Lady Gaga may have grown accustomed to arena stages, but she’ll always feel most at home at the NYC bars where she got her start. «I’ve been playing here since I was 15 years old,» she told the crowd at The Bitter End last night (Oct. 20). «This is where I started.” Lady Gaga got back to basics to roll out songs from her brand new album Joanne, out today.
Gaga performed the new songs «Joanne,» «Diamond Heart, «A-Yo,» «Million Reasons,» «Another Day,” and «Grigio Girls,» a tremendous ballad written for her sick best friend.
«I wrote this song about my dear friend Sonja, who’s here with us tonight,» Gaga told the audience. «And she’s been so kind to let me share this story with the world…. Sonja has stage IV cancer. And it’s in her brain. And in her lungs. And in her breasts. Look at her face. She’s in such good spirits, and she’s so beautiful.»
She then elaborated on the origins of the song. «We were writing it because we were laying around one night and all the girls had gotten together, but Sonja wasn’t there because sometimes we needed to get together without her, because we didn’t want her to see us cry. We wanted to be strong for you always. So we formed this pact with each other that, when we needed to, we’d call together the ‘Grigio Girls’ and cry it out. So this one’s for you. I hope this message spreads all around the world. Spread love and compassion and healing to people around you, and to not be afraid of deep things, because people are suffering and they need to know that you care. This one’s for you. I love you.»
Gaga performed the song on stage with co-writer Hillary Lindsey before entering the audience to sing directly to Sonja while holding her hand. Check it out at the 29:54 mark below.
This article originally appeared on AXS