Dressed in white and seated at a white piano, Lady Gaga played the ballad, which was co-written by Diane Warren. Halfway through the performance, a group of women and men appeared on stage to join the singer in solidarity.
“Tonight’s performance is about giving a voice to the many victims of sexual assault and their families around the world,” Warren said in a statement. “We are honored to represent so many survivors and hope ‘Til It Happens To You’ empowers those watching to get involved and become part of a solution.”
Gaga co-wrote “Til It Happens to You” with Warren, an eight-time Oscar nominee (her past work includes “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and “There You’ll Be”) for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses.
She was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, whose appearance was announced Thursday. Biden authored the Violence Against Women Act and urged viewers to take a pledge against violence at ItsOnUs.org during his introduction.
“Take the pledge, which says I will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given,” Biden said. “Let’s change the culture. We must and we can change the culture, so that no abused woman or man, ever has to ask themselves what did I do. They did nothing wrong.”
Gaga first performed at the Oscars in 2015, when she took the stage for a medley honoring Sound of Music‘s 50th anniversary. She previously performed “Til It Happens to You” at the Producers Guild Awards this past January.