Lady Gaga invited CBS Sunday Morning into her home for a personal interview where she spoke about masks, mental health, feeling like an object, and learning to love herself again.
She started off the interview by telling correspondent Lee Cowan that wearing a mask is an act of kindness."You're kind right now; you're wearing a mask in this interview with me. We have cameras around us. Everybody here has a mask on. These are kind acts!"
Cowan agreed, especially seeing as they were guests in her home and it was the respectful thing to do. Her home, which was owned by the late Frank Zappa, was where she recorded her sixth studio album, Chromatica.
While Chromatica may be a return to Lady Gaga's dance roots, the album is more so a diary where she spills all of her deep and dark secrets.
"There's not one song on that record that's not true, not one."
When asked about the darkness she experienced when writing the album, Cowan was told, "I mean, honestly, Lee, I just totally gave up on myself. I hated being famous. I hated being a star. I felt exhausted and used up."
She goes on to state that it isn't the fans or even the industry that got her to that point, but the entity she spent so many years building. "Lady Gaga" had long overshadowed "Stefani Germanotta" to the point that she felt her old self was left behind.
She expressed hatred for the piano in her home. It is the same piano she has had for years and wrote multiple songs on; however, it was also her downfall.
"I don't know how to explain it. But I went from looking at this piano, and thinking, You ruined my life. During that time, I was like, You made me Lady Gaga. My biggest enemy is Lady Gaga. That's what I was thinking: My biggest enemy is her. What did you do? [...] You can't go to the grocery store now. If you go to dinner with your family, somebody comes to the table, you can't have a dinner with your family without it being about you. It's always about you. All the time it's about you. And your outfits. Look at your outfits!"
The interview continued on to a darker time in Lady Gaga's life: The Joanne era. While the album was at the top of the charts, she felt at rock bottom.
"I was writing about his trauma from my father's life that became my trauma in a lot of ways, and I thought I could fix my dad. [...] I could never fix that."
Not only was she hit with the realization that she could never help her father heal from the hurt of his sister dying at a young age, but also told the world about her own sexual assault and past traumas that she was attempting to heal from.
"It's not always easy, if you have mental issues, to let other people see. I used to show. I used to self-harm. I used to say, 'Look. I cut myself. See, I'm hurt,' 'cause I didn't think anyone could see. 'Cause mental health, it's invisible."
Even with her friends' and family's support, Lady Gaga told CBS Sunday Morning that she felt as if her life was over, that she felt no reason to live, and that she expressed suicidal ideations every day. She admitted in the interview that she had to be watched in her house for years to ensure her safety.
Cowan learned in the interview that her mental health also has an effect on her physical health. The lyrics, "Pop a 911..." reference the medication she uses for panic attacks. She told him the attacks can be triggered by objectification; she experiences panic and body pain because she doesn't feel like a human being when a person is shoving a cellphone in her face for photos.
However, through all of the mental and physical pain she experiences, she told Cowan that she simply cannot stop doing what she does.
"Turns out, even if I don't wanna be alive, I still know how to write a song!"
The interview then took a turn to talk about her collaborations with Ariana Grande and Elton John.
"You know how hard it is to make a female friend in this business? Come on, in this business, having a female friend's like watching a pig fly," Lady Gaga said of Grande.
Her friendship with Elton John also helps her when she's feeling down and self-isolating. But she admitted to the harms of isolating for too long. She told Cowan that she now feels she is doing better. "I coulda done without the last two-and-a-half years of my life! [laughs] I coulda done without that. But you know what? It happened."
Cowan then took that time to speak about the new book, Channel Kindness-- a collection of stories sent to her by young adults about the power of kindness in the midst of adversity.
She finished off the interview by insinuating she is kinder to herself now, and that "Lady Gaga" and "Stefani Germanotta" have accepted what can and cannot be changed.
"I don't hate Lady Gaga anymore. I found a way to love myself again, even when I thought that was never gonna happen."
You can read and watch the full interview on the CBS website.
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