Her 2016 album Joanne features a bonus track, "Grigio Girls," which is about her longtime friend Sonja Durham, who is battling stage IV cancer. During her headlining set on weekend two of Coachella 2017, Gaga dedicated an acoustic version of her song "Edge of Glory" to her.
"My friend Sonja is very sick and I love her so much and if it's okay with you, I'd like to sing this song for her," the singer said, sitting by a piano.
"I'm sorry you don't feel well," she said, mid-song. "We all wish you were here with us."
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Coachella
Sonja used to work as Gaga's assistant. The two have been friends for almost a decade. Last month, Gaga helped plan and attended Sonja's wedding to Andre Dubois.
"Believe it or not, it was a fight and almost didn't happen. Literally why it was planned and pulled off in two weeks! Yes, two weeks!" Sonja wrote on her blog. "Now you can do that when you have amazingly talented event friends and an Angel that tell you she is going to throw you your dream wedding and there are no arguments. So I cried and cried and if you can believe it let go of total control (i know crazy right) sent them my Pinterest and just asked when they wanted me to show up!!!!
On her blog, Sonja dubs Gaga her "guardian angel."
"Honestly, if it wasn't for Gaga and the financial contributions from everyone so far I really do not think I would be here," she said. "Let's just say I understand why people give up and die because they do not have the resources that I have been given."