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Apple invited Lady Gaga to perform on May 17 at its new Apple Stage at Apple Park.
Image: AFP/Getty Images

Did you catch the Lady Gaga concert that took place on May 17?

Unless you work out of Apple Park, the tech giant’s massive spaceship-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, you probably didn’t attend.

The singer and actress performed a special private concert for Apple employees on Friday to help formally open the campus as well as pay tribute to Steve Jobs, according MacRumors. The concert took place on a Jony Ive-designed stage, decked with a rainbow arch, inside of Apple Park’s ring.

According to AppleWeb (via Cult of Mac), the tech giant’s own intranet, the “Apple Stage” as it’s called, the platform and rainbow structure are made of some 25,000 parts, including an aluminum frame (because of course it is), and is designed to for quick assembly and deconstruction.

For the stage’s first event, Apple decked out various parts of the campus with rainbow-colored decorations as a throwback to the company multi-colored logo back in the early days.

As seen on social media, some stairways got the rainbow treatment:

And Apple had rainbow-colored coffee cups:

Employees also received these stylish retro Apple logo pins, thanking them for being a part of the company:

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But, of course, the real star was Lady Gaga. She performed several of her hit songs including “Shallow,” “Poker Face,” and “Born This Way.”

If nothing else, she made one valid point: The iPod got smaller and smaller, but why is the iPhone getting bigger?

“What I would love is for it to be like surgically implanted into my hand,” Gaga said.

Oh, and she wants an emoji that means “be kind”:

Jokes! Gaga’s got ’em.

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Lady Gaga won her first Oscar at the 91st Annual Academy Awards.
Image: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Lady Gaga is an Academy Award winner, folks.

The best song of the year, “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, earned Lady Gaga an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday night, marking the first time the music legend has earned an Oscar. She shared the honor with co-writers Mark Daniel Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt.

I mean, come on, listen to this:

“I worked hard for a long time and it’s not about winning, but what’s about is not giving up,” Lady Gaga said in her acceptance speech. “If you have a dream, fight for it.”

Lady Gaga is also up for the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in A Star Is Born, the first person to ever be nominated for both awards on the same night. Earlier in February, Lady Gaga was nominated for four Grammys for the song “Shallow” and won two.

A Star Is Born was up for eight awards in total at the Oscars, and the award for Best Original Song was the film’s first of the night.

Lady Gaga received her first and only other Oscar nomination in 2016 for the song, “Til It Happens to You,” for the documentary The Hunting Ground.

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Warning: Contains *huge* spoilers for the ending of A Star is Born.

Anyone’s who seen A Star is Born will know that the final song in the movie is by far the most gut-wrenching and emotional moment. 

Lady Gaga sings “I’ll Never Love Again” — a song written about her by her late husband Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) — in tribute to him. It’s a powerfully moving moment that reduces you — and everyone else in the cinema — to a sobbing wreck. 

Lady Gaga has shared a personal story about the day that scene was filmed and the reason that scene was so important to her. Right before filming the scene, Gaga received a phone call that her best friend Sonja Durham was about to pass away from stage IV cancer. 

“On that day my friend Sonja — who had been battling cancer for years — her friend called me and I could hear her moaning in the background and she said she’s not doing well,” Gaga told Zane Lowe. “And I thought she was dying so I left the set. 

“I didn’t even stop to go see Bradley [Cooper], I just got in my car and started driving and I missed her by 10 minutes,” she continued. 

“I didn’t even stop to go see Bradley, I just got in my car and started driving and I missed her by 10 minutes.”

Gaga says she lay with her friend’s widower and her stepson for some time before saying to them that she didn’t know what to do. “He said ‘you’ve gotta do what Sonja would want you to do,'” Gaga said. “She gave me a tragic gift that day and I took it with me to set and I sang that song for Jackson and for her on that very same day within an hour.” 

Gaga said that Cooper was very kind to her when she returned back to the studio to film the final song. 

“Bradley was so beautiful with me that day, he was so loving. He was like, ‘You don’t have to do it too many times, it’s ok.’ And, I was like, ‘All I wanna do is sing, man.’

“Life is hard man, but we’ve gotta stick together. What’s more important than any of this, the fame, the accolades? What’s important is the process of love and kindness,” said Gaga. “I think the star of this film is human courage, bravery.” 

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If this song doesn’t give you chills, I feel bad for you.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper give an unbelievable performance in the song “Shallow” for A Star Is Born, creating a heartfelt, moving track that deserves an award. No, all the awards. Cooper’s voice is great. Lady Gaga is transcendent. 

And yes, this the song with the famous Lady Gaga vocal.

“Shallow” is the first song released from the upcoming A Star Is Born movie, which dives into theaters Oct. 5. Now please release the rest of the songs.

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Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sing in the latest iteration of "A Star is Born"
Image: Allstar/Warner Bros

At this point, it takes a lot to get critics raving over a remake (of several other remakes). 

But it looks like Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, in which he stars alongside Lady Gaga, achieved the impossible. It not only made reviewers go goo-goo for Gaga, but it also seems to have reminded them that unabashedly heartfelt melodramas still have a place in the world in 2018.

The movie, which releases in theaters on Oct. 5, had an early screening for critics and audiences in attendance at Venice Film Festival. And it seems to have lived up to the hype that’s been brewing ever since the first trailer debuted.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

All hail Queen Gaga, long may she reign

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Exaggeration is key—a tasteful, sensible melodrama is no melodrama at all—and you need a star who can radiate the nobility of suffering with Kabuki-level grandeur. Someone like Lady Gaga. 

