The pop star performed Til It Happens to You, her new tribute song to victims of sexual assault, and then accepted her latest accolade from her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, who opened up about the Poker Face singer's musical beginnings and recalled how Gaga was playing the family piano by ear four years after she learned to walk.

"At the age of six, she wrote her first song - called Dollar Bills," she chuckled.

The pop star, who took the stage at Cipriani 42nd Street a day after picking up her first Golden Globe nomination for her blood-sucking role in TV drama American Horror Story: Hotel, told the audience she has always struggled as a woman in music, stating, "It's really hard sometimes... It’s like a f**king boys club that we just can’t get into."

Spotting her grandmother in the front row she then apologised for swearing, before adding, "Women provide a wisdom to music that is very unique and special. It is a perspective no one else can have because we bear life. And because we go through things no one else goes through. And because it’s right. Because we’re all equal."

Other Women in Music 2015 honourees included Selena Gomez, Lana Del Rey, Missy Elliott, Loretta Lynn, Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato, who received a special video tribute from pal Nick Jonas as she accepted the Rulebreaker prize.

"I’m not a public speaker by any means," she said. "I’m a singer, and so this might be a little awkward", before adding, "For the first time in my life and my career, I’ve grown to know who I am as a person and as an artist."

Demi won over the audience of female power players by recalling a moment from her youth when she punched a boy who said "Girls suck!" in the face.