National News

Edmonton's Granny Gaga makes Lady Gaga cry

By Tim Cook, The Canadian Press

EDMONTON - It was enough to make an 86-year-old Edmonton lady gaga.

Inez Whitfield got the thrill of a lifetime when she was called backstage to meet pop music superstar Lady Gaga after a concert Monday night.

Dubbed "Granny Gaga" because of her fondness for the singer, the retired teacher had planned months ago to attend her second Gaga show.

Her daughter Kendra said her mother has been a fan of Gaga's since seeing the singer on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" years ago.

"She knows good music when she hears it and she loves what Gaga stands for ... being creative and outrageous and not giving a flying fig what anyone thinks of you," Whitfield's daughter said.

But, in the weeks before the concert, Whitfield's plans to attend were put in jeopardy when major surgery forced her into hospital.

Media picked up on efforts to get Whitfield to the concert and those reports made their way to Lady Gaga.

Whitfield managed to make it to Rexall Place on Monday with special permission from her caregivers.

As Kendra wheeled her mother out of the arena to a cab before the encore, two security guards chased them down and took them backstage for an audience with the megastar.

Kendra says the two spoke for about five minutes. Whitfield told Gaga about how she was born in New York and then moved to Canada as a school teacher.

"They talked about growing up in Brooklyn and Mom told Gaga ... something about 'you're a dream in my heart' and she made Gaga cry."

They posed for some photos and Gaga gave them some cash to pay for their cab ride home. Whitfield was already an hour past the curfew hospital staff had given her.

Gaga later posted a photo on her Instagram page — Whitfield in her sparkly silver dress, feather boa and tiara, and the singer in dark sunglasses and a tight black outfit.

"We had a lovely chat after the show. What an inspiring lady!" the singer wrote.

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