Lady Gaga performs live in Washington, DC as part of the 45th American Music Awards.

Lady Gaga performs live in Washington, DC as part of the 45th American Music Awards.

Screenshot

Beaming up from her Joanne Tour stop in Washington, DC, Lady Gaga stripped back her glossy hit single "The Cure" for the 45th American Music Awards crowd. The performance began as a stunning piano ballad, Mother Monster seated elegantly at her grand piano, a chilly reworking of the bouncy anthem unearthing new meaning. When the beats dropped, she rushed across the stage with her classically-ferocious energy. Pyrotechnics blasted behind her; the glitter shimmered on her face; and it seemed Gaga flipped the song about young romance into a poignant, empowerment anthem.

"We've got to be there for each other, America," she roared between verses, the crowd going wild. Of course, she is no stranger to embedding her music with deeply-personal, potently-universal messages. Just see "Born This Way," as exhibit A.

The mysterious producing duo behind "The Cure," who call themselves Detroit City, remained just as elusive in interviews. "It is an honor to be a part of [Gaga’s] journey. We treat every artist as we would like to be treated," they told Entertainment Weekly, via email, earlier this year. "We don’t count success by number; we reap our reward from good feelings. We were only trying to write music that would make her proud to sing in front of her fans that she adores so much.”

Stay tuned to AXS.com for all your awards show coverage.