Two hours before the release of her new album, Joanne, Lady Gaga took the stage at The Bitter End in New York City to share her new songs.
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 not far from where she sang on Thursday night (October 20), and new single “A-YO.”
But the most touching moment of the night came when she introduced the album’s title track. Before performing the acoustic song, Gaga revealed 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 also said that she hesitated to 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.
The performance that followed that revelation was about as heartbreaking as you’d expect. Gaga even paused for a moment to say, “I love you, Dad” to her father, to whom she’d dedicated the night’s performance.