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Lady Gaga just celebrated the 10th anniversary of one of her albums in a major way. Sunday, May 23 was the 10th anniversary of the release of Born This Way, and to mark the occasion, Lady Gaga was honored with her own holiday in West Hollywood, California and the key to the city. Not bad for a pop star, huh?
As part of the celebration, a street in West Hollywood was painted with the words "Born This Way" in the colors of the LGBTQ pride flag, and Gaga showed up to receive the key and give a speech about what West Hollywood's large LGBTQ community means to her. The 35-year-old singer also shared more about the creation of Born This Way—the album and the song—on her Instagram account. Read on to find out more about Gaga's new holiday and the legacy of Born This Way.
May 23 is now officially Born This Way Day.
From now on, May 23 will also be known as Born This Way Day in West Hollywood. "Through her music and activism, Lady Gaga has become a cultural icon for our generation," Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath said, according to the WeHo Times. "The anthem 'Born This Way' has become an out-and-proud declarative stance for countless LGBTQ people."
Horvath also referenced the Born This Way Foundation, which was co-founded by Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. The foundation "supports the mental health of young people and works with them to create a kinder and braver world," according to its website.
"I'm overjoyed to declare today 'Born This Way Day' and, on behalf of the entire City Council, give a Key to the City to Lady Gaga as we launch Pride this year in West Hollywood!" Horvath said.
Lady Gaga gave a speech in honor of her LGBTQ fans.
"I'm looking at all of you and I would just like to congratulate you on a lifetime of relentless love and pride," Gaga said when accepting the honor, as reported by the WeHo Times. "Thank you so much for showing me what it means to be brave. What it means to persevere and really what it means to lead the world. I used to feel like a follower when I was a kid. Then I started to feel like a leader and I can promise you that all of you are leaders who are standing here today."
She added of receiving the key to the city, "Thank you for this key. You've been—I'm sure this will sound cheesy to some people, but not to me—you've been the motherf****** key to my heart for a long time. I'll honor this and I'll cherish this and I promise that I will always be here for this day."
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Gaga shared the inspiration for Born This Way.
In her speech and later in posts on social media, Gaga explained that activist, singer, and religous leader Carl Bean was the inspiration for the album and song. Bean himself recorded a song called "I Was Born This Way" in 1977 for Motown Records.
"Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay Black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being 'Born This Way,'" Gaga wrote on Instagram. "Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born. Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all."
Gaga wrote the song "Born This Way," a major hit, in 10 minutes.
In a 2011 interview with Vogue, Lady Gaga shared that writing "Born This Way" was a very quick process. "I wrote it in ten f****** minutes, and it is a completely magical message song," she said. "And after I wrote it, the gates just opened, and the songs kept coming. It was like an immaculate conception."
The song became a huge hit and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the song, Gaga mentions different races, cultures, sexual orientations, and gender identities, and sings, "I'm beautiful in my way/'Cause God makes no mistakes/I'm on the right track, baby/I was born this way."