Lady Gaga is an artiste of a kind rarely seen (although not unprecedented) -- a conscientious and yet catchy mockery of all things societal, a modern three dimensional nonstop dada diva. A year ago, she was the new sensation sweeping the charts. Okay, maybe "sensation" and "sweeping" were exaggerations at the time this node was written, but they surely are no longer!! And, after watching her rendition of John Lennon's Imagine at the recent gay rights shindig in the nation's capitol (vid here), I am assured in saying this: she's no talentless hack.

Here are the vital statistics: hoping to emulate Madonna even before birth, Lady Gaga was born into an Italian-Catholic family (in New York, though, whereas the Material Girl was born in mid-Michigan). Lady Gaga sported a birth name of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, a length of name that would confuse any poor child and lead to odd career choices and perhaps even behavior that screams out for attention (Madonna's birth name? Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone). Respecting the privacy of exact birthdates, Lady Gaga was 23ish years old at the time of this noding.

Despite her desire to be a pop star, young Lady Gaga took the unconventional step of actually learning to play a musical instrument (the piano). Her climb to fame came in a pretty quick series of events -- first Album "The Fame" (2008) spun out two chart-topping hits, "Just Dance" (very clubby -- vid here -- and nominated for a Grammy) and "Poker Face," for which she made a video so drenched in symbolism that it is bound to be the subject of at least a half dozen graduate theses. Her next hit, Paparazzi, comes equipped with one of those super-videos where the video is like a little movie with a lengthy setup preceding the subject song (a technique most famously pioneered by Michael Jackson with Thriller). And here it is (Paparazzi, that is, not Thriller). Her music was to that point fairly derivative, but there are flashes of previously untried mixtures in there. By now she's done the whole circuit of late night talk shows, and Saturday Night Live, and even Madonna is a fan.

Her next bombshell exploded with the release of Bad Romance, a stomping good time where she labels herself a monster and, perhaps iconically, "a free bitch, baby!!" -- force fed martinis, writhing on the floor while singing (with a verse in French even!!) and showing herself to be a, ahem, pyrotechnic lover.

Lady Gaga's fame is at least some part due to her having absolutely the most bizarre taste in clothing of any performing artist on the face of the planet, especially when it comes to hats. Or helmets. Or dioramas of the solar system masquerading as headgear. Here she is wearing an umbrella on her head. Here she is apparently auditioning to be the next conehead while talking about having once autographed a penis. Venetian Princess speculates that Lady Gaga is from outer space. Michelle Phan does Lady Gaga's Poker Face make-up, the instructions for which include gluing a metallic-looking lightning bolt to your face. Seriously, I bet even Björk is like, "what the fjörk is up with those outfits?" I have hit upon the realization that the entire thing, the songs, the strange story vids, the outfits, is all just one long dadaist experiment in gauging just how much weirdness the people will eat. Speaking of eating, she once made waves wearing a dress made entirely of meat (including a meat purse), which surely icked vegetarians.

Despite (or maybe even in some weird way because of) her fashion oddness, Lady Gaga has gained the love of the gay community with a fervor not seen since Barbra Streisand. Which is fine, because as it turns out, she is quite an impassioned speaker on their behalf. If her videos are reflective of her life, at any rate, she's at least bi. Which is just fine with me.


2012 update:  Lady Gaga is coming out with a perfume; in contrast to the usual superstar perfume sold on mystique and allure and prestige, Gaga insists her perfume will make you smell like "an expensive hooker" (which is still an improvement from her original idea to make a perfume that smelled like certain bodily fluids). 


2015 update:  Lady Gaga sang a medley from "The Sound of Music" at the 2015 Oscars, leaving many detractors stunned at the fact that she can sing really, really, really well. Essentially she demonstrated herself to be like the talented painter who can make a photographic depiction, but chooses to delve into the abstract.


Fellow noder Spifficus Rex noted, quite amusingly, in the chatbox:

Unfortunately, it seems that most of the critics of Lady Gaga are, themselves, up their own asses, so really you end up sort of rolling your eyes at both sides.
Reposted with said noder's permission, as he is "not afraid of Lady Gaga knowing that I am committing libel against her in the catbox," tho, to mine eyes, it would seem any libel here is against those critics.

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