Lady Gaga Reveals ‘Joanne’ is about Her Sexually Assaulted Aunt

Watch her complete New York dive bar performance below.

By Robyn Collins

As the clock ticked down to the release of her new album Joanne, Lady Gaga was in a local joint in New York City sharing her songs. The pop rocker took the stage at The Bitter End in New York City.

She kicked off the Dive Bar Tour performance with the first two tracks from the album: “Diamond Heart,” which she wrote about go-go dancing as a teen, and “A-YO.”

Related: Quit Comparing Lady Gaga to Madonna

Before performing the title track, “Joanne,” Gaga shared that her aunt Joanne, who died in 1974, had been sexually assaulted as a teen just before her death. “She was a victim of sexual assault who was so traumatized by her experience that it flared up her existing disease,” Gaga said. “She had lupus. She died very quickly after that. This tragedy stayed with my family a long time.”

Gaga says that she almost didn’t name the album after her late aunt because it felt “so personal.” But both she and Mark Ronson, who joined her onstage last night, decided that Joanne deserved the honor.

That was not the only tender moment of the night, Gaga even paused to say “I love you Dad” to her father, to whom she dedicated the night’s performance.

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