Lady Gaga takes flight in ‘Hold My Hand’ music video for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Lady Gaga poses with her mouth slightly open and her hands touching her neck.
Lady Gaga in 2018
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
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“Hold My Hand” took flight Friday when Lady Gaga shared the music video for the new single for the long-anticipated “Top Gun” sequel.

The Oscar- and Grammy Award-winner’s song was written for “Top Gun: Maverick,” an undertaking that “Top Gun” star Tom Cruise said this week became the “heartbeat” of the new Paramount Pictures film.

In an attempt to re-create the rock ’n’ roll magic of “Take My Breath Away” and “Danger Zone” from Tony Scott’s 1986 classic — released the year Gaga was born — the video pulls imagery from “Top Gun” as well as “Maverick.” Mother Monster is no U.S. Navy fighter pilot, but the theatrical performer embraces the role in the video and is certainly costumed for it in aviators and a bomber jacket while belting out the lyrics in and around an airplane hangar.


“So cry tonight / But don’t you let go of my hand / You can cry every last tear / I won’t leave ’til I understand / Promise you’ll just hold my hand / Hold my hand,” she sings, sitting under jets, rolling onto a wing and playing piano on a runway.

The single — produced by Gaga, longtime collaborator BloodPop and Benjamin Rice — was released by Interscope Records earlier this week and is a slow-building ballad about love, loyalty and perseverance. “Top Gun: Maverick” director Joe Kosinski also directed the music video.

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The film version of “Hold My Hand” features additional production and score by Harold Faltermeyer and Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer.

The new single marks Gaga’s return to writing and producing original music for a film after 2018’s “A Star Is Born” soundtrack. Her work in that musical film, in which she also starred, earned her an Oscar and four Grammys, among other accolades.

“When I wrote this song for Top Gun: Maverick, I didn’t even realize the multiple layers it spanned across the film’s heart, my own psyche, and the nature of the world we’ve been living in,” Lady Gaga tweeted in late April. “I’ve been working on it for years, perfecting it, trying to make it ours. I wanted to make music into a song where we share our deep need to both be understood and try to understand each other — a longing to be close when we feel so far away and an ability to celebrate life’s heroes.”


During a Wednesday appearance on “The Late Late Show,” Cruise heaped praise on Gaga, calling her “incredible” and “extraordinary.”

“She’s not just on the soundtrack. She actually helped to compose the score and it was incredible,” Cruise said. (The feeling was mutual, apparently, as the the actor also attended a Gaga show in Las Vegas on Sunday and she thanked him for it on Instagram.)

Cruise told “Late Late Show” host James Corden that Gaga brought “Hold My Hand” to him and composer Hans Zimmer when they were struggling to find a right fit.

“Obviously making the soundtrack and the music in every movie is very important and this one was very particular,” Cruise said, adding: “There was just a sound and something we were looking for and it just, it wasn’t right. She presented her song to us and it just opened up the whole movie. She’s amazing.

“And it just opened those doors to the emotional core of the film that we had,” he added. “Things just came together in such a beautiful way. Her song that she’d written just fell right in and became, really, the underlying score and the heartbeat of our film. She’s amazing. She’s an actress, a jazz singer, pop singer, I mean her talent is just boundless. So you’ll love the music in this movie.”

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“Top Gun: Maverick” occurs about 30 years after the original and also stars Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Lewis Pullman, Val Kilmer and Ed Harris. It hits theaters on May 27.