Lady Gaga made a special stop on her Born This Way Ball on Tuesday when she attended a ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland held in her honor. The singer appeared alongside Yoko Ono to accept her LennonOno Grant for Peace.
Gaga was honored for a number of charitable properties, including her Born This Way Foundation , and most recently, her Body Revolution 2013 campaign, which empowers her fans to embrace who they are, flaws and all.
“Lady Gaga is in a position of #1 as a singer/songwriter,” Ono told Reuters Television about bestowing the honor on Gaga. “And when you are #1, you don’t want to risk yourself. And she did.”
Wearing a demure, ruffled beige dress, black blazer and big hat, the singer was not only gifted with a puzzle piece-shaped trophy for her philanthropic work, but also $50,000. And, she knew just how she was going to spend it.
“I’m supremely honored to accept this grant and award today on behalf of youth empowerment around the world. I will be donating this grant to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will be working closely with them to ensure that the money goes specifically to those orphans and disadvantaged youth in America born with HIV or AIDS,” she said in video posted online, later adding, “I dare you to be compassionate in a cynical age.”
Russian rockers Pussy Riot were also honored by Ono for their own outspoken activism this year. On Wednesday morning (October 10), a Moscow City judge upheld the two-year jail sentences for Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, while Yekaterina Samutsevich was issued a suspended sentence following a February incident in which the group performed a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
As Gaga noted during her speech in Iceland on Tuesday, she grew up only blocks away from Ono and her son with late Beatle John Lennon, Sean, in New York City. In July 2010, she was photographed at their apartment playing the musician’s famed white piano . Gaga also played with Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles later that year.