On Saturday night, Lady Gaga honored her close friend with a very touching rendition of “Edge of Glory” during her headlining set at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. The superstar played a scaled back version of her hit song in honor of her longtime pal and former assistant Sonja Durham, who has been battling stage IV cancer. "My friend Sonja is very sick, and I love her so much, and if it's okay with you, I'd like to sing this song for her," Gaga told the audience before she began.
Lady Gaga paid tribute to Sonja Photo: Getty Images
While sitting at a glistening piano, the 31-year-old artist poured her heart out as she sang: “I'm hangin' on a moment with you.” Gaga beautifully interwove the song with personal sentiments, saying: "I'm sorry you don't feel well… We all wish you were here with us." This is not the first time that Lady Gaga has shown support for Sonja. In fact, the bonus track "Grigio Girls" featured on Lady Gaga’s 2016 album Joanne is about her friend.
Sonja jokes about Coachella Photo: Instagram
Though Sonja could not be there in person to see the tribute, she had previously posted an image in support of Gaga’s headlining gig on her Instagram. “Still gotta make jokes when you’re going on 7 days in the hospital!” Sonja captioned along with a photo of her band-covered holding up her arms. Text on the pic read: “got my wristbands and IVs. I’m ready for Coachella!” Just last month, Lady Gaga assisted in planning Sonja’s wedding to Andre Dubois.
"Believe it or not, it was a fight and almost didn't happen. Literally why it was planned and pulled off in two weeks! Yes, two weeks!" Sonja wrote on her blog "Now you can do that when you have amazingly talented event friends and an Angel that tell you she is going to throw you your dream wedding and there are no arguments. So I cried and cried and if you can believe it let go of total control (i know crazy right) sent them my Pinterest and just asked when they wanted me to show up!!!!”
Lady Gaga and Sonja in 2016 Photo: Twitter/@ladygaga
In another blog post, Sonja Durham called Gaga her "guardian angel,” candidly speaking about some of the amazing things the singer has done for her. She revealed that Gaga has held fundraisers for the friend and even hired a caregiver to remain by her side daily. Sonja went on to write: "Honestly, if it wasn't for Gaga and the financial contributions from everyone so far I really do not think I would be here. Let's just say I understand why people give up and die because they do not have the resources that I have been given."