I wouldn’t consider myself a Little Monster, but I think Lady Gaga just won me over for life with this performance and dedication. Last night in Las Vegas at Clear Channel’s I Heart Radio mega-concerts, Lady Gaga gave a knock-out, emotional tribute to 14-year Jamey Rodemeyer, who committed suicide last week after being bullied for more than a year.
Rodemeyer was a huge Gaga fan. In this moving intro to “Hair,” a breathless Gaga, seated at a piano shaped like the motorcycle from the "Born This Way" cover, says, “I just want to take a minute because I don’t know if any of your know this, but we lost a little monster this week and I wanted to dedicate this song to him tonight because he was really young.” The screen then flashed Rodemeyer’s name, the date of his death, and apparently a tweet to Lady Gaga he sent that serves as a chilling last note: “Bye Mother Monster. Thank You For All You Have Done. Paws Up Forever.”
[More after the jump...]
With a photo of Rodemeyer up on the screen, Lady Gaga continued, “I wrote this record about how your identity is really all you’ve got when you’re in school, you know, it’s called ‘Hair,’ so tonight, Jamey, I know you’re up there looking at us. And, you’re not a victim, you’re a lesson to all of us. So tonight, I know it’s a bit of a downer, but sometimes the right thing’s more important than the music, isn’t it. Let’s do this one for Jamey.”
During a dramatic, inspired version of the song, Lady Gaga interjected “Bullying is for losers.” And later, “Jamey, you’re not a freak.”
In a way that extraordinarily few artists can, Lady Gaga can simultaneously make a huge statement in terms of standing up against bullying and yet pay tribute to the individual on a personal level. Her acknowledgement of Rodemeyer last night can't in any way bring him back or diminish his family's pain, but maybe it can help the next bullied kid feel a little less lonely. It's also a very telling commentary on how alienated we are in today's society that Rodermeyer perhaps felt closer to Lady Gaga (based on his tweet) than he did to anyone who saw him every day.
What do you think? Did you need a kleenex after watching this like we did?
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