With a 2016 Grammy nomination, a Golden
Globe nomination and a plethora of other
accomplishments throughout her firecracker-
bright career, Lady Gaga accepted the honor as
Woman of the Year at Billboard ‘s Women in
Music 2015 . Mother Monster expressed endless
gratitude to her family — and to those who did
not believe in her for fueling the fire necessary
to achieve her dreams.
Billboard Woman In Music 2015
Read her full speech below:
“I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed of anything
more than being a performer. I don’t really know
why. I’m so sorry. I’m a very emotional person.
[Laughs ] I think that’s what you are as an artist.
You have a lot of strength, but you’re sort of
intrinsically very emotional.
“I never thought anything like this would have
ever happened to me or my family. My
grandma’s here tonight, Angeline. My
grandfather made shoes, and my grandma was
by his side every day for 60 years. My father
was an entrepreneur. My mother was a dancer
who didn’t make it and then decided to sell
telephone lines. So in short, my family was
willing to do anything to give my sister and I
everything that we had. Music was the single
thing that kept me going in my life, my music
education, my discipline. It was a warm blanket
on my darkest days. Something so powerful for
“I have so many people I’d like to thank today.
All of the table, Kenny, Bobby, beautiful wife.
Taylor. My grandma. My father. Tony. Marty.
Jody Gerson, I’m so proud of you, that you’re
winning this evening. You deserve this so much.
Jimmy Iovine. Vincent Herbert. My attorneys.
[Laughs ] Interscope Records. Universal.
“But what I really want to say is that it is really
hard sometimes for women in music. It’s like a
fuckin’ boys club that we just can’t get into.
Sorry, grandma. But yeah, I tried for so long. I
tried for so long. I just really wanted to be taken
seriously as a musician for my intelligence more
than my body ever in this business. To be here
today means that I’m recognized for my
songwriting and for my legacy, which means a
lot because you don’t always feel like — when
you’re working — that people believe that you
have a musical background, that you understand
what you’re doing because you’re female. And
that’s why tonight is so important. Because
women provide a wisdom to music that is very
unique and special. It is a perspective that no
other person can have because we bear life,
and we go through things that no one goes
through. And more importantly because it’s
right, because we’re all equal.
“But thank you for this moment tonight so that
my family can appreciate the hard work that I’ve
put in, that’s kept me away from them, my
passion. And I hope that any young girl or boy
that’s watching this tonight knows that — listen,
this industry might never get better over time.
There’s all kinds of problems all over the world.
We can’t expect things to be perfect. But what
you can do is have the heart. No matter what,
you can have the heart. And it might be hard,
and it might be ruthless, and it might be the
ugliest thing you ever saw. But if you want it,
you can do it. It’s there. And that’s all I want
everyone to take away from tonight, and the
most important thing for me being here was the
one song that I got to sing that I would maybe
in this moment get to give something back to
the world for everything you’ve given to me and
my family — thank you, from the bottom of my
heart. More than anything, I just never thought
my family would have the kind of blessings that
we have to take care of our future. So thank
“To my vocal teacher, Don Lawrence, who’s
been my mentor since I was a baby girl, always
looked out for me. To anyone that’s ever
believed in me. And I’d like to say thank you
also to everyone that didn’t believe in me.
Thank you. Because there was a lot of people.
Probably more than believed, and you gave me a
fire in my belly so strong I couldn’t wait to
prove you wrong, I’ll tell you. ‘Cause I might not
be a lot of things, but I can write songs, and I
“Support your children in making music. If they
have a creative instinct, don’t ask them to deny
it, because it will make them so sad and
depressed. It’s part of your life destiny if you’re
born with that gene. I am so grateful to my
parents that they didn’t deny me my right to
express myself at a young age — thank you. And
to my sister Natalie who’s here tonight who I’m
so proud of — who knew? She’s the designer.
She does fashion. I do music. It was a creative
family. It’s something different. Thank you for
being here. Thank you for honoring me. I am an
Italian-American girl from New York who was
the first to go to college in their generation with
my family, so thank you for everything and God
bless. To the next Woman of the Year!”