Lady GaGa, a singer/songwriter, and a gay icon, because she was born this way. GaGa originally began performing with her band ‘Stefani Germanotta Band’ at pubs and clubs, and she performed in similar venues solo. At 20 she was hired as a song writer for the likes of Britney Spears and The PussyCat Dolls, she was also signed to Streamline/Interscope Records, creating her dance electro-pop styled album The Fame. A couple of songs feature club dance styled themes, with the heavy drums and bass, the electro hooks and loops and lyrics that insinuate club dancing and being drunk at a club. Her debut single “Just Dance” released in 2008 generated attention from the music world doing her first major performance at the Miss Universe 2008 competition. GaGa’s first sense of stardom and success came from the gay community who requested airplay on radios for her songs and for them to be played at pubs and clubs, but it wasn’t until her song and video clip “Poker Face” were released did she receive copious amounts of attention. Winning and being nominated for several music awards such as The Grammy’s and MTV music video awards. GaGa performed at these major events and on talk shows such as The Ellen Degeneres’ Show. Touring the world and performing to audiences and fans across the globe. You need to state which song you intend to analyse in this paragraph. By winning many of the awards and nominations and performing globally and breaking world records, GaGa has certainly built a name for herself and has developed a large fan base, and because of these fans and her ever-growing stature, GaGa has toured several times supporting her album The Fame and again with The Fame Monster, with her “Monster Ball Tour” which was definitely a surreal show which had a story-line all the way through, similar to a musical. She used extravagant sets and erratic costumes which makes GaGa who she is. Her tour span for 201 shows, through several different countries and cities, and her most highlighted performance, apart from being able to physically be there myself in 2010, was her Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden New York on February 2011, which was a dream come true for her, a goal she was been waiting to achieve her whole career. The concert was filmed with HBO television and released the concert on DVD so that fans can re-live the experience and open the door for people who might be interested in seeing what she delivers to an audience. Include some quotes to back up your observations. GaGa has used social media to connect with fans giving them taste tests of snippets of new songs, or filming the likes of a documentary based on the making of her album. Also using ‘facebook’ or ‘twitter’, artists keep audiences appealed by saying what plans they have in store, social media is a way of sharing a performance or letting people know where they are to perform, it is a promotional usage. “US$90 million Gaga earned on her Monster Ball tour--or her 32 million Facebook fans and 10 million Twitter followers who purchased one million digital downloads of Born This Way in five days and slavishly snapped up the products placed in her videos.” GaGa had an anticipatory build-up to her second album by appearing on talk shows and posting snippets of lyrics and photos on her fan sites and social media sites, and singing a small snippet of her new single Born This Way as she received an award for Best Video of The Year for “Bad Romance” at the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards. This helped with the hype of her single and album to come. The song officially released February 2011; Stated in the Vancouver Sun 19/02/2011 “Lady Gaga's Born This Way has become the fastest-selling single ever on Apple’s iTunes store worldwide, racking up more than one million downloads in five days” GaGa has an outrageous dress sense because she was “born this way”, and this captures the eyes of the media/public which draws attention to her. Throughout her performances and antics, it’s quite surprising to discover that her music and her lyrics are not as unusual as she depicts herself. Beneath the exterior is a talented musician/songwriter, whom writes her own lyrics and producers her music. Her unusual ways are being a visual voice for people who get ridiculed for wanting to have self-expression through the art of fashion, and GaGa sets the grounds for being different and having this alter-ego. During her schooling she was bullied and she has witnessed gay people being persecuted and because of her stardom she has been able to address these issues and help those who she can through her music. In the rage of “Born This Way” GaGa had an intention to express how people can’t decide who they are, and that what they do is not a choice and who they are is built up out of how life has treated them, and that who they love is not a choice, but the fact is that they were born to love whoever they love, born to believe what they believe, and that they can be brought up to think different to this, but the way they feel is different to what they are expected to do, and GaGa physically values this by taking on a new view or look to herself because of the song. GaGa had prosthetic bones structured onto her face and shoulders; in an interview with Derek Blasburg from Harper’s Bizarre he breaches the topic of her new look, “A series of sharp bones that protrude from GaGa’s shoulders, cheekbones, and temples. How long does it take to apply the makeup and prosthetics to her face and arms? ‘Well, first of all,’ she says, ‘they're not prosthetics. They're my bones.’ Okay, so when did the bones appear? ‘They've always been inside of me, but I have been waiting for the right time to reveal to the universe who I truly am.’ Did she will them to come out for this album? ‘They come out when I'm inspired.’ What conclusion did draw from this? GaGa used this look to indicate that being different is special and unique and that you are born as who you are, she goes on to discuss this matter in relation to a guy within her video clip to the song stating, “It's artistic expression," Gaga says. ‘It's a performance-art piece. I have never, ever encouraged my fans or anyone to harm themselves, nor do I romanticize masochism. Body modification is part of the overarching analysis of 'Born This Way.' In the video, we use Rico, who is tattooed head to toe [including a skull on his face]. He was born that way. Although he wasn't born with tattoos, it was his ultimate destiny to become the man he is today.” Issues of authenticity surround the song, where it was criticised and slated to have was said to have copied the likes of Madonna’s 1989 song “Express Yourself”. Any sources for this? Although there definitely are similarities in the way both songs are sung. In regards to similarities, when Madonna sings “don’t go for second best, put your love to the test” and follows with a “hey yeah yeah” GaGa’s song uses a similar counterpart to this with “A different lover is not a sin believe capital H-I-M (Hey hey hey)” Lady GaGa stated in an interview "If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It's the same one that has been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first f****** artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means I'm f****** smart. Sorry." Using catchy hooks in the chorus’, the use of A-Capella singing, exploring her vocal range going higher than she has in previous songs and expelling an almost gospel like sound; which relates to the religious themes and being a powerful motivated strong willed passionate person make this song popular. These add to the texture and variety of sound and styles within the song, which is primarily a dance number. The fusion of different genres is a enrapturing with this song. Because of the hypnotic disco dance beat and the use of the heavy drum line which explodes in the speakers and fills the room. The lyrical content and themes are approached without fear or holding back. It is a club-anthem that speaks for a lot of people out in the world who are misunderstood and ridiculed for being different and being labeled by making these choices for their lifestyles but as GaGa puts it in her lyrics, “It’s in your DNA”. The lyrics and the melody of the chorus just make you feel good and full of pride. She stands for what she thinks is right and what she believes in which gives power to people to do the same. This needs a more analytical approach. Lyrics of songs in 2011 were getting raunchier in ways to gain attention from the public eye, unlike songs in the 90’s which used innuendos and connotations. The style of songs were and are all becoming the same monotonous club-banging styled songs, using sex as the main recurring theme in this era, now it is the in thing; but they never touched upon same-sex idealisms or openly speaking about this theme. This is a very sweeping statement and needs to be investigated in more depth. The issue of homosexuality has always been pushed into the shadows and ignored much as possible. In the late 1770’s Thomas Jefferson was seen as a Liberal because he had gay men castrated and gay women had their faces mutilated, most commonly amongst gay people death was their punishment. Laws stated that homosexuality was a punishable crime. Source? Michael Levy writes on gay rights stating that prior to the 20th century “Lawmakers in Britain began to categorize homosexual behaviour as criminal rather than simply immoral. In the 1530s, Henry VIII passed the Buggery Act, which made sexual relations between men a criminal offense punishable by death. In Britain sodomy remained a capital offense punishable by hanging until 1861. In 1885, Parliament passed an amendment which created the offense of “gross indecency” for same-sex male sexual relations, enabling any form of sexual behaviour between men to be prosecuted (lesbian sexual relations—because they were unimaginable by male legislators—were not subject to the law).” Cite this correctly. Any forms of gay rights movements were not established or acted upon until the 1950’s,1950s and yet these were still implemented in secret so they would not be ridiculed. In 1969 the Stonewall riot which lasted for three days was the turning point in the gay community. It was still against the law to act out gay lifestyles, such as drag shows or being involved in gay organizations, and police raided this gay bar (Stonewall), and as a result of the police initiating arrests they were rallied against because a large sum of gay individuals and straight supporters united. To this day because of this riot, gay pride