From her thoughts on why her ARTPOP album was misguided to reflections from her American Horror Story collaborators Matt Bomer and Ryan Murphy, here are the fascinating reveals from the cover story that honors Gaga as Woman of the Year
"My birthday is in March, so these are the last moments of my 20s. I already mourned that in a way, and now 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 fucking old. I'm more sexual and powerful and intelligent and on my shit than I've ever been. I've come a long way through a lot of heartache and pain, but none of it made me damaged goods. It made me a fighter.
"I want to show women they don't need to try to keep up with the 19-year-olds and the 21-year-olds in order to have a hit. Women in music, they feel like they need to fucking sell everything to be a star. It's so sad. I want to explode as I go into my 30s."
Note: all quotes from Billboard's cover story. Click here to read in full.
"For ARTPOP, I was doing beats instead. I didn’t want to be near that damn [piano]. It was too emotional. I would start to play and sing, and my mind would go, 'You are way too talented for this shit. Fuck, your voice sounds good. Fuck, that's a beautiful chord. Fuck, that's an amazing lyric. Why are you letting these people run you into the ground? When did you become the fashionable robot?'
"Can't being an artist be enough? Is talent ever the thing? I think for Adele it is. I think for Bruno Mars it is. But that’s what I learned from working with Tony: If talent isn’t the thing, then you are way off-base."
Bomer: "She possesses the art spirit. I know that sounds esoteric, but it’s a distinct thing and very few people have it. Typically if they do, it comes with demons. She's blessed enough to also have the help system and love in her life to be the beautiful soul she is."
"I call on every artist to be kind to one another, and compassionate. Let us purify this industry again and put our finger in the face of every executive and say, 'If you are spending money, is it on someone who can really sing? Is it on someone who has a perspective?' It’s almost funny to see the look on Tony's face, the way he shakes his head, when I tell him how the industry has become. 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. It's clever. But are we putting too many limits on the way things need to be on the radio for artists to feel free enough to create genuinely?"