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Lady Gaga discusses battles with chronic pain, plans to 'take a rest'

Lady Gaga appears during a camera call before the press conference for "Gaga: Five Foot Two" at the Toronto International Film Festival, in Toronto on Friday, September 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
September 08, 2017 - 12:09 PM

TORONTO - Lady Gaga says she's planning to take a break from performing to focus on her health as she struggles to overcome chronic body pain.

"I'm going to take a rest, I don't know how long," the pop star said at a Toronto International Film Festival press conference Friday.

"I'm looking forward to reflecting and slowing down for a moment and healing, because that's important."

The singer was at the festival to promote "Gaga: Five Foot Two," a Netflix documentary that will launch on the streaming service Sept. 22.

The film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the musician — whose real name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta — in the period between the 2013 release of her album "Artpop" and last year's "Joanne."

Among its most troubling moments is watching Lady Gaga in tears as her physical therapists help her overcome pain and body spasms related to a hip injury.

Many of these moments are captured while she's balancing her hectic publicity schedule. In one scene, she has an important meeting with her doctor while make-up artists prepare her for a planned appearance a few minutes later.

"It's hard, but it's liberating too," the singer said, tearing up while she talked about letting cameras record her pain.

"There is an element — and a very strong piece of me — that believes that pain is a microphone. My pain really does me no good unless I transform it into something that is."

Other scenes capture lighter moments, like when she's vibing in the studio with hitmaker Mark Ronson and spending time with her family.

While she hasn't seen the documentary herself yet, she said her sister and best friend have reassured her that "it was beautiful."

"The truth is that I love a great artistic experience and part of that sometimes, when you're the subject, is honouring that ... it's not your thing to control."

The documentary features a few scenes that demonstrate the precarious perch of fame the singer stands on as a Top 40 artist.

Lady Gaga is seen walking into a Walmart on the release day for "Joanne" to discover the album has been tucked among her older releases in one of the aisles. When she asks a middle-aged employee if there are more copies of the new Lady Gaga album he doesn't recognize her name or face.

The singer said she looks within for satisfaction about her life and career.

"I don't think it's healthy to look outside to other people for validation," she said. "I think it's much better to focus on the inside of you and validate yourself."

Even as the singer pledged to take some downtime next year, she didn't resign to putting her career aside entirely. Her lead role in the Bradley Cooper-directed film "A Star is Born" is set to debut in late 2018, and there could be other projects too.

"(The break) doesn't mean I won't be creating," she said. "It doesn't mean I don't have some things up my sleeve that I'm not going to tell you today."

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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