Lady Gaga says it's the most meaningful award she's ever received.
Gaga was all smiles alongside fiancé Taylor Kinney at The Americans for The Arts 2015 National Arts Awards Monday night (Oct. 20) where she received the Young Artist Award.
She gave an unscripted, 10-minute speech explaining how much the honor means to her.
“While art can make you foolish and wild, it has also always been a warm blanket for me to admire, something I knew that would always be there for me. It was always the byproduct, the unicorn, the fantasy that arose from whatever struggle I was experiencing, whatever torment I possessed. So I’m here today to say thank you so much to all of you for honoring me with this, because I don’t think there is a single award that is more meaningful to me than this one.”
Her "Cheek To Cheek" side-kick, Tony Bennett, was also in attendance.
“I am here tonight because not only have you accepted me, but you have accepted somebody that is actually not Lady Gaga,” she said. “My name is Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta. I am an Italian-American artist living in New York City. I was not born blonde, like my mother will have you believe. I, over time, watched so many movies, and read so many books, and made so much art, and met so many sculptors, filmmakers, prose writers, musicians, and sidewalk artists that I invented something that was much stronger than I could have been on my own.”
Gaga thanked performance artist Marina Abramovic for helping her kick a 15-joint-per-day habit she developed while coping with a hip injury in upstate New York
“Thank you Marina Abramovic for the best rehab I’ve ever had,” she said before imitating Abramovic's Eastern European accent. “‘You eat art only. Nothing else for 3 days. You stand here in lake. So cold. I come back. 4 hours. If it’s not 4 hours, it’s not long duration. Goodbye.’ These are the people that remind me why I’m here. I’m so inspired every day. I’d rather be here any night of the week than anywhere in Hollywood. This has been the best. We’re at Cipriani. This is real old New York. Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry I talked for so long it’s just, this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me!”
Gaga posted several photos on Instagram of the night. She said ""Tonight really meant the world to me. This award stands beyond special, The National Arts Awards awarding me as a musician, philanthropist and fine artist with the YOUNG ARTIST award."