International pop sensation. Trend-setting fashionista. And now, award-winning do-gooder.
Gay rights is what makes Gaga tick.
In September, the pop superstar dressed down in a shirt and tie, stood before a crowd in Maine, and called for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 17-year-old policy preventing gays from serving openly in the military.
President Obama officially ended DADT Wednesday, days after the House and Senate passed the repeal bill.
“Can’t hold back the tears+pride,” Gaga wrote on her Twitter page after the Senate vote.
The performer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, also hosted the “Hands Up for Marriage Equality” benefit and helped promote a line of lipstick and lipgloss to raise money for the MAC AIDS Fund.
At the MTV Video Music Awards in September, the "Bad Romance" artist escorted four former servicemen and servicewomen down the red carpet. All had been discharged under DADT or had decided to resign because they did not agree with the policy.
Gaga topped the list, even though some celebs raised or donated more money.
Keys and her husband, rapper Swizz Beatz, also took an entire village in South Africa under their wing. They plan to build schools and offer other support.
Rounding out the top five were country music sweetheart Taylor Swift, who donated $500,000 to a Nashville flood relief effort, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, who worked to combat child sex trafficking, and Ellen DeGeneres, who raised $150,000 for the LGBT community.
What about Oprah? Despite being one of this year’s most generous celebrity philanthropists—she donated a cool $40 million to charity in 2010— the talk show host and media mogul couldn’t crack the top five, and came in at no. 9.