watch that man

Lady Gaga: ‘My Whole Life Has Been a Tribute to David Bowie’

The 58th GRAMMY Awards - Show
Photo: Kevin Winter/2016 WireImage

Lady Gaga loves David Bowie. She performed a tribute to him at the Grammys, and she has a tattoo to honor him. As she tells NPR’s Michel Martin, her “whole life is a tribute to David Bowie.” In an intensely personal interview, Gaga recalled how the cover of Aladdin Sane “changed my life,” going on:

Well, the moment that I saw the Aladdin Sane cover for the first time, I was 19 years old, and it just changed my perspective on everything, forever. It was an image that changed my life. I remember I took the vinyl record out of the casing and I put it on my vinyl player — which was on my stovetop in my kitchen, because I was living in this really tiny apartment and I had my turntable on my stove. “Watch That Man” came on and, I mean, that was just the beginning of my artistic birth. I started to dress more expressively. I started to go to the library and look through more art books. I took an art history class. I was playing with a band.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is, my friends and I in New York, we’ve lived a lifestyle of total immersion in music, fashion, art and technology since we were kids — and this is because of him. I just would never be here, or have the philosophy that I have, if I didn’t have someone to look up to that you know blew my mind so intensely. You know the way that Nile Rodgers talks about Coltrane, and the way that Coltrane makes him think about jazz? That’s how David Bowie is for me. You meet or see a musician that has something that is of another planet, of another time, and it changes you forever. I believe everyone has that, don’t you? That one thing you saw as a kid that made you go, “Oh, okay. Now I know who I am.”

You can watch Lady Gaga’s Bowie tribute, again and again, below.

Lady Gaga: ‘My Life Has Been a Tribute to Bowie’