Los Angeles: Pop sensation Lady Gaga was feted at the National Art awards and hailed the honour the "best thing that's ever happened" to her.
The pop star, 29, was presented with the Young Artist Award in recognition for her contribution to the art world during the annual gala for Americans for the Arts in her native New York City.
She was introduced to the stage by her friend and art mentor Klaus Biesenbach, who serves as a curator for the Museum of Modern Art, and he praised the singer for being a "true artist" and "role model" for the countless number of fans she has "touched, inspired, empowered and encouraged".
An emotional Gaga took to the podium to accept the award, a metal balloon dog made by her artist friend Jeff Koons, who also created the cover art for her most recent record, Artpop.
"Thank you so much to all of you for honouring me today, because I don't think there is a single award that means more to me than this one," she told the gala attendees.
"My name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta," she continued.
"I am an Italian-American... I, over time, read so many books, watched so many movies, did so much art, met so many sculptors, filmmakers, poets, musicians, sidewalk artists that I invented something that was much stronger than I ever could have been on my own. And that is what, for me, is what (sic) I see between my fans and what I hope to achieve together...
"This is just the best thing that has ever happened to me. And a toast to a new age of romantics, and let's lift each other up and take care of kids as they struggle with depression and anxiety, while they ask themselves every day why do I feel so sick, and the answer is because you're meant to make things. So let's help them make things."