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Lady Gaga, one of the most famous and successful music artists in the world, knows what it's like to feel isolated.
The 30-year-old pop star, who had titled her first and second album The Fame and The Fame Monster, recently spoke to actress Jamie Lee Curtis about the negative side of fame for Variety and PBS' "Actors on Actors" series.
"I don't think I could think of a single thing that's more isolating than being famous," Lady Gaga said, adding, "I think the hardest thing for me is that I love people so much and it is very hard to not be able to engage with people in a real and honest way...because they either want something from me or they see me as something that I simply am not."
"I am not some goddess that dropped down from the sky to sing pop music, I am not some extra-incredible human person that needs to be told how wonderful they are all day and kissed...I don't need any of that," she said. "Truly, my purpose on this earth is to make people happy through and heal people through music."
In 2015, Lady Gaga talked to E! News about feeling isolated.
"I do know isolation," she said. "Because I'm famous and it's hard to go be normal all the time. And when you meet people in public, 99 percent of the time, people aren't that interested in really getting to know me. There's sort of a wall between us that they think something of me that I'm not. I'm really just a human being that makes this...stuff."
Speaking on the eve of her TV debut on American Horror Story: Hotel, the actress said she feels more "normal" and "happier" than ever, thanks to the show's cast and creator Ryan Murphy, who she called a "soul mate."
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The singer told Curtis she would love to have "normal" exchanges with fans, more than just having photos and selfies taken with them.
Being famous was not Lady Gaga's primary goal when she began performing and making music.
"Creative expression is what I am and I would've been doing this whether I became famous or not," she said. "I still would be doing what I do. I wouldn't have given up to try to get famous in another way...I wanted to get a job being creative and I did."
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Lady Gaga's attitude about fame has evolved over the years.
In 2009, she told the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, "I don't think I could ever be prepared for fame. I don't think that you can prepare for it or get used to it. I've felt famous my whole life, but this is a whole other level of famous."
"I'm very grateful," she added. "I appreciate any attention to the music. And as long as it's on the music, and not who I'm f--king, I'll be OK."
Lady Gaga told the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph in 2010, she has "always been famous—you just didn't know it yet." She also talked about the diminished privacy that comes with fame.
"I don't care about going to the grocery store. And I don't care about going to a nightclub and getting drunk and getting photographed, 'cause I don't do that," she added. "I'm home working. I think people need to put things in perspective. I get to make art and fashion and music for a living. If I have to give up grocery shopping, poor me!"
In 2011, she said on 60 Minutes that she is not used to being around the paparazzi.
"If I were to be sitting in this bar, and we didn't have a scheduled interview, there would still be a camera over there and over there and over there," she said. "I'm always on camera."
And despite her fondness of elaborate hair, makeup and outfits, she is not afraid to show the "real" her.
"Photographers say this to me...'I want to photograph the real you.' I'm, like, 'What the hell are you looking for? I'm right here. You've seen me with no makeup. You've asked me about my drug history, my parents, my bank account,'" she said. "I mean, how much more real could I be?"
A year later, Lady Gaga was promoting her first fragrance, Lady Gaga Fame, and said on Good Morning America, "I wanted it to be very slutty perfume because that is sort of the addictive nature of fame, is that it's seductive. You want the life of the person that is famous."
In 2013, the singer appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and talked about how fame has changed her. At that point, she had sold more than three million records in the United States and won five Grammys and had returned from a two-year recording hiatus to release a new album, ARTPOP.
"Everything has changed and some of it is so amazing and wonderful because I have all of you [fans]," Lady Gaga said. "But the other things that I've been away from my family for a long time and I miss my parents and I'm one of those people that I like to channel my pain in vibrant ways and that's how I deal with my sadness."
"Getting past level one in the record business is basically the scariest thing that's ever happened to me," the singer added. "So now is kind of OK, compared to that. It's kind of great, actually."
Last year, she joked to the Australian website news.com.au that fame has aged her.
"I have been in the business since I was 15, and although I have been famous for only seven years and lived 29, I feel like I have lived 100 years," she said. "And I feel f--king old."