Lady Gaga has been named Billboard’s Woman of the Year.
This year, though, the 29-year-old not only recommitted herself to her career, she reinvented it. The unlikely set of jazz standards she recorded with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the fall of 2014, then won her a sixth Grammy (for best traditional pop vocal album) and spawned an international tour racking up rave reviews for much of 2015.
Lady Gaga is wrapping up a pretty sensational year, but she’s not done blowing us away. The illustrious pop star/actress/icon has just been named Billboard’s Woman of the Yearfor 2015, and it’s not hard to see why. In her interview, Gaga discusses how she stopped trying to please everyone and just worked on expressing herself. Plus, she muses on turning 30, that iconic Oscars tribute, and even the moment she wanted to end her career for good. Read on to see the most compelling quotes from her new interview, then watch her open up about her own depression and anxiety.
- On entering her 30s: “My birthday is in March, so these are the last moments of my 20s. I already mourned that in a way. 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*cking old. I’m more sexual and powerful and intelligent and on my sh*t than I’ve ever been. Women in music, they feel like they need to f*cking sell everything to be a star. It’s so sad. I want to explode as I go into my 30s.”
- On her triumph at the Oscars: “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.”
- On ending her career: “At the end of 2014, my stylist asked, ‘Do you even want to be a pop star anymore?’ I looked at him and I go, ‘You know, if I could just stop this train right now, today, I would. I just can’t. [But] I need to get off now because I’m going to die.'”
- On being Billboard’s Woman of the Year: “It speaks volumes to me that I’m being recognized as Woman of the Year in 2015. This is the year I did what I wanted instead of trying to keep up with what I thought everyone else wanted from me.”
- On craving attention: “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.”
- On music education: “Kids become depressed when they are born with a creative instinct but are not taught how to express it. Can you imagine having to come and someone says, ‘I’m so sorry, but you can never ejaculate in this life’? If you don’t teach someone how to release that energy, it gets blocked up, and it’s painful. Kids need to learn how to express who they are and seek value in it.”