Inauguration Day

Why This Marine Was Chosen to Escort Lady Gaga at the Inauguration

Marine Capt. Evan Campbell is opening up about being backstage with Lady Gaga minutes before she performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Inauguration Day

In this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo, Lady Gaga is escorted by U.S. Marine escort Capt. Evan Campbell to sing the National Anthem at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
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One of the more notable moments from Inauguration Day was Lady Gaga's powerful rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner." But it was her outfit and her Marine escort that also went viral that day.

With many people comparing the 34-year-old pop star to a character from "The Hunger Games," it turns out the oversized Schiaparelli haute couture gown she wore was the reason she needed a Marine to accompany her in the first place.

“There was a concern — obviously she was wearing this very beautiful, very large dress, and there was a concern that she might need some help getting down the stairs,” Marine Capt. Evan Campbell told Task and Purpose. “So they basically looked around and I was one of the taller, larger individuals, and they just asked if I would be willing to assist and I was more than happy to.”

According to the Marine Times, they "shared a laugh" before walking out together.

“She looked at me and she’s like ‘a fair warning... we have an equal chance of tripping on this,'" he told the publication.

The two also prayed together and Campbell calmed Gaga's nerves, he said.

“It just seemed like a very natural human thing to do to look over and go, ‘Hey you’re going to do great. You always do well, you know, you’re a performer, you’re going to do great,'” Campbell said. “It just seemed like she needed to hear a relaxed voice.”

Not a Little Monster (the name for Gaga fans) before their meeting, Campbell says he is now after sharing the intimate 15 minutes backstage with her.

“I was truly impressed with how genuine she was while we were inside,” Campbell said, adding as he escorted to the podium, she thanked every member of the Capitol Police on the way.

“She told us inside that this was perhaps the biggest day of her life, and that she really wanted to sing for all Americans," he added.

“As a person that was an amazing thing to hear, but as a service member too, the way she prepped to sing the national anthem, obviously resonated with me very deeply as someone that’s sworn an oath to defend their country."

On what he feels most proud of from that day, he says going viral next to the famous pop star got to shed some light on the esteemed branch of the military he represents.

“The biggest thing for me is when those memes came out — you know, find someone that looks at you the way she looks at a United States Marines — I took a lot of pride in that,” Campbell said. “I think at the end of the day, we all want to do something that represents the Marine Corps well … people were sending me posts from Vogue Paris, Cosmo, I mean, millions of people have now seen a United States Marine with Lady Gaga, so I’m just glad I did the Marine Corps proud on this one.”

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