Arts & Culture

How a Chance Meeting With A Star Is Born's Bradley Cooper Lead Lukas Nelson to Collaborate With Lady Gaga

Willie Nelson's musician son calls Lady Gaga a "huge talent."

Bradley Cooper spent four years researching the role of Jackson Maine, the musician he plays in his directorial debut A Star is Born. When it came time to actually film—and record a soundtrack—he turned to musician Lukas Nelson (yes, Willie's son). They recruited fabled producers and songwrites like Mark Ronson, Dave Cobb, Lori McKenna, Jason Isbell, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey, and more, but their ace in the hole was Cooper's co-star Lady Gaga. Here, Lukas opens up about meeting the pop superstar and collaborating with her on the movie, which opens October 5. (You can read more about the making of the epic soundtrack here.)

I started my band, Promise of the Real, in January 2009. We’ve been on the road doing 250 shows a year, playing music that I write, for 10 years. About seven years ago Neil Young took us on as his band, and now we’re out on the road with him.

Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson perform at a concert in support of Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for U.S. Senate on September 29 in Austin, Texas.

One night we were playing a show with him, and Bradley Cooper was there because he’s a huge fan, so later, when he called to ask if I would help him with A Star Is Born, I said, ‘Absolutely.’ We started working together closely, and then Lady Gaga came on—she was already a star, but seeing her talent as an actress and performer made it clear she’s really just incredible.

Lukas Nelson and Lady Gaga

She and I started collaborating almost immediately, and we ended up writing basically the soundtrack for the entire movie. There have been other movie musicals with stars like Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand, and Gaga’s of that caliber. Her talent as a singer is unbelievable. Her talent as a songwriter is unbelievable. She’s got the whole package.


Nelson and Bradley Cooper

This story appears in the October 2018 issue of Town & Country

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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