Lady Gaga‘s longtime friend Sonja Durham has died after a years-long battle with stage IV cancer.
Durham’s husband, Andre Dubois, confirmed the news on Friday, May 19, writing in a social media post that she passed away “peacefully and beautifully” in their home.
Gaga, 31, and Durham were close friends for nearly a decade. Gaga’s most recent album, Joanne, includes a song titled “Grigio Girls,” which was inspired by Durham. “One of my best friends, Sonja, who has been with me since I was 23 years old, she has metastasized cancer in her lungs and in her brain. It’s stage IV,” Gaga said during a Radio.com interview last year. “It’s really hard. It’s hard to watch, it’s hard to witness, it’s hard to know what to say. But I love her so much, and it’s so important that we continue to do research to find a cure.”
The six-time Grammy winner continued, “I wrote a song about her on the album. It’s about how me and all of our girlfriends would get together and cry without her when she’s not around because we love her so much. We just want to be strong with her.”
Gaga also dedicated an emotional acoustic version of “The Edge of Glory” to Durham during her headlining gig at Coachella last month. One day before Durham’s death, Gaga took to Instagram to share a sweet black-and-white photo of her friend with her husband, Dubois.
“Watching one of my best friends in the world show unfathomable courage, strength, and positivity while battling cancer has really changed my life,” the American Horror Story actress wrote. “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.”
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