Gaga gives the music mag VIP access to her personal and professional life, and she chats about her devoted fans, her love for being onstage and her first taste of fame. "When I am not onstage I feel dead," she says. "Whether that is healthy or not to you, or healthy or not to anyone, or a doctor, is really of no concern to me. I don't feel alive unless I'm performing, and that's just the way I was born."
On first finding fame: "Being myself in public was very difficult. I was being poked and probed and people would actually touch me and touch my clothes and be like, 'What the fuck is that,' just so awful. It was like I was being bullied by music lovers, because they couldn't possibly believe that I was genuine."
On her fans: “We have this umbilical cord that I don't want to cut, ever. I don't feel that they suck me dry. It would be so mean, wouldn't it, to say, 'For the next month, I'm going to cut myself off from my fans so I can be a person.' What does that mean? They are part of my person, they are so much of my person. They're at least 50 percent, if not more."
On her message to critics who say her main goal is to attract attention: "Is it that you believe that I am attention-seeking or shock for shock's sake, or is it just that it's been a long time since someone has embraced the art form the way that I have? Perhaps it's been a couple of decades since there's been an artist that's been as vocal about culture, religion, human rights, politics. I'm so passionate about what I do, every bass line, every EQ. Why is it that you don't want more from the artist, why is it that you expect so little, so when I give and give, you assume it's narcissistic?"
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Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone