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Lady Gaga Returns to the Spotlight with Anthem, Speech at NYC Gay Pride Event

Image courtesy of Terry Richardson/LittleMonsters.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Terry Richardson/LittleMonsters.com (via ABC News Radio)

Lady Gaga lives!  On Friday night, the singer returned to the spotlight in spectacular fashion, performing the national anthem and giving a speech at New York City's Gay Pride Parade kickoff rally.  It was her first public appearance since being forced to cancel her tour due to hip surgery.

According to the New York Daily News , Gaga, who has a huge gay fanbase and is a staunch supporter of gay rights, told the crowd that when she was in high school and feeling like an outcast, "there was a particular crowd who made room for me at their table, who held me up when I felt I couldn't, who loved me for exactly who I was. It was you."

"You saved me, my friends in the LGBT community, time and time again. And I saw God for the first real time in all of you," she continued.

She also called for violence against gays to end, telling the crowd that it is "unacceptable here and anywhere," and added, "We are not a niche. We are a part, a big giant part of humanity. It's time for us to be mainstream."

When Gaga sang "The Star Spangled Banner" a cappella, she clutched a rainbow-striped gay pride flag, hit every note, and even changed the lyrics to say, "Oh say, does our star-spangled flag of pride yet wave / for the land of the free / and the home for the gay.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio