Lady Gaga says new album Joanne is a tribute to family roots

Lady Gaga arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California, Feb 28, 2016.
Lady Gaga arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California, Feb 28, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Lady Gaga said Thursday (Sept 15) that her new album will be named after her late aunt and explore her family heritage.

The superstar, revealing details of her first contemporary pop album in three years, said it will be called Joanne and come out on Oct 21.

Joanne was the name of a paternal aunt who died at age 19 after struggles with lupus.

The 30-year-old singer, born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in New York, was named after her aunt and said that Joanne's death left a lifelong scar for her father, who was younger.

Gaga said that the album, which includes a song entitled Joanne, explored her reconnection with her family after she took a step back from the limelight.

The album's release will represent "such a day of healing" for her family, she told Apple Music's Beats One radio.

"Every one of those (songs) is extremely autobiographical and all about me as my father's daughter, as my mother's daughter, just an Italian American city girl that is now venturing out into new territory," she said.

She described Joanne as "the woman of my past that is... helping me bring more of my honest woven self into the future."

Lady Gaga became one of the most successful artists of the 21st century with her brand of provocative synthpop, defined by brazen sexuality and ultra-flamboyant outfits.

But after 2013's Artpop album, she took a step back by recording pop standards accompanied by a tour with Tony Bennett, the classic crooner who recently turned 90.

Lady Gaga last week released the first track off her album, Perfect Illusion, a return to nightclub-ready pop.

The singer has said she is working on the album with veteran music producer Mark Ronson as well as Kevin Parker of Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala and arthouse rock singer Florence Welch.

In the Beats One interview, Lady Gaga said she is also working with country songwriter Hillary Lindsey, known for Little Big Town's hit Girl Crush.