Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of Lady Gaga‘s album Born This Way, and now, she’s finally revealing who actually inspired the album and its number-one title track. And no, it wasn’t Madonna.
In an Instagram post, Gaga shared a photo of herself lying down on the “Born This Way” street mural painted on West Hollywood’s Robertson Boulevard to celebrate the album and Pride Month. She captioned it, “Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being ‘Born This Way.’”
“Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born,” Gaga continued. “Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.”
Gaga is referring to the song “I Was Born This Way.” It was written by Chris Spierer and Bunny Jones and released in 1975 by an artist called Valentino. Carl Bean released his own disco version in 1977. Bean’s version has since been remixed and re-released several times, both in the ’80s and the ’90s. The song’s lyrics go, “I’m happy and I’m gay/I was born this way.”
In 2010, Bean, the founding prelate of the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, published his autobiography, I Was Born This Way: A Gay Man’s Journey through Gospel Music, Disco Stardom, and a Ministry in Christ.
Other pictures in the Instagram slideshow feature the mural itself, and Gaga receiving the key to the city of West Hollywood.
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