On May 19, 2017, Lady Gaga’s friend, Sonja Durham died after a long battle with cancer. Durham had stage IV cancer and Lady Gaga had supported her through her trials and battles. Almost immediately after the news slipped out, fans of Lady Gaga started to share condolences with the hashtag #RIPSonja. Hollywood Life reported that Sonja Durham is “Gone, but never forgotten.”
Lady Gaga was very close with Sonja Durham. On the album Joanne, there is a bonus track called “Grigio Girls” and it is reportedly about Sonja Durham.
Just yesterday, Lady Gaga shared a post on social media about Sonja with an image of Durham and her husband, Andre Dubois, sitting on a stoop and laughing together. In the social media post, Lady Gaga praised Sonja Durham for her “courage, strength, and positivity while battling cancer.” Lady Gaga spoke of Sonja being an inspiration and reminisced about their times spent backstage during shows. She talked about the “unbreakable” and “beautiful love” between Sonja and Andre. Lady Gaga wanted to share the photo so that everyone could see “what true beauty looks like.”
During Lady Gaga’s headlining set during the second week of Coachella 2017, she sang an acoustic version of her song “Edge of Glory” and dedicated it to her good friend, Sonja Durham. Before she sang the song, she fought back the tears and said that she was singing the song for her close friend, Sonja, who was very sick. No doubt, Lady Gaga brought many of her audience to tears as she sang the touching song.
Watching one of my best friends in the world show unfathomable courage, strength, and positivity while battling cancer has really changed my life. Thank you Sonja for inspiring me and all of us everyday with your joy. I love you so much it brings tears to my eyes just to think of all the years we've spent together backstage running the show, taking care of each other. You are one of a kind. I'm so proud of you. And you and Andre, your unbreakable beautiful love is what life is all about. You can see it in this photo. Wanted to share this with the world and show them what true beauty looks like. ❤#grigiogirls #sonjadurham @sonjad7777 I love you girl. I love you so much.
Sonja Durham and Andre Dubois were just married in the spring of 2017. Sonja Durham wrote on her blog that the wedding almost didn’t happen. They managed to plan it and make it happen in only two weeks. Sonja talked about how friends had come together to volunteer their time and their talents to make her wedding happen.
“The universe literally came together to give us our dream wedding and there is no way I could truly acknowledge and thank everyone for it.”
Sonja Durham was Lady Gaga’s assistant, and during the time they worked together, they formed a connection that no one could deny. Their friendship went back almost a decade. Lady Gaga played a big part in planning Sonja’s wedding and giving her the wedding that she had dreamed of all her life. On Sonja’s blog there is a picture of Lady Gaga kissing Sonja’s cheek just after she had her hair and makeup done for the ceremony.
Lady Gaga spoke to Radio.com about her friend in October, 2015. She specifically mentioned the song “Grigio Girls” and said that it was about how Lady Gaga and her friends would cry about Sonja when she wasn’t there. She specifically mentioned the lyrics that talk about how “sisters never pack up, we always run back” and that when she felt small, she could “toss that cork, and call.”
Even though she wrote this song for Sonja, Lady Gaga says that “Grigio Girls” is a message to all women. She wants all women to know that they need to stick together, be strong for each other, give each other a should to cry on, and remember that “we can’t do it alone.”
The friendship between Lady Gaga and Sonja Durham is inspiring. It shows that women can be strong and supportive of each other. Their friendship encourages women to treat each other well, be nice to each other, be there for each other in good times and in bad, and show each other love.
In the past, Sonja Durham also battled breast cancer and survived.
Condolences go out to Lady Gaga and the family and loved ones of Sonja Durham. May she rest in peace.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]