Indiana Daily Student

Journalmania: On the edge of glory

In 2008, when 22-year old Stefani Germanotta first entered the mainstream as Lady Gaga, she was probably the most controversial pop artist of the past 20 years.

Eight years later, the now-beloved star will soon be releasing her much-anticipated fifth LP “Joanne.” It has been two years since Gaga has released an album and three years since she released exclusively a dance album.

If that somehow isn’t enough, it was announced at the end of September that Gaga would be performing at the 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

She previously sang the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, but now she is given the chance to follow in the footsteps of Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen by giving us an ecstatic and stunning show we will never forget.

It’s hard to imagine a time where Gaga was actually disliked, given how larger-than-life her status is now.

But early in her career, one would have thought the antics and oddities of the former New York nightclub performer would have made her the next Madonna.

But she wasn’t Madonna. She was better.

Gaga encouraged her listeners to explore their independence, acceptance and artistry.

[Lady Gaga's ability to transform is what makes her so captivating | IDS Weekend]

Time has not been kind to stars like Madonna and Britney Spears, but in the Babylonian age of Twitter criticism, Gaga still reigns as queen of the pop industry.

The former two faced harsh scandals and criticism almost from day one, while the latter somehow managed to go almost a whole decade without serious public hate.

With that said, Gaga’s “little monsters” were recently fearful that she may never perform again.

Her aspirations of becoming a wife and mother consumed her shortly after becoming engaged to Taylor Kinney. Earlier this year, she even put off all plans for recording and engagement to focus on becoming pregnant.

When the couple broke off their relationship in July, it seemed as if a massive weight had been lifted from Gaga’s shoulders.

Shortly after, she released “Perfect Illusion” as a single and later did the same for “Million Reasons.”

These two singles show a more soulful, vulnerable side of Gaga we have only seen glimpses of before in songs like “Speechless,” “Dope” and “Til It Happens to You.” Gaga has said this openness and soul-searching is present throughout “Joanne.”

This sudden change in tone comes as no surprise to Gaga fans, however. Each of her previous albums have shown drastically different musical styles.

“The Fame” was the Madonna-esque synthpop record. “Born this Way” was the New York nightclub record. “Artpop” was the, well, artistic record. And “Cheek to Cheek” was the jazz standards record with Tony Bennett.

The record will feature collaborations with Florence Welch, Beck and Father John Misty. She will also be working with Tame Impala singer Kevin Parker and songwriting legend Mark Ronson in the writing process.

Who could ask for a more perfect blend?

It’s safe to say the doubt in most people’s minds about Gaga years ago has been replaced with a stronger level of devotion.

Gaga’s sheer talent and unique performances play the most significant role in this, of course, but her activism and philanthropy have been equally appreciated in the hearts of her fans.

From the very beginning, Gaga was open about her bisexuality and faithfulness toward the LGBT community. As such, songs like “Born this Way” have been held as anthems for members of the community.

Gaga has also used her fame to champion for women’s rights and has openly discussed issues such as sexual assault and gender inequality. The former was the subject of her 2015 hit “Til It Happens to You,” which was recorded for the campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground.”

In Gaga’s music, listeners have managed to find a place where judgment and hate are nonexistent and inner-beauty and love are not only normal, but required.

To be a freak is to be loved. ‘Cause, baby, you were born this way.

afaulds@indiana.edu

@a_faulds9615

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