Lady Gaga gave fans a million reasons to love her during two rousing performances on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live.
After an introduction from host Tom Hanks, the 30-year-old singer-songwriter took to the stage at Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H in Manhattan on Saturday evening, clad in glistening cutoff shorts, a matching crop top, and a wide-brimmed hat for a stomping rendition of “A-YO,” a groovy promotional single lifted from her fifth solo album, Joanne, which was released Friday.
On “A-YO,” Gaga was accompanied by the song’s co-writer, Hillary Lindsey, who provided backing vocals, while BloodPop and Mark Ronson — who co-produced every song on the standard edition of Joanne — performed the track’s funky arrangement on keyboard and guitar, respectively.
During the song’s string-heavy breakdown, Gaga threw herself on the ground, writhing around before hitting several poses as a camera filmed her from above. She later picked up a pink guitar and jammed with Ronson through the song’s closing moments.
For her second performance of the night, Gaga and Lindsey crooned through the emotional ballad “Million Reasons,” with Gaga perching herself atop an old-fashioned piano as she belted the song’s final chorus.
“When I was making Joanne, we really had no rules, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the intention to see the music with the things that you love,” Gaga said of the album’s distinct sound during an interview with EW. “I love a sugary sweet melody. I love a sugary sweet sound that has a message underneath it, or perhaps something darker or different. Joanne is not dark in the way that The Fame Monster was, but it’s dark in a different way. Not darkness as horror — it’s dark in the way that things can life be dark.”
Also during the SNL telecast, Gaga debuted a new Apple Music commercial, which prominently featured “A-YO” playing over scenes of the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show headliner dancing in a black fringed jacket against a white background.
Gaga’s Oct. 22 set marked her fourth time serving as the long-running variety show’s musical guest. She first appeared during a 2009 episode hosted by Ryan Reynolds before co-headlining a 2011 episode with Justin Timberlake. She pulled double duty as both host and musical guest in 2013.
Watch Gaga perform “A-YO” on Saturday Night Live above, and check out her impassioned rendition of “Million Reasons” below.