Lady Gaga Imagine Cover: The singer covers Lennon at the European Games in Baku Azerbaijan (VIDEO).

Meanwhile, in Azerbaijan, Lady Gaga Covers “Imagine” to Open the European Games

Meanwhile, in Azerbaijan, Lady Gaga Covers “Imagine” to Open the European Games

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Slate's Culture Blog
June 17 2015 9:23 PM

Lady Gaga Does a Rousing Rendition of “Imagine” to Open the European Games

gagaimagine

Still from YouTube

This past Friday was the opening ceremony of the inaugural European Games. If you’ve never heard of said games, think of them as the championship for all European athletics, if that weren’t already a thing, then add some human rights crises, Azerbaijan’s corrupt dictator, and a $600 million dollar stadium to the mix.

But back to that ceremony. The event’s guest of honor was none other than artist, pop star, and Tony Bennett–fan Lady Gaga, who, while playing an instrument that seems to be half-piano, half-bouquet, silenced the gathered masses with a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” It’s a pretty great performance: Gaga delivers the first few verses in calm, lilting tones, then unleashes the rest in full diva-mode, her voice rising with operatic power. The singer rarely gets credit for her vocal talent, but these types of stripped-down showings prove her pipes are as good as ever.

Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter