Lady Gaga Premieres 'Joanne' Title Track

Courtesy of Beats 1
Lady Gaga during an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1 Radio.

"I had to write about Joanne. I had to," she tells Zane Lowe during Beats 1 interview.

During a 40-minute Beats 1 interview with Lady Gaga on Thursday (Oct. 20), fans got their first listen to the title track from Gaga's Joanne album before it drops Friday. The pop star's powerful, soulful vocals lay effortlessly over the smooth acoustic arrangement of "Joanne," which Gaga told interviewer Zane Lowe was a "one-take song" with Mark Ronson.

"It was that day that Mark said to me, ‘What do you have to write about?'" Gaga recalled. "And I had to write about Joanne. I had to. Because it’s the single most important event in my family’s life and it’s the thing that has made me who I am today."

The event she's referring to is the death of her father's sister Joanne Stefani Germanotta, who died from lupus December 18, 1974 -- almost 12 years before Gaga was born.

After a decade of more flamboyant solo albums, Lowe suggests that Joanne is Gaga "without makeup on," and the singer doesn't disagree. "I think that the sentiments and stories on the album don’t have any makeup on," she says. "There’s no filter. This record goes right for the gut. Sometimes you don’t want to listen to a song that makes you go there. But that’s what this record is. This record makes you go there. But it’s also, I have to say, one of the most rewarding musical experiences of my life, making Joanne.

"I looked back on my father’s sister who I was named after and her pain. It gave my strength to go on."

Watch the full interview below. (Billboard will embed "Joanne" when the song becomes available.)