Lady Gaga In Elle: I Am 'A Perpetually Tortured Artist'

Lady Gaga is opening up about her personal struggles in the pages of Elle magazine's latest issue.  The October cover girl talks about dealing with pressure and dubious critics, and how she prepared for her forthcoming album, ARTPOP.

The 27-year-old "Applause" singer even revealed that she changed her name because she couldn't be herself in the public eye.

The superstar born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta admits, "I am—Stefani is—a perpetually tortured artist. That's why I changed my name. I can't be her in public. She would be a mess!"

But when it comes to handling pressure, girl's a pro."What are you talking about, pressure? I'm great under pressure. I'm a warrior. I'm Rocky, round 12."

As for the critics who doubted her? "Everyone is so cynical—that I can't purely love my fans, or share an honest story about my past, without someone asking me if I really, truly struggled. Do you know how much dirt I ate? Do you know the men I had to crawl through, the people that disrespected my body, my mind, my heart?" she explains.

Gaga's Elle issue hits newsstands September 24. Launch the gallery, above, to see more stunning pics from her shoot.

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