NEW YORK — Music fans were certainly surprised by Lady Gaga’s performances at the beginning of her career, but no one was more surprised than her father.
Her father, Joseph Germanotta, wasn’t comfortable with his daughter’s act, Gaga told Barbara Walters on a “10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” television special.
“It wasn’t really so easy for my dad, especially in the beginning,” she told Walters. “We didn’t talk for months after the first time he saw me play, and my mother told me he was afraid I was, like, mentally unstable.”
Gaga has since written a song about her dad and says the two are back on speaking terms. At her show in Washington this September, she asked fans to keep her father in their thoughts as he underwent surgery.
Even though her father has accepted her style, she knows there are others who are unsure of the sincerity behind her bizarre pop star persona.
“I want to clear up the fact that people think I am artificial and attention seeking, when the truth is that every bit of me is devoted to love and art and I aspire to be a teacher to my young fans who feel just like I felt when I was younger,” Gaga said.
For Gaga, it’s all about connecting with her fans.
“I felt like a freak,” she said. “I want to liberate my fans. I want to free them of their fears and make them feel like they can create their own space in the world.”
Among other things, she described herself in the interview as “an Italian girl from New York.”
“I am a songwriter. I’m a performance artist. I’m a daughter and a sister,” she told Walters, adding, “I had this dream and I really wanted to be a star and I was almost a monster in the way I was fearless in my ambition.”
Then Walters made Gaga flinch on the issue of her sexuality in the context of hit single “Poker Face.”
“Well, I do like women, but I’ve only been in love with men,” she explained. “I’ve never been in love with a woman, but that’s really what the song is all about: Why, when I was with my boyfriend, was I fantasizing about women?”
When directly asked if she’s had sex with a woman, she became momentarily flustered before answering, “Well my goodness … I certainly have had sexual relations with women, yes.”
Lady Gaga has certainly made her mark over the past year, not just with hit singles like “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance”, but also through live performance art, including portraying death at MTV’s Video Music Awards and performing with her piano on fire at the American Music Awards.