LAS VEGAS — Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday counted superstar singer Lady Gaga among the bravest survivors he knows for her role in raising awareness about sexual assault on college campuses.
The seemingly odd couple appeared at a rally in Las Vegas before hundreds of students and community members as part of the White House's "It's On Us" campaign. Biden has been heavily promoting the initiative that urges people to support sexual assault victims and intervene when consent is questionable.
"Imagine the courage it takes for her to speak out and then imagine the courage it takes for her to sing a song, "Til It Happens to You," that is branded in her heart," Biden said as he introduced the singer's performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Cox Pavilion.
The singer has talked openly about being sexually assaulted when she was 19. Biden also introduced her at the Academy Awards in February, where she performed the song that was nominated for best original song. It appeared in "The Hunting Ground," a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses.
At the Oscars, Lady Gaga performed on stage surrounded by sex assault survivors. She told The Associated Press in an interview before the ceremony that it would be liberating.
"It's something in my life that's always really kind of defined me up until this point," she said.
Biden and Lady Gaga partnered up after the vice president met Diane Warren, the lead songwriter of "Til It Happens to You," last fall at an "It's On Us" event, according to Biden's office. The song's music video urges people to join the campaign.
In addition to a half-dozen rallies over the past year at college campuses, the vice president also recently spoke about the issue at a NCAA men's basketball tournament game.
Domestic violence prevention has been a signature issue for Biden since he championed the Violence Against Women Act in the Senate in 1994. He will visit the University of Colorado, Boulder, for another rally Friday.