At Billboard’s annual Women in Music event on Friday, where she was honored as “Woman of the Year,” Lady Gaga performed her song “Til It Happens To You,” a tribute to victims of sexual assault she co-wrote for The Hunting Ground documentary. “We really care about the issue of campus rapes and raising the social awareness about trauma and violence in young people’s lives,” she told the music magazine before the event. “So I wanted to use today as an opportunity to continue to spread the message and the movement for young people to raise their voices for their stories and come together to be strong.” Lady Gaga received the award from her own mother, Cynthia Germanotta, and used her acceptance speech to talk about the difficulties women in music face, describing it as “a f*****g boys club that we just can’t get into,” while also highlighting women’s vital role in the industry. “Women provide a wisdom to music that is very unique and special,” she said. “It is a perspective no one else can have because we bear life. And because we go through things no one else goes through. And because it’s right. Because we’re all equal.” The singer — who earlier last week received her first Golden Globe nomination for her role in American Horror Story: Hotel – ended her speech with a salient message for those who didn’t believe in her along the way: “I couldn’t wait to prove you wrong. Because I may not be a lot of things, but I can write songs, and I can sing.”
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