Lady GaGa’s much anticipated SXSW keynote saw the singer detail her difficult year, which comprised a mediocre response to her album Artpop, a split from her management, a nasty hip injury followed by surgery. But she vowed to never change, and would rather quit pop than compromise.

Lady GagaLady Gaga gave a candid keynote at SXSW

“I refuse to compromise and allow my talents to be monetized to the point that I don’t want to be here anymore. I will stop, I will quit, I will retire from the commercial market if I have to do something other than be myself because if I can’t be myself in this moment than everything I have said to my friends since the beginning will be a total lie,” she said in an hour-long question-and-answer session.

“I’ll be myself until I have to make money to sustain a luxurious lifestyle, and then I change, right? No, I’ll be myself till they (expletive) close the coffin so that you can all be yourselves,” she added.

Since bursting on the scene with her trademark style, Gaga’s popularity has dwindled. Her recent album Artpop shifted only 673,773 units since its November release, which compared with Born This Way’s 1.1m in sales, is a disappointing performance. That, including the hip injury that forced Gaga into surgery and made her cancel some live dates, made for a hugely difficult 2013. It even lead people around her to suggest changing the way she approaches life, fashion and music.

“That’s the thing that poisoned me ... (people saying) ‘We want you to be beautiful’ over and over and over in my head until I just wanted to look ugly all the time because I’m rebellious,” Lady Gaga said. “Don’t tell me not to do anything because it’s going to happen. That really crushed me. I’ve won Grammys now. I’ve written albums. I’ve toured the world four times. You’re telling me to be beautiful? That’s what this is all about? Is it all about tits and a--? That’s so sad.” (Washington Post)