Lady Gaga Has Opened Up About Her Intimate Performance With Bradley Cooper At The Oscars

When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed “Shallow” together at the 91st Academy Awards, their obvious intimacy sparked red-hot rumors of a real-life romance. And while the world discussed whether the two had actually begun dating in private, the stars themselves kept notably schtum. Since then, though, Gaga herself has revealed the truth about her relationship with her co-star. So, what juicy tidbits did she manage to spill?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, you’ve probably seen coverage of the February 2019 Oscars. And even if you didn’t catch the ceremony as it aired live, you’ll likely have watched clips of some of the most memorable moments – Olivia Colman’s hilarious acceptance speech, anyone? – on TV or the internet. But practically everything else paled in comparison to the undoubted highlight of the night.

We’re talking, of course, about that Gaga/Cooper duet. During a break in the awards announcements, the pair sang “Shallow” – the romantic hit from their 2018 remake of A Star Is Born. And the stars’ palpable chemistry not only wowed the legions of famous faces in the audience, but also many of those watching at home.

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That stand-out performance was even enough to get gossip hounds talking about a romance. But ever since she burst onto the music scene back in 2008, Gaga hasn’t exactly lacked for column inches. The singer/songwriter first rose to fame with eclectic but catchy hit singles such as “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance.” And Gaga’s visually striking music videos have shown off yet another of her trademarks: a unique fashion sense.

Gaga has often made headlines with her controversial wardrobe – not least the infamous meat dress she sported to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. But although she’s caused something of a stir on occasion, the performer also has a definite philanthropic streak. She’s used proceeds from merchandise sales to aid disaster relief, for instance.

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Gaga – who has described herself as “sexually empowering women” with her performances – has also spoken out for LGBT causes on numerous occasions. Then there’s the non-profit organization she founded back in 2012 in a bid to help encourage and support young people. She named the charity the Born This Way Foundation after one of her most popular songs.

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When Gaga isn’t helping folk or making music, though, she likes to act. And while she’s known by some for portraying The Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel, her most famous role to date is in the remake of the 1937 film A Star Is Born. It’s actually the third time that Hollywood has revisited the original, which starred Janet Gaynor in her Technicolor debut.

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In the latest version of A Star Is Born, Gaga plays an aspiring singer named Ally. Then, at a club, her path crosses with that of the troubled country music star Jack Maine, and the two begin an artistic and romantic relationship. Maine, of course, is played by Cooper, who also acts as the film’s director and producer.

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And while Cooper may have only sat in the director’s chair once at time of writing, he’s far from green when it comes to showbiz. The acclaimed actor initially rose to fame for his part in 2009’s The Hangover and has been in demand as a leading man ever since. He doesn’t even have to appear in front of the camera for you to recognize his voice, either, as he’s given vocal life to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s trigger-happy Rocket Raccoon.

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If you’ve watched A Star Is Born or seen Cooper and Gaga’s Oscar performance, though, you’ll know that the actor can also sing. That memorable duet began after staff at the awards ceremony wheeled a piano onto the stage. Then Cooper and Gaga rose from their seats hand in hand – which in itself may have raised a few eyebrows.

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And after the pair had taken position, they began their rendition of “Shallow.” Gaga and Cooper gazed into each other’s eyes for the majority of their memorizing performance, which culminated in a mic-sharing finale. It was all so intimate, in fact, that a Gaga-Cooper romance seemed almost inevitable – if it wasn’t already a thing.

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The suspicion that Gaga was no longer with her fiancé only added fuel to the fire. The singer had become engaged to talent agent Christian Carino in November 2017, but fans noticed that something was wrong when she attended the February 2019 Grammy Awards. Simply put, Gaga’s ring finger was noticeably unembellished.

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And the star dropped another hint that not all was well when collecting a Grammy for “Shallow” on behalf of herself and Cooper. At the end of Gaga’s tear-filled address, one person remained unmentioned – and his exclusion spoke volumes.

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“Thank you so much,” Gaga gushed during her acceptance speech at the awards. “I gotta thank God. Thank you for looking out for me, thank you for my family at home, I love you… I wish Bradley was here with me right now… Bradley, I loved singing this song with you.”

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Predictably, Gaga’s representatives went on to confirm that, yes, she had split with Carino. And an unidentified source explained exactly why the two had parted ways when talking to People. “It just didn’t work out,” the insider reportedly said. “Relationships sometimes end. There’s no long dramatic story.”

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Cooper, on the other hand, was very much taken at the time of the Oscar performance. He had started dating supermodel Irina Shayk in 2015, with the couple having welcomed daughter Lea De Seine two years later. Even so, this did little to prevent the swirling rumors of a Cooper-Gaga romance.

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And the media has picked apart the responses to the heart-melting “Shallow” duet – starting with those that came from folks present at the performance. The Spice Girls’ Melanie Brown spoke to Good Morning Britain about her feelings on the subject, and in customary fashion she didn’t hold back. “I felt so uncomfortable for Bradley’s girlfriend, oh my gosh,” she said of Shayk.

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Brown made it clear, though, that she wasn’t accusing the singers of anything untoward. “I would like to think it was part of the whole performance,” she continued. “Because there’s a women’s code, and hopefully that’s not… hopefully it’s only professional.”

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The ex-Spice Girl wasn’t the only celebrity to air their opinion on the duet. Comedian and actor David Spade also weighed in with a – very blunt – comment on social media. “Is there any chance these two aren’t f***ing?” he captioned an Instagram picture of Gaga and Cooper performing. And a response of sorts came from none other than Jennifer Esposito – Cooper’s ex-wife.

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Esposito replied simply – although somewhat cryptically – with the word “Ha.” But while media sources were quick to jump on the comment, the actress attempted to clarify herself with a live Instagram post. “It was towards David Spade’s very outward statement about something about an ex,” she said in the video.

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“I literally laughed at [Spade] because he was so bold in what he was saying,” Esposito elaborated. “And I thought it was funny. I’m allowed to think something is funny.” Whatever Esposito’s true feelings on the subject, though, the chemistry between Gaga and Cooper definitely had the general public in a flutter.

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And the romantic moment totally swept away a lot of folks on social media. “Why yes, I did scream ‘KISS!’ from the balcony of the Dolby Theatre,” one person tweeted. Another added with mock dismay, “Wait, they cut away just as they were about to make out.”

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Others couldn’t help but put themselves in Shayk’s position. “I also would have tiptoed backstage so they couldn’t cut to me if I were that man’s wife,” an observer wrote. A fellow fan contributed, “I’m sorry, but if you’re Bradley’s wife, aren’t you just… slightly… nervous?”

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Yet while some have been questioning Shayk’s opinion on the intimate duet, she’s offered no official comment. All we have to go on, in fact, is the model’s live reaction to the “Shallow” performance as it went on at the Oscars. So, was she as apprehensive or jealous as Twitter users assumed?

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Well, eyewitness accounts indicate that the tension between Gaga and Shayk is all imaginary. For one, there’s the fact that the women sat together with Cooper both before and after the duet. And that’s not even to mention Shayk’s moving response to the performance.

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Chris Gardner, who works for The Hollywood Reporter, caught Shayk’s reaction on camera and shared it on social media. “Here’s what standing ovation looked like inside Dolby for @ladygaga and Bradley Cooper after their “Shallow” #Oscars performance,” he wrote. “Irina Shayk was first up out of her seat.”

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And not only did Shayk seemingly instigate the ovation, but she also welcomed the singers back to their seats when they returned. She gave Gaga a hug from her seat after the duet, too, suggesting that she approved. So, what is the actual situation between Cooper and his co-star?

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Well, wonder no more, as Gaga spoke frankly on the subject in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The host started off by saying to the pop star, “I can tell, I know you put a lot of work into everything you do. And that performance that you and Bradley gave, that was really one of the great performances in the history of the Oscars.”

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“It was like… I mean… we were watching it at home,” Kimmel continued. “And we were like, ‘Oh my, what is going on between these two?’ I know it caused this big controversy. Because you had such a connection with Bradley that instantly… people started saying, ‘They must be in love.’”

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“First of all, social media, quite frankly, is the toilet of the internet,” Gaga replied. “And what it has done to pop culture is just, like, abysmal.” Then she revealed the truth behind her relationship with Cooper – and it’s nothing like what excitable fans would have you believe.

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Gaga continued, “Yes, people saw love, and guess what? That’s what we wanted you to see. This is a love song, “Shallow.” The movie A Star Is Born is a love story.” It turns out that the entire performance was orchestrated by her and Cooper, and evidently their preparation paid off.

