Lady Gaga has opened about how the pressure of the entertainment industry changed her and made her uncertain about her self-worth.
The 34-year-old singer said life in the limelight made her “feel like a robot” and added: “Once you start to act like one, you lose a sense of your humanity.”
In 2017 she suffered a breakdown after constant touring left her exhausted. The star was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a painful condition that affects the nervous system.
She said: “I think I was trying to make sense of my humanity within a system that is the music industry. I was experiencing joy while I was experiencing an immense amount of depression as a result of this objectification and lack of feeling like a human.”
But Gaga credits Sir Elton John for saving her, and says she is “very grateful for what I have”. The singer, whose sixth album Chromatica was released last month, is godmother to Sir Elton’s sons, Zachary, nine, and seven-year-old Elijah.
In an interview with Apple Music in the US, Gaga said: “Elton’s been my mentor for a long time. He’s always challenged me to keep my head above water and he knows when I’m down. He knows because I hide, because I never want anyone to see me when I’m like that. Elton’s always challenged me to take care of my artistry and to take care of myself, and I really honour that about him. He is so uniquely special.”
Gaga said she values the support of Sir Elton, because she has found it hard to bond with other women in the industry.
She thinks there should be more female mentors to help girls starting out in showbiz, which is why she reached out to rising star Billie Eilish.
Billie won five Grammys earlier this year and sings the new Bond theme.
Gaga said: “Billie swept a whole bunch of awards so I said, ‘Let’s send some flowers’. I wrote her a note. For me, it’s healing because it hurt me that I didn’t get that. I’m going to be that for someone else. I’ve had a harder time with older women in terms of having a female mentor. Other than Celine Dion and Carole King, it’s proven difficult to have someone who would show me the way. So I really hope that young female artists – or young artists of any gender identity or sexual identity – will know that I am rooting for them. This idea that we’re rooting for each other, cheering each other on, is so important.”