Lady Gaga: ”Joanne’ Brought My Dad Back to Life’
Music| | By Sara Wilkins
Lady Gaga “healed” her family by penning the track “Joanne” in memory of her late aunt.
The 30-year-old singer named her latest album after her dad’s sister, who died aged 19 from complications of autoimmune disease lupus. Gaga never got to meet her relative, but has spoken frequently about the impact she has had on her life, and penned the title track of her record about her aunt.
Losing his sister so young had a massive effect on Gaga’s father Joe, and as she performed “Joanne” at The Satellite in Los Angeles on Thursday night as the final stop on her mini dive bar tour, Gaga told the audience the song has helped her dad to finally come to terms with the loss after all these years.
“When we made this song we just thought it was a beautiful song and an honest song, but after this record came out and everybody heard this music and came to my father’s restaurant in New York, Joanne (Trattoria), to celebrate, I saw a look in my dad’s eyes that I’ve never seen in my whole life, because when my dad was really young he lost his sister, Joanne,” she explained.
“Sometimes I used to wonder if I ever got to meet my real dad, you know, because sometimes things happen in your life that are so bad that you die, or a part of you dies, and after this record came out, I swear that part of my dad came back to life. I hope that when you hear it when you’re with your families and you think of the loss that you’ve had or the pending loss… I hope this song can heal you like it healed my family.”
Gaga was joined by co-writer Mark Ronson on guitar as they belted out the track. Among the other songs on Gaga’s set list was “Angel Down,” which she previously revealed had been written in the wake of the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012.
Now Gaga is hoping the political message of the song transfers to the upcoming election, which will see Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump compete for the White House on November 8.
“I wrote this song about people loving each other and taking care of each other, and, you know, the election is coming up,” she said. “I really hope that is a peaceful day, as much as it can be… not everybody is gonna vote for the same person. Everybody has different ideas and thoughts and that’s OK. We don’t have to hate each other because of that. What we have to do is come together, and the reason is because there are a lot of people suffering and there are too many angels down, so let’s not focus on the hate.”
As she finished the song, Gaga added the line “Trayvon Angel” to the final lyrics.