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“We worked so hard,” Gaga described. “We worked all week on that performance… You know, I never relinquish control of a live stage performance. I’ve done a million of them. But [Bradley] directed this film, and he directed all of the, obviously, musical moments in the film.”

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After having gotten to know Cooper professionally, then, Gaga had wanted his opinion on the performance. So she deferred to him on the stage direction for the Oscars duet that tricked everyone into seeing love. “He laid it all out,” Gaga said of Cooper’s plans.

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“Everything that you saw, the way that it was shot, the way they pushed the piano out,” Gaga said. “You saw them put the piano together, us walk up on stage, no intro, all of it. That was all [Bradley].” Apparently, the actor even suggested lighting the audience rather than just him and Gaga.

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And Gaga went on to describe how the experience had felt for her at the time. She explained, “It was just great, and from a performance perspective it was just so important to both of us that we were connected the entire time.” Sadly for gossipmongers everywhere, the intimacy was all part of her and Cooper’s act.

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“When you’re singing love songs, that’s what you want people to feel,” the A Star Is Born actress added. “I’m an artist, and I guess we did a good job. Fooled ya!” Then Kimmel asked Gaga about Cooper’s feelings about the duet, as he’s predominantly known as an actor rather than a musician.

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“Bradley did a great job,” Kimmel said. “And I’ve known him for a long time. It’s one thing to go on stage and sing on the Oscars. That’s terrifying just to start. But then to sing with you and to be trading lines with you! In a movie, you can pick and choose, but when you’re on live television… was he terrified?”

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But Gaga described Cooper as nothing but professional – both in his live performance and on set. “No, [he wasn’t terrified], because we practiced and we worked hard,” she said. “Bradley’s a musician. My favorite thing about the whole experience was that I was just so excited for people… to see him sing live.”

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“[Bradley] sang every take in this movie live, every single time,” Gaga continued. And when Cooper sang his first line of “Shallow” at the Oscars, it wasn’t just the audience cheering. Gaga said at that moment that she was also encouraging him internally. She knew that they had the room hooked.

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Gaga concluded, “I was so excited, and I was in the moment. But, you know, when we started and he started singing ‘Tell me something, girl,” the whole audience started cheering. And I was like, ‘Yes, Bradley, yes, they love it, keep going! We’ve got this!’ It was great.”

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So, sadly for fans hoping for a romance, it appears that there’s nothing going on between Gaga and Cooper. And the pop star has also been forthcoming about an altogether different and more difficult subject: the condition she’s battled against during her rise to the top.

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Gaga is a superstar, and she’s a superstar when it comes to opening up about important issues as well. The singer and actress, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, has spoken out in the past about LGBT equality, bullying, environmental problems and more. And the star’s also very vocal when it comes to raising awareness about the life-altering illness she suffers from. Just recently, in fact, she talked about it publicly again.

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Lady Gaga is one of the biggest pop stars of her era. Her 2008 debut album and breakthrough was appropriately titled The Fame, and she’s gained more and more of it in the ten years since. Currently, the singer is one of the top-selling musicians of all time. And she’s also accrued several accolades, including: six Grammys, three Brit Awards and 12 Guinness World Records.

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Recently, Gaga’s been making big waves in the world of acting, too. After a run on American Horror Story, for which she picked up a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film, she made a big splash in Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born. And critics have raved about her performance.

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So it would seem that, on the surface, Gaga has it all. But she’s always been open about the struggles in her life. In 2014, for instance, she even came out about having been raped at the age of 19. “I didn’t tell anyone for I think seven years. I didn’t know how to accept it,” she said the following year at a New York Times event. She went on to add, “It changed who I was completely. It changed my body. It changed thoughts.”

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And in 2017 it transpired that Gaga was suffering from an illness, one so serious, in fact, that she had to cancel part of a world tour. This was fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes chronic pain, fatigue, and in some cases mental distress. In the documentary she released that year, Gaga: Five Foot Two, she was even filmed crying at the pain of the disease.

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It clearly seems horrible for Gaga whenever the condition flares up, then. But there is a silver lining – she is credited with bringing attention to the plight of fibromyalgia sufferers, an illness that was almost unheard of until she started speaking about it. And in September 2017 the singer tweeted about the syndrome, saying, “I wish to help raise awareness and connect people who have it.”

