. “Thank you king.”
She then welcomed Rihanna to the stage, calling the superstar “royalty in her own right.”
Rihanna passionately belted out the lyrics to the song while surrounded by a small orchestra. As she finished, the film’s co-stars, like Angela Bassett, applauded Rihanna. Her partner A$AP Rocky, who was also in the crowd, smiled proudly and raised his champagne glass.
Rihanna’s performance marked the first time the 35-year-old musician has sung the track live. It was also the second time she has taken the stage since giving birth to her son in May 2022.
Her appearance at the 95th Academy Awards follows her Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 12. Wearing a red jumpsuit, Rihanna revealed she was expecting her second child with A$AP Rocky before flying high above the field on a platform stage.
A week before her Oscars debut, Rihanna joked about her baby boy being jealous of his future sibling on Instagram.
“My son when he found out his sibling is going to the Oscars and not him,” she wrote beside a photo of the adorable toddler staring at the camera with tears in his eyes. She also included clips of him watching her “Lift Me Up” music video in the post.
Rihanna co-wrote “Lift Me Up,” which landed the singer her first Oscar nomination, along with Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.
The award ultimately went to M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose’s “Naatu Naatu” from the movie “RRR.”
“Lift Me Up” is Rihanna’s first original song as a solo artist in six years. The ballad is especially meaningful because it references the “Black Panther” sequel’s themes about grief and loss following the death of star Boseman.
The film was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for makeup and hairstyling, costume design and visual effects as well. Angela Bassett also landed a nod for best supporting actress for her powerful portrayal of Queen Ramonda.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the third time, the 2023 Oscars are broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, with the red carpet starting earlier. The 2023 Oscars are available to watch on ABC and various streaming platforms.
Leading the list of nominees include “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” The list of performers and presenters includes Rihanna, following her Super Bowl halftime show, and the viral Telugu-language hit “Naatu Naatu.” Follow 3FLOWRADIO.COM for complete Oscars coverage, including this year’s winners and unexpected moments.