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Lady Gaga addresses rape on new track

‘Till It Happens To You’ tackles the rising epidemic of sexual assaults on campuses in America

In the latter half of last year, Lady Gaga revealed that she had been raped as a teenager. Speaking in an interview with DJ Howard Stern, the singer confessed that ARTPOP track “Swine” was in fact an autobiographical account of her own experience of sexual assault. “The song is about rape,” she divulged. “The song is about demoralisation. The song is about rage and fury and passion, and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release...”

It's not a subject she has spoken a great deal about since, for pretty obvious reasons. It's only now, with the release of campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground, that the topic is being touched on again. Written specifically for the film, the track “Till It Happens To You” shows a side of Gaga that's rarely seen – swapping the bellicose beats for something more stripped back and vulnerable.

“There’s something very vulnerable about it and something very defiant about it, especially the way (Gaga) sings it,” co-writer Diane Warren told Billboard. “The first verse is vulnerable – 'You tell me its going to get better?' – and the second verse comes in and it builds. Really? It gets better? No. You don't know until it happens to you.” 

The Hunting Ground premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year, and tackles the troubling amount of sexual assault cases at US universities (nearly 20% of women will report a rape or attempted rape whilst studying). Although a UK release date hasn't yet been set, you can watch the trailer below.