Lady Gaga is still dominating the world. While she may not be making headlines in the same way as she once was, the “Applause” crooner has reclaimed her spot as an extremely talented musician touring with Tony Bennett, began filming American Horror Story: Hotel, and is currently engaged to Taylor Kinney. Despite all these amazing milestones in her career, Little Monsters have been hungry for new Gaga music and they got a surprise this week when a high-quality version of “Till it Happens to You” was released.
The song is featured in the documentary The Hunting Ground about a famous sexual assault case on a college campus and “Till it Happens to You” speaks of the vulnerability associated with experiencing sexual assault with lyrics like “You tell me hold your head up / Hold your head up and be strong / Cause when you fall you gotta get up / You gotta get up and move on.”
Diane Warren, who co-wrote the song with Gaga, revealed in April that a version mixed by Gaga would be officially released in the future. It seems to be unclear whether or not that will still occur, or if the version that leaked is the final production of the song.
It looks like a PSA video of the song will also be released to coincide with students returning to college.
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) August 19, 2015
Lady Gaga previously opened up to Howard Stern about being raped when she was teenager. When asked about her infamous performance of “Swine” featuring vomit, Gaga revealed its meaning:
“I wrote a song called ‘Swine.’ The song is about rape. The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release.”
She then explained that she included demoralizing behaviors like riding a bull in her underwear and being thrown up on as a way of saying that no one can demoralize her more than she can. Stern asked her point-blank whether or not she was assaulted and while she was initially hesitant to talk about it, the singer revealed that she was 19 at the time and that the pain from it all really set in years later. “It didn’t affect me as much right after as it did about four or five years later. It hit me so hard. I was so traumatized by it that I was like, ‘Just keep going.’ Because I just had to get out of there.”
Speaking of her fear of admitting what happened even to herself, Gaga revealed: “I [didn’t] want to be defined by it. I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d–khead who did that to me.”
Despite what happened, it’s incredible that Gaga was able to channel her horrific experience into something that will uplift and hopefully help other survivors of sexual assault.
You can listen to the song below.