From dive bars to Studio 8H: Lady Gaga capped off her Joanne release week by serving as musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where she performed a pair of new album cuts, “A-Yo” and “Million Reasons.”
Assisted by producer Mark Ronson, who contributed guitar to the performance, Gaga’s country-pop “A-Yo” was equal parts honky-tonk, go-go and Daft Punk stage design. The energetic rendition featured Gaga intensely singing, feverishly dancing and wildly shredding on her guitar.
Later in the Tom Hanks-hosted episode, Gaga scaled things down for “Million Reasons,” delivering the ballad accompanied only by a piano and the backing vocals of songwriter Hillary Lindsey, who co-wrote the track.
Rolling Stone recently spoke to Lindsey, the writer of hits like Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” about collaborating with Gaga on Joanne songs like “Million Reasons,” “A-Yo” and the bonus track “Grigio Girls.”
“She is a badass songwriter,” Lindsey said. “Pretty much everything she said, I’m like, ‘That’s a title! You’ve gotta either stop talking or you’ve gotta let me come live here for a month, because everything you say is a song.’ It was just the two of us and it was just a very natural process, a straight-up songwriting process. The only thing different is she writes her lyrics out on an old school typewriter, which I freakin’ love.”
The one downside to Gaga’s SNL visit: The Golden Globe Best Actress-winning singer didn’t participate in any sketches.