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Rihanna Paid Tribute to Chadwick Boseman During Her "Lift Me Up" Performance at the 2023 Oscars
Just weeks after the Super Bowl, Rihanna hit the stage at the 2023 Oscars to perform her nominated Wakanda Forever ballad "Lift Me Up."
Just weeks after performing at the Super Bowl — and announcing that she was pregnant — Rihanna returned to the stage. This time, she came to the 95th Academy Awards to perform her ballad "Lift Me Up" (a song that she didn't perform during her epic Super Bowl performance).
The performance was introduced by Wakanda Forever star Danai Gurira, who paid tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020.
“His powerful artistry, his magnetism and incomparable humanity left a mark on our hearts... Chadwick embodied the Wakanda king T’Challa, the one chosen to lift, to protect, to keep us safe. His legacy will live on for future generations. As we say in Wakanda, thank you, King.
"Lift Me Up," which was written in honor of Boseman, was also up for the Best Original Song Oscar. The song, which was written by Afrobeats powerhouse Tems, went up against: Lady Gaga for “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick; Son Lux with Mitski and David Byrne for “This Is a Life”from Everything Everywhere All at Once; Rahul Sipligunj, Kaala Bhairava, and M.M. Keeravani for “Naatu Naatu” from the international sensation RRR; and Sofia Carson for “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman.
Rihanna would end up losing the Oscar to Rahul Sipligunj, Kaala Bhairava, and M.M. Keeravani for “Naatu Naatu.”
Before the Oscars, Rihanna talked a little bit about why she decided to record "Lift Me Up." She told E Talk:
"I love Black empowerment. Chadwick Boseman, i was a huge fan. so of course I was going to do this."
Watch the performance below.