Lady Gaga opens up about aunt's sexual assault in campus before performing 'Til It Happens To You' at the 2016 PGA Awards

Lady Gaga Reveals Painful Family Memory Before Emotional Performance Of ‘Til It Happens To You’ At PGA Awards [Video]

In her special appearance at the 2016 Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, Lady Gaga opened up about a painful family memory before performing the Oscar-nominated track “Til It Happens To You” before an awe-struck audience.

“It’s not only an important issue to me, but it’s an important issue to my family because when my father’s sister was in college, she was sexually assaulted,” explained Gaga. “Then, it tormented her so emotionally that it caused the lupus that she had to get so bad that she died.”

According to Spin, Lady Gaga revealed that her late aunt, Joanne Germanotta, was sexually assaulted while she was in college. Joanne’s sexual assault occurred back when Gaga’s father was just 16-years-old. According to her, the traumatic event has affected her family “tremendously” her whole life.

“That’s one of the centerpieces of our family. So this song means so much to me and so much to my parents.”

Lady Gaga recorded “Til It Happens To You” for the The Hunting Ground, a rape documentary that chronicles the widespread cases of campus rape in the United States, specifically how rape victims are largely ignored and blamed by schools and government institutions after coming forward with their experience.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported The Hunting Ground,” Lady Gaga said before her emotional performance for the crowd.

“Til It Happens To You” is a song Lady Gaga co-wrote with Diane Warren. The track earned an Oscar nod for Best Original Song, as well as a Stanley Kramer award for raising “public awareness of important social issues.”

The 29-year-old singer was herself a victim of sexual assault when she was 19. In December 2014, she revealed her ordeal during an interview with Howard Stern. Lady Gaga said that her song “Swine” was inspired by the traumatic experience, and that she didn’t let her secret out into the open because she didn’t want the experience to define her or her music.

At the Producers Guild Award, Lady Gaga thanked her co-writer for the song, Diane Warren, and used the opportunity to tell her that she loves her “very much.”

The song’s nomination for Best Song at this year’s Academy Awards was set into controversy when 4 Non Blondes front-woman Linda Perry took to Twitter to say that the Oscar nod was ill-deserved and that the full credit should be given to Diane Warren. According to the 50-year-old singer, Gaga only wrote one line for the entire song.

The tweets – already deleted by Perry – read as follows:

‘Normally I wouldn’t respond to all this but I don’t know Im feeling spunky. There was another artist that originally was gonna sing #TIHTY.

‘I have Diane’s original demo with her singing. The only line that has been changed “Till you’re at the end, the end of your rope”

‘Originally was “TIL YOU GOT A HOLE RIPPED IN YOUR SOUL”. So I guess technically one line was changed so sure Gaga possibly “rewrote” a line.’

‘But chances are Diane still took part in rewriting that line which means Gaga contributed a few words. Is that writing? Not in my book.

‘I love Gaga so much respect and love this song that has nothing to do with anything. Why did Gaga get credit? Maybe because

‘Diane wanted to ensure her support in promoting the song. Gaga is a very smart business women she knew a song written by Diane Warren…

‘Would be up for an Oscar. And you know it’s hard getting music out there and heard. Especially a song from a documentary, so Diane knew…

‘If she gave Gaga writing credit it would ensure the support this song needed and deserved. And Gaga knows her power. I’m not putting anyone or anything down. I’m stating the truth.

‘I credit Diane for writing this song, it is her experience her pain her words. That’s it kids.’

Hours after Linda Perry’s series of tweets, Diane Warren also took to Twitter to defend Lady Gaga.

After learning that “Til It Happens To You” was nominated for this year’s Oscars, Diane Warren praised Lady Gaga for her considerable contributions to making the track.

“When I called her and played her the song, it was more of a somber ballad, but she really made it epic,” Warren said of Gaga at the time. “She made it hers and took it to another level by arranging the s**t out of it and singing the s**t out of it.”

[Photo by John Salangsang/AP Images]