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What’s more, that tweet has appeared to be helpful right from the get-go, as fans have shared their own experiences in replies to the star. “I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia two years ago, it is a struggle everyday to just get the basics accomplished! Thank you for raising awareness,” one person wrote to Gaga. Others spoke of the difficulties in fibromyalgia being an “invisible illness.”

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Fibromyalgia is still a very misunderstood condition, unfortunately. Not least because it’s difficult to diagnose and also hard to treat. However, it seems to occur first and foremost in people who have suffered trauma in early life, like Gaga did when she was reportedly sexually attacked as a teen. And when speaking to Vogue in September 2018, she herself said that she believed that was one of the triggers.

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The attack apparently gave Gaga PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder –  as well. And the singer explained to Vogue the physical PTSD symptoms that she suffers from. “My diaphragm seizes up. Then I have a hard time breathing, and my whole body goes into a spasm. And I begin to cry,” she said. “I always say that trauma has a brain. And it works its way into everything that you do.”

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Then Gaga spoke about the frustrations, as well as the pains, of living with fibromyalgia. “I get so irritated with people who don’t believe fibromyalgia is real,” she said. “For me, and I think for many others, it’s really a cyclone of anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, and panic disorder, all of which sends the nervous system into overdrive, and then you have nerve pain as a result.”

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“People need to be more compassionate,” Gaga went on. “Chronic pain is no joke. And it’s every day waking up not knowing how you’re going to feel.” Indeed, those who watched her suffering in her documentary are likely to know what she’s talking about. And at one point, while the cameras were on, she tearfully said, “I’m so embarrassed.” Even for a famous pop star, then, there appears to be a stigma around disability.

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But Gaga had some good news to share in the Vogue interview, too. “It’s getting better every day,” she told the interviewer, “because now I have fantastic doctors who take care of me and are getting me show-ready.” The show in question is a new residency at Las Vegas, Lady Gaga Enigma, starting in late December.

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Over the past few years, then, Gaga has quietly been trying to help others with their own chronic pain. In November 2016, for example, before she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the singer offered advice on Instagram on how to lessen the agony. “When my body goes into a spasm one thing I find really helps is infrared sauna. I’ve invested in one,” she wrote at the beginning of the long post.

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“They come in a large box form as well as a low coffin-like form and even some like electric blankets!” Gaga went on. “I combine this treatment with marley silver emergency blankets (seen in the photo) that trap in the heat and are very cheap, reusable and effective for detox as well as weight loss!”

“In order to not overheat my system and cause more inflammation, I follow this with either a VERY cold bath, ice bath… or the most environmentally savvy way is to keep many reusable cold packs in the freezer (or frozen peas ’n carrots!), and pack them around the body in all areas of pain,” Gaga continued.

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“Hope this helps some of you, it helps me to keep doing my passion, job and the things I love even on days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed,” Gaga finished, poignantly. “Love you and thank you for all your positive messages.” What’s more, the post garnered more than 464,770 likes, and in the comments people thanked Gaga for being so compassionate.

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The superstar has also spoken before about the stigma surrounding “invisible” conditions and the difficulty in even convincing people the pain is real. “I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out,” she wrote on Instagram in September 2017.

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“I… have been disappointed to see people online suggest that I’m being dramatic, making this up, or playing the victim to get out of touring,” Gaga carried on. “If you knew me, you would know this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a fighter.” The post was accompanied with a picture of Gaga holding rosary beads in her hands.

Like she told Vogue, though, Gaga has been feeling better recently. In August 2018 EW asked her if fibromyalgia had been a problem while filming A Star Is Born. “It was up and down, but you know what? I have an incredible director and friend and lead actor, and I had him by my side the whole time, and we did it,” she answered.

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And this is a sentiment Gaga has touched upon before in her documentary. During a particularly low moment, the singer revealed, “I don’t know what I’d f***ing do if I didn’t have everybody here to help me.” So now, it seems, that she’s determined to be that helper to people not as fortunate as she is. Her tweets and Instagram posts seem to have helped shine a spotlight on a misunderstood, extremely difficult illness. And the star appears to have done an excellent job of using her fame for good, too.

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