For her activism efforts, 26-year-old songstress Lady Gaga was recognized with the LennonOno Grant For Peace today in Reykjavik, Iceland. The ceremony is also a celebration of the former Beatle and his son Sean's birthdays, which both fall on Oct.9.
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In addition to Gaga, recipients named for this year's grant also include activists Rachel Corrie, John Perkins, Christopher Hitchens. and Pussy Riot. In a statement about Gaga, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono gave high praise to the pop star and philanthropist:
"Lady Gaga is one of the biggest living artists of our time. She is not only an artist, she is also an activist, using her art to bring better communication to the world. She is being acknowledged for her activism, and how her album 'Born This Way' has widely changed the mental map of the world. And how it has made us deal with the future world, which happens to be here already."
Posting a photo of her presenting Mother Monster with the prize on Twitter, Ono also tweeted a picture of the award statues that are in the shape of puzzle pieces, which the 79-year-old says represents "a piece of the sky."
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Upon accepting the award, Gaga said, "I'm supremely honoured to accept this grant and award today on behalf of youth empowerment around the world. I will be donating this grant to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will be working closely with them to ensure that the money goes specifically to those orphans and disadvantaged youth in America born with HIV or AIDS."
She also said, "When I turned 19, I got [a peace sign] tattoo to remind me that if ever I was to gain the attention of the critical mass, even in an exponentially smaller way than John had, that I would commit myself to breeding compassion from my voice."
Showing off her peace sign tattoo, Gaga also told the story of her family's journey to America and revealed her connection to Ono and Sean, whom, Gaga says, lived only four blocks away since she was five years old.
Check out Gaga receiving her award and telling the story in the video featured below.
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