Lady Gaga covers Billboard as 'Woman of the Year'
Photographed by Inez and Vinoodh, Lady Gaga graces the cover of the latest issue of Billboard magazine, celebrating her as their 2015 Woman of the Year! Enjoy excerpts from Gaga\'s cover interview below and be sure to pick up your copy of the magazine, on newsstands this week.
My birthday is in March, so these are the last moments of my 20s. I already mourned that in a way, and now I\'m really excited about showing girls, and even men, what it can mean to be a woman in her 30s. Why is it that we\'re disposing of people once they pass that mark? It\'s suddenly, \'You\'re an old woman.\' I\'m not f---ing old. I\'m more sexual and powerful and intelligent and on my s--t than I\'ve ever been. I\'ve come a long way through a lot of heartache and pain, but none of it made me damaged goods. It made me a fighter. I want to show women they don\'t need to try to keep up with the 19-year-olds and the 21-year-olds in order to have a hit. Women in music, they feel like they need to f---ing sell everything to be a star. It\'s so sad. I want to explode as I go into my 30s.
As soon as the Oscars were over, [former chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M] Jimmy Iovine emailed me something like, \'That was so f---ing fantastic, and it could\'ve been such a disaster.\' He\'s Italian and from Brooklyn, so we speak the same comedic language, but I knew he was right. The truth is you can either nail a performance like that or butcher some of the most classic songs sung by an all-time great. I took the gamble because everyone had written me off. It took me a long time to get those notes. I told my manager, \'I need two months working with my vocal coach every day and to be sober, which means I can\'t do other work at all.\' When I work I need to drink and smoke, and I have body pain [due to hip surgery]. But I\'m just like any other girl -- there\'s a human being in there, and if you can keep the human intact, that\'s what you\'re going to hear in the music.
There is nobody more badass than Tony Bennett. That man is a part of the history of music in a way that is extremely powerful, and he taught me to stay true to who I am, to not let anybody exploit me. He is responsible in so many ways for making me happy, and I can say the same for Elton [John]. When the whole industry turned their back on me during
, they were the ones who said, \'Hey, this is a blip. It\'s going to go away.\' On tour, I had people give me war medals and memorabilia just to thank me for exposing a younger generation to Tony Bennett because he changed their lives in such significant ways. I want to be a part of curating a culture where we don\'t give credence to anyone who is rude or crass or not good for the world.
I\'m not the type of girl who fits most molds. That\'s why working on
with Ryan [Murphy] is a destiny. I wanted to create something extremely meaningful by exploring the art of darkness. The reason I love watching horror films, mysteries and documentaries about crime is that it somehow numbs me from the pain I experience in my own life. You are watching something worse than whatever you think you\'re going through. The terror of that suspends you, and you are able to forget about your own pain for a moment. It\'s like a safe, psychological form of masochism.
Ryan and I have both experienced the same sort of criticism over the intention of our work. My whole career has been built on this perception that I\'m trying to evoke attention because of the things I\'m interested in, when it\'s not that way at all. If you don\'t like to be disturbed, [
] probably isn\'t for you. If you don\'t like absurdity, I\'m probably not for you. I hung upside down for 45 minutes for [video artist] Robert Wilson and drained all the blood in my body, and I\'ve stood in a freezing cold river naked for two hours with magnets on my head for Marina Abramovic. I\'m a hard-core chick. I go there. I can put all my rage into that dark art, and then the rest of my life can be spent clearheaded, doing the things I know to be right, like philanthropy and sticking to my guns musically.
Billboard.com to read Gaga\'s full interview with Chris Martins!
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