Lady Gaga will perform for one of her biggest – and likely oldest – fans tonight in Edmonton.
Inez Whitfield, an 86-year-old retired teacher, has been a fan of the flamboyant singer for years, she says – ever since she first caught sight of Gaga on Oprah while in hospital a few years ago.
She immediately became a fan, earning the nickname “Granny Gaga” among her caregivers.
Seeing Lady Gaga in person in 2010 merely stoked her fan-fire.
“I thought seeing her in person, hearing her, listening to her project her voice and hearing her songs – I thought she was just a bright light in a dark world.”
So when she heard tickets were going on sale for Gaga’s new tour in Edmonton, she wasted no time in snapping up tickets.
“The gal in Winnipeg who handles Ticketmaster told me I was the first one to call,” Whitfield said.
Whitfield had to get a special pass to be able to leave her room at the Norwood Continuing Care Centre, where she’s recovering from an emergency appendectomy a couple weeks ago, in order to go to Monday’s concert.
Lady Gaga as the perfect role model
Asked what it is she loves so much about her hero, Whitfield gushes.
“Everything. I love her. She is youthful, she is like a will-o-the-wisp. She is everywhere with that charming spirit of hers that sort of invades the senses.”
Whitfield also says the performer is a perfect role model for young people.
“People say ‘you can’t - not her’ – [but] I’ve become an advocate for her and it’s seems to me, I’ve been preaching about her this past year or so … because she is different. She’s laughing, she’s daring.”
Whitfield’s daughter Kendra Whitfield said the singer has also served as an icon for her aging mother, who has been in and out of hospitals for year.
“My mother loves life and she never lets anything slow her down, and I think she see Gaga as an inspiration to just keep going.”
“I would have liked to have been like her when I was her age,” Whitfield agrees.
But while Whitfield says she loves nearly everything about the singer, she does take issue with one thing.
“To a point – I don’t wear a meat dress”
Listen to the full CBC Edmonton AM interview with Inez and Kendra Whitfield