…But what’s surprising about Gaga is how charismatic she is without her usual extreme stage makeup, outlandish wigs and inventive costumes. It’s such a pleasure to look at her face, unadorned, with that extraordinary, face-defining nose—it’s like discovering a new country

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Cooper is arguably prettier than Lady Gaga, but she is the one who commands your attention: that sharp, quizzical, leonine, mesmeric face – an uningratiating face, very different from the wide-eyed openness of Streisand or Garland. (Weirdly, she rather more resembles Marta Heflin, playing the groupie-slash-interviewer who went to bed with Kristofferson in ’76.) Her songs are gorgeous and the ingenuous openness of her scenes with Jackson are wonderfully sympathetic.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Ally, makes no mistake, has sass to spare (later that evening, when Jackson is confronted at his favorite cop bar by a man he cuckolded, she gives him a punch), but Gaga, in an ebullient and winningly direct performance, never lets her own star quality get in the way of the character. Or, rather, she lets us see that star quality is something that lives inside Ally but is still waiting to come out (the way it was in the young Streisand of “Funny Girl”).

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

The arc that carries the drama through humiliation, atonement, tragedy, heartbreak and a final, very public reaffirmation of Ally’s love for Jackson is pretty much indestructible, even if some dawdling in the mid-to-late action softens the emotional impact. It’s in the closing scene also that Gaga’s skill as an actor isn’t at the level of her impeccable vocals.

Living for the melodrama

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

You come away feeling something for these people, flawed individuals who are trying to hold their cracked pieces of self together—or to mend the cracks of those they love. 

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

She takes off as he slowly crashes — that’s the soapy tragic “Star Is Born” concept. But what the movie does is to take this fabled melodramatic romantic seesaw and turn it into something indelibly heartfelt and revealing.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Cooper directs and co-stars in this outrageously watchable and colossally enjoyable new version, supercharged with dilithium crystals of pure melodrama. He appears opposite a sensationally good Lady Gaga, whose ability to be part ordinary person, part extraterrestrial celebrity empress functions at the highest level at all times.

Cooper shines behind the camera too

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Cooper makes some smart plot choices, too. (The screenplay is by Eric Roth, Cooper and Will Fetters.) Jackson’s demise is sensitively handled—nothing like Kris Kristofferson crashing his car just so Streisand can rush to the scene and cradle his lifeless head with sorrowful gusto. (Who thought that was a good idea?) And he keeps the filmmaking straightforward and unvarnished. It’s wonderful to see a first-time filmmaker who’s more interested in effective storytelling than in impressing us; telling a story effectively is hard enough

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Cooper and veteran screenwriter Eric Roth are clearly inspired most directly by the Streisand/Kristofferson film. But in those closeups that Cooper awards himself, and his huge moments of emotional agony … well, he’s channelling a bit of Judy. He certainly de-machos the role, and creates a backstory of vulnerability.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Cooper directed the movie himself, working from a script he co-wrote with Eric Roth and Will Fetters, and to say that he does a good job would be to understate his accomplishment. As a filmmaker, Bradley Cooper gets right onto the high wire, staging scenes that take their time and play out with a shaggy intimacy that’s shorn of the usual “beats.” The new “Star Is Born” is a total emotional knockout, but it’s also a movie that gets you to believe, at every step, in the complicated rapture of the story it’s telling.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Cooper turns out to be a good fit, with an efficient, straightforward handle on directing duties and an actor’s well-honed instinct for intimate character shading and interaction.

Believing in love again

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

This is where the movie loses a few puffs of steam. It’s hard not to miss Ally’s unadorned face and unflashy brown hair: You might find yourself wanting more Germanotta and less Gaga, Even so, Ally the superstar is still nowhere near as mythically outsized as Gaga herself is. In fact, as pop creations go, she’s rather average, though she certainly knows her way around a power ballad.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

That’s part of the magnetic pull of this version — it, too, is a romance heightened by the seductive cruel mirror of showbiz. Yet it has a naked humanity that leaves you wowed. These two people, the rising star and the fading star, are locked in a love as true as it is torn, and both of them, by the end, become us. “A Star Is Born” is more than a throwback — it’s a reminder of the scrappy grand passion that movies are all about.

The star for a new generation

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Best of all, Cooper has succeeded in making a terrific melodrama for the modern age. This is a story of big personalities and even bigger human mistakes. These days we’re always ready for our own close-ups. What a relief to turn the stage over to someone else for a change.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

For all that it’s hokum, this film alludes tactlessly to something pretty real. It could be called: A Star Is Dying. The new generation supplants the existing one. For one star to get an award, a handful of defeated nominees have to swallow their pain, as the spotlight moves away from them. For one star to deliver the shock of the new, another one has to receive the shock of the old. A Star Is Born turns that transaction into a love story.

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The fascination of this is that instead of satirizing Ally’s journey as some sort of plunge into synthetic marketing decadence, the movie says, in essence: This is the new landscape, same as the old landscape. Next to Jackson’s world, it looks “inauthentic” (and viewers of a certain age may automatically view it that way), but Jackson’s world probably looked inauthentic to the generation before it. The movie says that in pop (as in life), it’s always time for the old ways to die, and for the new ways to be born.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

There’s freshness in the pared-back narrative shorthand of these scenes, as there is in Ally’s navigation of Jack’s excesses, on one hand giving him his space while on the other letting him know she won’t keep following him down his dark spiral. His issues are worsened by an acrimonious split from his much older half-brother and manager, Bobby (Sam Elliott, bringing his customary weathered integrity), and by the deterioration of a longtime hearing impairment.

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