parades continue. Over time laws have been passed to acknowledge homosexuals as a genuine orientation and gradually accepting them for who they are. Gay people want to be recognized and have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, therefore some states within America have legalized same-sex marriages, others have only allowed civil unions, most still turn a blind eye to it. And Lady GaGa is a strong voice for the gay community. GaGa is actively involved in gay rights, which helps with her public image throughout a variety of communities; and her song “Born This Way” reflects all of these aspects of what she has come to encounter, with the lyrics of the song raising awareness to different religions, cultures, sexual orientations and empowerment for those who don’t have a say in who they are. “Lady Gaga cultivated a devoted following, particularly among gay men (she acknowledged her own bisexuality), who became some of her most loyal fans. She became particularly outspoken on gay rights, especially same-sex marriage, and was a featured speaker at the 2009 National Equality March in Washington, D.C.” Cite source. GaGa is a contributor in the fight against HIV/AIDS and donated towards research and awareness, in her erratic ways. She also set up a foundation for youth empowerment and issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development and this has been named the Born This Way Foundation. GaGa being a gay icon speaking on behalf of the gay community at rallies and for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) – also lyrics within the song, she speaks in favour of them and for equal rights. Here in Australia gay rights are not as active as they are within the US. Current Prime Minister Julia Gillard has a stance against gay marriage due to her “conservative upbringing”, and thus far the politicians have only voted for marriage equality, but were not successful and marriage in Australia remains between a man and a woman. Not only in her song Born This Way does she breach the topic of homosexuality but at her concerts, she performs her song “Boys Boys Boys” with an all-male dance troop, and she openly discusses the fact that she is performing with gay men, at her concert saying “Celebrate your gay pride” and they perform with same-sex behaviours such as kissing and touching. GaGa is pushing the boundaries in her performance, this being a form of stand for gay men or the queer community. GaGa received criticism for using aspects of religion and cultures within her song and people within these groups found it to be offensive and racial slurs; “You're black, white, beige, chola descent, you're Lebanese, you're orient” but this song is about breaking boundaries. One message she is trying to get across in the song, is that being who you are does not conflict with your religion. She shares the view of many in thinking that the true message of the bible has been misjudged by the prejudice of mankind over many years. God entrusted his word to man to create the Bible, God is perfect, and man is full of flaws. There is and always will be people who think just because something is not traditional, it is bad. Some say that is why there was Jesus, to guide us from our misconception, to set an example. Due to this the New Testament begins to take place and people to follow these sorts of guidelines. GaGa also refers to her own religious Christian background by using “Capital H.I.M” as a reference to Jesus. “A different lover is not a sin believe capital H-I-M” a Jesus message, by it being perceived as open to the matter of all-inclusive love. There is no stating of who you should or shouldn’t love, and yet homosexuality is still a silent topic, hence why this song has become a ‘gay anthem’. Lady GaGa still continues to flourish performing and writing new music. In April 2012 GaGa will be kicking off her new tour; The Born This Way Ball and in June 2012. Lady GaGa will be returning to Australia with this show.
Bibliography You needed 3 academic articles
Article, Australian PM Julia Gillard: Gay marriage against my upbringing, Australian Daily Telegraph, March 21, 2011 , http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/pm-julia-gillard-gay-marriage-against-my-upbringing/story-e6freuy9-1226025009815 Article, gay rights movement. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/EBchecked/topic/766382/gay-rights-movement Article Maclean’s 12/12/2011, Vol.124 Issue 48/49, p52-52, Kingston, Anne, http://web.ebscohost.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/ehost/detail?sid=cf71e2bb-fe8c-4377-ab40-858f2bb0177f%40sessionmgr112&vid=1&hid=119&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=anh&AN=67718963 Gay Rights Movement , About.com , http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/tp/History-Gay-Rights-Movement.htm Retrieved, 10/4/2012 Going GaGa, Blasberg, D, Harper’s Bazaar magazine article, May 2011, http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/875499240 Lady Gaga. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/EBchecked/topic/1667582/Lady-Gaga Lady GaGa breaks Itunes record with Born This Way, Newspaper Article, Anonymous.The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 19 Feb 2011: E.6. http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/853016756