Lady Gaga: “I Want To Be Oprah”

Truth rating: 10
(Terry Richardson for Harper's Bazaar)

By Shari Weiss

(Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar)

Lady Gaga confesses in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar to suffering from depression and feeling close to death in 2013.

Oh, and there’s way more.

“I became very depressed at the end of 2013,” says the pop star, who underwent surgery and a dramatic break from some of her creative partners. “I was exhausted fighting people off.”

“I couldn’t even feel my own heartbeat. I was angry, cynical, and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn’t feel like fighting anymore. I didn’t feel like standing up for myself one more time — to one more person who lied to me,” says Gaga.

She continues, “But January 1, I woke up, started crying again, and I looked in the mirror and said, ‘I know you don’t want to fight. I know you think you can’t, but you’ve done this before. I know it hurts, but you won’t survive this depression.'”

“I really felt like I was dying — my light completely out. I said to myself, ‘Whatever is left in there, even just one light molecule, you will find it and make it multiply. You have to for you. You have to for your music. You have to for your fans and your family,”’ recalls Gaga.

The singer notes, “Depression doesn’t take away your talents — it just makes them harder to find. But I always find it. I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left. I’m lucky I found one little glimmer stored away.”

Gaga credits her mom with helping her through the “rough time,” remembering, “I asked my mother, ‘I work so hard. I never stop. I never say no. Why doesn’t this person love me, Mom? Why was this person willing to hurt me to help themselves? Why wasn’t I enough? Why is money more important than me?'”

“She reminded me to forgive others for not seeing God where I see it. I see God in my fans. She said, ‘You’re hurt because you don’t operate this way. You are fiercely protective of your inventions because you are your fans,” Gaga tells the magazine.

The Grammy winner adds, “She helped me understand my own feelings. When someone has pulled the wool over my eyes, I feel that they have pulled the wool over the eyes of millions of fans around the world. She helped me to forgive. You can’t force people to have the same world consciousness and awareness as you do.”

Gaga, who says she’s “always a laugh away from a tear,” further admits, “sometimes I’m too loyal; I’m not loyal enough to myself.”

“Five years ago, when I spotted someone with a hidden agenda, I allowed them to stay around me. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought if I ignored it, then they would eventually see me again — that I’m a human being and not a doll. But it doesn’t work that way,” she explains.

“I speak up now. I realized that it’s my own fault that people take advantage. I should be around people who cherish my talents, my health, my time. I’m not a pawn for anyone’s future business. I’m an artist,” she says. “I deserve better than to be loyal to people who only believe in me because I make money.”

Gaga stresses that her career is about far more than becoming rich.

“I always think to myself, How do I want to be remembered? I don’t want to be remembered as anything but brave. The only good intention to make money is to help others,” says the songstress. “I want to be Oprah. I want to be Melinda Gates. If I ever sell products other than my talents, then it will be to give more to others.”

Still, Gaga gushes to the mag about her fashion collection, sharing, “The fashion I’ve acquired over the years is so sacred to me — from costumes to couture, high fashion to punk wear I’ve collected from my secret international hot spots.”

“I keep everything in an enormous archive in Hollywood. The clothes are on mannequins, also on hangers and in boxes with a photo of each piece, and there’s a website where I can go to look through everything. It’s too big — I could never sort through it myself! But these garments tell the stories of my life,” she reveals.

Gaga continues, “And then there are the tour pieces. This is the section that is most sacred to me. These are the pieces that have collected energy, joy, and screams from fans all over the world.”

“My fashion is my most prized possession for two reasons: number one, because it is a visualization of all the hard work I’ve put in to get where I am today,” she says. “Number two because it is a legend to the encyclopedia of my life. It is exactly what I’ve aimed to seep into the artistic consciousness of people all over the world — that life is an art form.”

And Gaga, who says she lives “all over the world,” says her New York apartment is “like a tiny jewel box, covered in rose-gold mirrors, with an oversize pink couch, an expensive vase, a white Marilyn piano, and a boudoir.”

“I do not keep a lot of clothes here — mostly punk wear,” she says. “And the three most expensive items I’ve ever purchased, including an actual house: my sable, a strand of diamonds, and my Mikimoto pearls.”

But Gaga, who says her guilty pleasures are “Russian hookers and cheap gin,” tells Harper’s Bazaar that she’s insistent on not letting success turn her into a different person.

“My experience with fame has been the opposite: ‘How can I stop this from changing me?’ I mean I’m not broke anymore — that’s good!” she admits. “But today I’m more comfortable with being who I am.”

She goes on, “When I was younger, I felt pressure to become someone else once I became successful. But it’s the intention of the work that’s changed. I have fans now. I have a new purpose: to remind them that I am one of them, that we are one another. My consciousness has changed.”

Gaga is currently looking forward not just to her upcoming tour, but also next year’s planned trip to space.

“I honestly can’t wait. I can’t wait to design the performance. I’m auctioning off my second seat [on a Virgin Galactic flight] to raise money for the Born This Way Foundation. I want to make a moment that is about much more than me,” she says.

“Performing in space is such an honor,” adds the star. “I want to challenge myself to come up with something that will not only bring everyone together but will also have a message of love that blasts into the beyond.”

On a similar topic, Gaga admits she believes in ghosts (“I have many old souls around me all the time”), and says if she could meet her future self, “I’d ask her to do a duet with me.”

“Then I would tell her that I’m so happy she didn’t die young,” she says.

And what does she want written on her gravestone?

“She spread love with every invention,” says Gaga.

The full interview hits newsstand on February 18.

Check out a photo from Gaga’s Harper’s Bazaar spread below!

(Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar)

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