lady gaga
Photo: Inez and Vinoodh for Billboard

​It’s been a wild year for Lady Gaga: after nailing a performance of a medley of songs from ​The Sound of Music​ at the Oscars, she went on to release a moving anti-rape anthem, “‘Til It Happens to You,” landed a starring role on ​American Horror Story: Hotel and launched an “emotion revolution” with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In addition, she got engaged to actor Taylor Kinney and received a slew of honours, including the Contemporary Icon Award from the ​Songwriters Hall of Fame and the ​Young Artist Award​ at the National Art Awards. Just another episode in the life of one of the world’s most influential pop stars, right? She demurs: “​This is the year I did what I wanted instead of trying to keep up with what I thought everyone else wanted from me.” Read on for more of Gaga from her ​Billboard​ cover story, then read the entire profile here.

Related article: Watch: Lady Gaga’s Powerful Rendition Of A John Lennon’s Classic

On working on American Horror Story​ with Ryan Murphy: “I told him I wanted a place to put all of my anguish and rage.”

On being named “Woman of the Year” by Billboard​: “It speaks volumes to me that I’m being recognised as Woman of the Year in 2015. This is the year I did what I wanted instead of trying to keep up with what I thought everyone else wanted from me.”

On turning 30: “I’m really excited about showing girls, and even men, what it can mean to be a woman in her 30s. Why is it that we’re disposing of people once they pass that mark? It’s suddenly, ‘You’re an old woman.’ I’m not f*cking old. I’m more sexual and powerful and intelligent and on my shit than I’ve ever been.”

Related article: First Look: Lady Gaga Stars In Tom Ford’s Spring/Summer 2016 Presentation

On being overwhelmed by stardom and getting over it: “When you’re going so fast you don’t feel safe anymore, you feel like you’re being slapped around and you can’t think straight. But then I felt hands lifting me. It was like everybody came together to try and put a star back in the sky, and they weren’t going to let me down.”

On the digitisation of the music industry: “This whole thing of remixes for the radio, I have to say: When it doesn’t feel like the two artists were in the room together, it really hurts me because it’s such an injustice to what it means for two artists to meet.”

Related article: This Is How Much Katy Perry Made As 2015’s Top-Earning Female Artist

On the future of the music industry: “Music is a natural right of humankind. We’ve been singing in caves since the beginning and learning about reverb because of our voices echoing off mountainsides…Kids become depressed when they are born with a creative instinct but are not taught how to express it. Can you imagine having to come and someone says, ‘I’m so sorry, but you can never ejaculate in this life’? If you don’t teach someone how to release that energy, it gets blocked up, and it’s painful. Kids need to learn how to express who they are and seek value in it.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US