Lady Gaga's performance of "Dope" was one of the highlights of the first ever YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, and not for the reasons you might expect.
There were no dramatic effects. No pomp and circumstance. No hint of Lady Gaga nude ... except in the emotional, stripped-down, raw musical sense.
The Mother Monster's plaintive piano ballad showcased her magnificent musical talents as she opened up about "Dope" and the perils of drug addiction.
With lyrics like "I feel so low from living high" and "Toast one last puff / And two last regrets / Three spirits and / Twelve lonely steps," the message was clear.
The chorus from the song, which hit the web late last week, felt like a mournful plea for forgiveness from her fans, who she tells, "I need you more than dope."
The track was originally titled "I Wanna Be With You" before the singer chose to go in a darker thematic direction with the tune, as evidenced here.
The lyrics heard at the YouTube Music Awards are considerably revamped from the earlier version she performed at the 2013 iTunes Music Awards.
Gaga has called "Dope" the most personal track from ARTPOP, and it showed in the performance above. Here's the studio version of the song as well:
What do you think of Lady Gaga's new song "Dope"?