By Sarah Carroll
Golden Globe winner. Oscar-nominated artist. Super Bowl national anthem singer. GRAMMY performer.
Some artists wait a lifetime to rack up that kind of resume, but these are just a few of the prestigious honors Lady Gaga’s taken part in during the last three months.
But it isn’t just about the accolades for Lady Gaga. It’s about making a difference.
The 29-year-old New York native invited 50 sexual assault survivors to join her on stage during her powerful performance of “Til It Happens To You.”
It’s a cause near and dear to her heart. She was a victim herself several years ago when she was getting her start in the entertainment industry.
Earlier today, Lady Gaga spoke to Carson Daly on 97.1 AMP Radio about that emotional moment, her heartfelt support for Kesha, and the status of her much anticipated fifth solo studio album.
Check out some highlights from her conversation with Carson below:
Carson Daly: What should music fans know about this #FreeKesha case in general?
Lady Gaga: Well, I think that people should just know that there’s so much more, you know, than what meets the eye in a case like that. And it’s so kind of deceiving when you read about contracts and you read about what people owe each other in terms of power and records. The truth is, I feel like she’s being very publicly shamed for something that happens in the music industry all the time, to women and men. I just want to stand by her side because I can’t watch another woman that went through what I’ve been through suffer, you know? And have everyone have a go at her as if, you know, she’s lying. I mean, I have to say. I talk to her every day. I’m friends with her personally and what I’m watching her go through is not only something I’ve been through, but something that’s really devastating to witness. Somebody that has such a beautiful light within them, so much talent to give. Just to see that light burn out because they feel that no one’s listening to them, I feel that it’s my responsibility to stand up for her when there’s a lot of people that are not listening to her plea for love, for people to have compassion and empathy. I mean, I think we all know that people in power sometimes can use their power for bad things. That’s just reality. That’s just the way that the world works and it’s just not fair to women or men when those powers are used against them and we’re told to just shut up and go back to work.
Nobody wants to say anything implicitly against anyone. Number one, because none of us are vindictive people. We don’t want to hurt anybody. But number two, I think everyone’s really afraid of somebody coming after them. And that’s just the way that this business works. You know, if you don’t keep quiet, somebody will be litigious against you and come after you. We’re all trying to be careful with the way we say things for that reason. I’m sure you can hear me being careful while I’m talking about it.
I’m trying to be standing by her, but I’m also trying to protect myself and my family and it’s a very complicated thing. But I will say, the reason that I’m standing by her is because I want to help make it easier for young artists in this industry, for their music to get heard. I’ve told you before, Carson, what it was like coming up for me in this business. It was so hard and it’s supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to be easy, but the things you have to deal with on a moral and ethical level with people related to money and sex and contracts. You know, it’s really scary for a young person and I just think that people should be educated about that while the country’s deciding where justice should be served.
Producer Angie: It sounds like that’s actually the norm, which it shouldn’t be obviously, but you’re making it sound like that’s just the norm for a young woman or man coming up in the business.
Lady Gaga: 100% this is the rule and not the exception. I hate to say that and I really hate to be a damper on everybody’s morning listen to the radio, but that’s just the reality of the music industry, which is why it’s so scary for, you know, I think a lot of these female artists like Adele and Taylor [Swift] and whoever else is speaking out. I won’t put words in their mouth, but I think it is probably scary for them as it is for me to see so much kind of shaming happen to females in the business that are so talented because they’re just not in as much of a position of power as the people that are speaking out against them.
Carson Daly: What a PR nightmare. You’ve named five of the biggest artists in music in general. Why wouldn’t Sony just let her out of her deal altogether? It seems like there would be a way to settle this because they’re certainly losing in the court of public opinion.
Lady Gaga: I think that truthfully they probably didn’t think that this story was going to blow up the way it has. And I think it got swept under the rug and at some point, you know, we’re going to shake the tree until that leaf that has Kesha on it falls right off. I care about her…We’re not asking the company to admit something. We’re just asking them to do the right thing by a young woman who’s a professional. This is an almost 30-year-old woman who’s a musician, and an incredible talent. In any other business, if you were to report that anything happened to you, to the human resources department, it would be dealt with. But we don’t have a human resources department. We don’t have a union as artists. We’re just fighting for ourselves. And we have these huge obstacles against us. And if we don’t stick together, our voices just won’t be heard. There’s a lot of great women in music and all of these women deserve to be upheld for how strong they are.
Hear the full interview now on 97.1 AMP Radio.