By Leah Greenblatt
October 12, 2009 at 04:03 PM EDT

“Tonight is not about me, tonight is about you,” Lady Gaga told the crowd at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington D.C. on Saturday night.

And indeed, la Gaga came off uncharacteristically sober and low-key — no red lace face beast, no creature from the latex lagoon) — taking to the piano to perform John Lennon’s classic 1971 ballad “Imagine” with off-the-script references to hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard and gay marriage:

What do you think, readers — does Gaga Serious feel as true to you as the one who Just Dances?

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Janelle Monae, ‘Come Alive (The War of the Roses)’: Stream it here

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Kanye West MIA at BET Hip Hop Awards