Pop star Lady Gaga says the world’s image of Israel is inaccurate, calling the country “a beautiful place.”
“Oh it was fantastic!” said Lady Gaga in an interview published Friday by The Independent, talking about her September 13 performance in Tel Aviv. “Tel Aviv was magnificent. The world view of Israel is just not reality. It’s in a beautiful place, the people are in good spirits.”
“I had a very emotional show with those fans. It was wonderful,” she said.
The 28-year-old singer also said her duet at the Tel Aviv show with famed crooner Tony Bennett was not planned, but was rather his idea.
“And I was very overwhelmed when Tony surprised me there. I knew he was coming in [to Tel Aviv] for a show, but he came a day early and he said: ‘Hey, you wanna sing “Anything But Love” at the ArtRave?’ And I thought: ‘Gosh, how magnificent! To bridge the jazz and the pop world at the same time.’ And at that show there were 25,000 people singing every word.”
On September 19, she released an album, “Cheek to Cheek,” with the singer.
Gaga, the multi-platinum, multi-hued, multi-talented artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta, was the first big-name star to confirm a show in Israel after this summer’s 50-day war with Hamas forced the cancellations or postponement of shows by Neil Young, The Backstreet Boys and Lana Del Rey, among others.
Gaga, who last played Tel Aviv six years ago, put on a show that was so big and bright, it almost made up for those cancellations.
Sauntering on stage at 9:40 p.m., in the first of several blonde wigs and sequined, space-age like bodysuits, she launched into “ArtPop,” her world tour’s signature track, before belting out “G.U.Y. (Girl Under You),” as a bevy of bare-chested male dancers gyrated and convulsed around her.
Like many of this summer’s pre-war musical acts, including The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake, Gaga sprinkled bits of Hebrew into her show, opening her performance by telling the crowd “Ani ohevet et’chem” (I love you) and closing off several of songs with the words “Todah Rabah” (thank you very much).
“Put your hands up and cheer for yourselves,” she told the crowd. “You are strong, you are brave, you are confident, and I f*cking love you, Israel.”
Debra Kamin and AP contributed to this report.