Lady Gaga had a few good personal reasons for purchasing a $13,000 dinner with E-Street Band member Steve Van Zandt Thursday night when she attended the "Right To Rock" charity auction.
According to Forbes,Van Zandt used to frequent New York's Parma restaurant, where Gaga worked as a waitress when she was 19.
Additionally, the "Born This Way" singer's donation benefits the Little Kids Rock non-profit that supports music programs in schools.
Gaga's connection to the E-Street Band goes way back. Saxophonist Clarence Clemons was her late "The Edge Of Glory" collaborator (he died of complications from a stroke in June). Clemons inspired "Right To Rock"'s "Big Man Of The Year" award. Gaga is this year's recipient.
During her acceptance speech Gaga recalled: "My first experience with music was my father playing vinyl of the E-Street Band. My dad used to swing me around the living room while gravy was boiling in the kitchen." She described Clemons's saxophone playing as the "sound of her youth."
Gaga thought about Clemons when working on "The Edge Of Glory" and invited him to play on the song.
Clemon's widow, Victoria, said her husband opened up to Gaga during the recording process and was comforted by her encouraging words. "Lady Gaga grabbed his hands, looked into his eyes, and said, 'I believe in you seven days a week, not just five.' Those words meant the world to Clarence and helped him get through a lot'," Victoria said.
Gaga dedicated her "Big Man Of The Year" award to Victoria. "As much as I appreciate this award for me, I believe that the true woman of the year is Victoria," Gaga said. "You are very strong - and you've been stronger for longer than this year."
Gaga also celebrated another iconic male figure this week, former President Bill Clinton. Gaga joined Bono and The Edge, Usher, Juanes, K'naan, Kenney Chesney, and Stevie Wonder at the Hollywood Bowl Saturday to perform at Clinton's A Decade Of Difference concert.
Two of Gaga's fellow pop divas, Rihanna and Britney Spears, both released controversial videos this week. Rihanna's "We Found Love" visual pairs her with a love interest with a striking resemblance to her bad boy ex Chris Brown, and Britney's "Criminal" has been compared to Eminem's "99 Bonnie & Clyde" and contains violence and nudity.
Lastly, Gun N' Roses frontman Alx Rose joined the ranks of Steven Tyler when he slipped on stage during a concert in Mexico City, adding a bit of comic relief to the show.
Yes, this was an awesome week of music news. For more info on this week's stories, please see the links below. Otherwise, we'll see here back next weekend for another news roundup.