There are certainly things Lady Gaga misses about being Stefani Germanotta.
In a revealing interview with Lee Cowan for CBS Sunday Morning, the 30-year-old star opened up about the release of her fifth studio album, Joanne, her love life, family and what she misses about her old life as an aspiring singer performing in dive bars.
“I don’t know that you can put a label on growth. I’m just me,” Gaga said of Joanne, which she calls her most honest album yet. “I’m 30; it’s just what I want to do now.”
Gaga recalled “interesting” experience she had sharing the album, named after her late aunt, with her father and grandmother.
“Playing the music for my father for the first time was very powerful. And my grandma, too,” she said. “My father was very, very emotional. And my grandmother was, too, but she held my hand and she said, ‘I hope, my dear, that you won’t be too maudlin while you’re putting this music into the world.’ … She didn’t want me to have an obsession with the death of my aunt.”
Later in the interview, she mentioned her father again, and said, “Making your dad happy is — especially for an Italian Catholic girl — it feels really good. And I feel that today. All the awards in the world, you can get into all the nightclubs, they’ll send you the nicest clothes.”
She continued: “Nothing better than walking into your dad’s restaurant and seeing a smile on his face and knowing that your mom and dad and sister are real proud of you and that you haven’t lost touch with who you are. That, for me, is real success.”
But success has come with difficulties for the renowned artist. In July, Gaga and Taylor Kinney, 35, ended their engagement after five years together. The Chicago Fire actor proposed on Valentine’s Day 2015 at the singer’s family’s Manhattan restaurant Joanne’s Trattoria, where her interview with Cowan took place.
“I think women love very hard,” Gaga said about relationships. “We love men, we just love with everything we have. And sometimes, I don’t know that love is met with the type of dignity that we wish it would be met with. We’re not trying to make you less of a man; we just want you to love us as deeply and as wholesomely and as fully as we love you.”
At one point in the interview, Gaga said of performing Joanne in dive bars, “It reminds me that if this were to all go away tomorrow, all the big success, that I would still be very happy. Going from bar to bar, playing music for people.”
When asked if that is really how she feels, Gaga explained her point further.
“The reason that I’m here at all is because of my relationship with my family and their encouragement of me to be a musician and to work hard, so as long as I stay there, in that space, I could do anything,” she said. “That’s my truth.”
Gaga got particularly emotional when discussing her life in the spotlight, and particularly after Cowan asked her to explain her idea of success and the meaning of her album.
“As soon as I go out into the world, I belong, in a way, to everyone else,” she said. “It’s legal to follow me, it’s legal to stalk me at the beach, I can’t call the police or ask them to leave. And I took a long hard look at that property line and I said well, you know, if I can’t be free out there, I’m going to be free in here [pointing to her heart].”
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Cowan then asked Gaga if that was the intent of Joanne — “getting to do whatever you want do.”
“Yes, sir,” Gaga answered, shedding a tear before eventually saying, “I miss people. I miss, you know, going anywhere and meeting a random person and saying ‘Hi’ and having a conversation about life. I love people.”
As for her upcoming performance as the headliner for the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show, Gaga said she lives by a specific motto.
“You gotta play a dive bar like you play an arena, and you play an arena like you play a dive bar.”