Lady Gaga has a long tradition of getting a tattoo to coincide with the release of a new album; three days after the debut of Joanne, her fifth solo set, she made the ritual a family affair, as both Gaga and her father, Joe Germanotta, had the LP’s title inked onto their skin.
“Got Joanne tattooed on my arm in her actual signature,” Gaga said, referencing her late aunt, Joanne Germanotta, who inspired the album’s name. “My dad got one too. With an angel on his shoulder.”
Joanne, Joe’s sister, died at age 19 in 1974 of Lupus-related causes after suffering emotional trauma stemming from a sexual assault.
During her Thursday evening >Dive Bar Tour set in New York City, Gaga performed the album’s title track in memory of her late aunt.
“This tragedy stayed with my family for a very long time. I come from a long heritage of very hard working, blue collar, Italian-Americans,” she said. “My family came over from Italy, through Ellis Island… [Mark Ronson and I] wrote this song not only in [Joanne’s] honor, but in the honor of so many people who’ve lost ones that they love or maybe their pending loss. So terrifying. You just never want to say goodbye.”
During a Monday appearance on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show, Gaga also revealed she has an angel tattooed on her skull, further emphasizing her aunt’s lasting impact on her life and career.
“She’s like this goddess that we worshipped in our family our whole lives,” Gaga said. “Her picture was always up, and it was framed so beautifully in the house. We talked about her all the time, every family meal… she was like a guardian angel or spirit guide.”