Shallow
by Lady Gaga (featuring Bradley Cooper)

Album: A Star Is Born Soundtrack (2018)
Charted: 1 1

Songfacts®:

  • This dramatic duet between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper was recorded for the 2018 remake of the classic movie A Star is Born. Gaga plays the rising star Ally, and Cooper the established musician Jackson Maine, who becomes her mentor and lover. Gaga explained that the song serves a crucial moment in the film. She told Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 Radio show: "It's two people talking to each other about the need and the drive to dive into the deep end and stay away from the shallow area."
  • Lady Gaga wrote the song in four hours with British-American producer Mark Ronson, former Dirty Pretty Things guitarist Anthony Rossomando, and songwriter Andrew Wyatt (Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man").

    Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Ronson had previously co-written "Somebody to Love Me" for the latter's 2010 album Record Collection.
  • Though best known for upbeat pop hits, Gaga is no stranger to ballads, having recorded such love songs as "Speechless," "You and I" and "Million Reasons."
  • The song's music video shows snippets from the scene in the movie where Ally and Jackson Maine sing the song together on stage for the first time.
  • Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson wrote the song at the same they were crafting her 2016 album Joanne. "As soon as her and Bradley got into the film, the entire Joanne album just turned into A Star Is Born for a couple of weeks," Ronson told Billboard.

    The pair originally wrote it as an Ally solo song, just for Gaga to sing, and Ronson didn't conceive it as a duet. "I certainly never realized it was going to be part of the plot, the narrative in the parking lot, which is really such a beautiful scene," he said.
  • This won the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song From A Motion Picture. It was Gaga's second Globe win - she won a best actress in a miniseries or television film for playing The Countess / Elizabeth Johnson in American Horror Story: Hotel three years earlier.
  • The original plan (spoiler alert!) for when Jackson Maine dies at the end of A Star Is Born was for him to drown. Ronson revealed to Howard Stern that this song's title was inspired by the film's initial tragic ending.

    "The original idea I heard was you thought Bradley Cooper's guy he plays was going to drown at the end of the movie, so he's going to be in what? Shallow water? Was the idea of someone drowning?"

    Ronson added that the song really took off when Gaga came up with the "I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in" line.

    "She came with that idea, 'I'm off the deep end,' I remember she sat down at the piano... she hammered around maybe two chords and then hit something and did, 'I'm off the deep end,' and the kind of hairs went up... this is on to something."
  • This won the Grammy Award for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance at the 2019 ceremony. In her acceptance speech, Gaga said, "I'm so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They're so important and a lot of artists deal with that. We have to take care of each other."

    The song also won for Best Song Written For Visual Media, beating out "All The Stars" from Black Panther. Later in the ceremony, Gaga performed it with her co-writers.
  • Anthony Rossomando already knew Lady Gaga before he was drafted in to co-write the song, as he'd been giving her guitar lessons.
  • This won the Oscar for Best Original Song, beating out "All The Stars" from Black Panther. Cooper and Gaga performed it at the ceremony.
  • "Shallow" jumped from #21 to #1 on the Hot 100 following the pair's performance of the song at the Academy Awards. It was Lady Gaga's fourth chart-topper and her first since "Born This Way" in 2011.
  • The song spent a total of 45 weeks on the Hot 100, the most for a best original song Oscar winner. The previous record holder was the 33-week Hot 100 run of Idina Menzel's Frozen song "Let It Go."
  • Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood first performed the song on a whim during their Facebook Live concert in March 2020, and then on a CBS special to popular acclaim. Having delighted fans with their cover, the couple treated them to an official recording in October 2020.

Comments: 1

  • Left High Kick from Middle Class Usa This is a good song but I don’t listen to it unless I’m high, which I am now.
    My old girlfriend and I used to listen to this on occasion and we saw the movie together.

    “...And the good times I find myself longing for change...”

    That makes me think. Of my past, of hers and our time together.
    She would tell me that was me. Because I couldn’t be happy in the present. Well not exactly, but she was onto something.

    I don’t think she could be entirely happy in the present either so she was talking about herself. At least in part. She was always preoccupied with something. Her kids, the stress of her family, and always obsessing and worrying about the future, and could not be happy in the present moment. At least that’s what I thought. We started fighting more and more about the future. And I told her in the beginning : this is how it’s going to be and this is how I am and what I want. This would come up at least every six months.

    And now that it’s over, I find myself looking back. And actually longing for times with her. Because they were in abundance, and they were special to me. I never love that way again, I never feel that way again. But that’s life. I’m learning nothing stays the same forever. It has to move forward or it has to dissolve.

    We broke past the shallow end and approach a lot of touchy subjects. And she knows me like no one else.

    Son los cosas de vida.

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