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Time Magazine made the unfortunate decision of naming Lady Gaga the “Queen of Pop” under their “Ten Years of Influence” article.
n.1. A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort: relaxed under the influence of the music; the influence of television on modern life.2. Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position: used her parent’s influence to get the job.3.a. A person who exerts influence: My parents considered my friend to be a bad influence on me.b. An effect or change produced by influence.4.a. A determining factor believed by some to affect individual tendencies and characteristics understood to be caused by the positions of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth.b. Factors believed to be caused by the changing positions of the stars and planets in relation to their positions at the time of one’s birth.
Of all popstars that played an important role in music in the last 10 years, Lady Gaga is far from being the most influential one.
Do I need to remind you all that Adele’s latest album alone, “21”, has sold more copies than Lady Gaga’s entire discography put together?
Do I need to remind you that Katy Perry’s latest album scored five #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits while Lady Gaga has scored only three #1 hits with three albums in 5 years?
Still on influence: Lady Gaga certainly did not trigger the creation of a series of Gaga-wannabes. She certainly did not influence the music scene in the last 10 years - and if you think “Just Dance” set off the dance-oriented pop music of today, you need to remember that Rihanna has been having pop/dance hits since 2006.
Furthermore, “influence” should mean the artist has reached above and beyond their field. But I can’t remember the last time I saw someone dressed up like Lady Gaga on the streets - except during halloween, but not even then! Last time I saw someone dressed up like Lady Gaga for halloween was in 2010!
These are the things Time Magazine talked about Gaga:
a) ”2011: Launches the Born This Way Foundation, focusing on youth empowerment.”
Sorry, Time magazine, but you have got to do better than just naming a foundation created by a famous person to justify your choices.
What has Gaga accomplished with the Born This Way Foundation? How many lives has she saved? How many people has she helped?
Talking about the launch of her foundation seems to be all people can talk about, but no one ever mentions what it has actually accomplished.
In the meantime, in the last 10 years, Madonna has launched Raising Malawi. In 2012 alone, Madonna opened 10 schools - or school blocks (whatever makes you happy), and according to the AP, more than 4,000 children who previously were learning under trees, now attend classes in those new classrooms.That’s more than anything Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation has ever done. And don’t think Madonna is the only one. What about Cyndi Lauper? Who co-founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 and has provided housing for young gay kids for years.
b) “2011: Money raised by sales of Gaga-endorsed Viva Glam lipstick and lip gloss to fight HIV and AIDS crosses $200 million mark.”
Gaga DID NOT raise over $200 million. The MAC AIDS Fund has been around since 1994. She just happened to be the spokesperson for Viva Glam at the time the MAC AIDS Fund crossed $200 million mark since its inception in 1994. To date it’s raised over $275 million dollars.
c) ”2012: Her Born This Way Ball concert tour contributes to $52 million in earnings.”
Sorry, Time magazine, but Gaga’s Born this Way Ball tour wasn’t even on the top 5 biggest tours of 2012. You will have to do better than that to use it as an argument. Please, try again.
d) But the best thing Time magazine said, in my opinion, is the following:
“Inspired by one of her outrageous outfits, Duke University biologists name a genus of newly discovered ferns in her honor.”
They forgot to mention that Lady Gaga also inspired scientists to name a PARASITE after her. Researchers at the University of Thailand named a recently discovered parasitoid wasp Aleiodes gaga in honor of the singer.
Why? Because the newly discovered wasp survives through parasitism - just like Lady Gaga.
In other words: every little thing Time magazine said about Gaga is either a stretch, or a small achievement compared to the things other popstars have achieved at the same period of time.
So why name the ugly duckling of pop anything if she is undeserving?
Meanwhile, Madonna is among the 25 women who influenced our world the most this past century. No wonder why Lady Gaga is a Madonna-wannabe.
Remember when we said that Lady Gaga’s record label was not very pleased with the over-hyping FARTPOOP was getting with all the public statements made by Gaga and her team? [Click here to read].
Well, it seems that their new tactic is to do the opposite: not over-hype it, but deflate expectations.
Yes! People linked to the project are still talking about the album to the press, but this time, they are spreading rumors that Lady Gaga is having a writer’s block, that she’s struggling to write new material.
But what new material?
Hasn’t Lady Gaga told Rolling Stone magazine that she had already written 50 songs for FARTPOOP?
50 songs? That’s enough songs for five ten-track albums!
Lady Gaga had also mentioned that she considers ARTPOP her first real album, that it’s about a phoenix rising from the ashes, and is worried if she’ll ever be able to top it because she knows it’s “that good.”
Suddenly, public statements like those, stating amazing 50 songs she had written for her excellent new album, were substituted by “creative block”, “delayed”, etc.
Coincidence? Not if you have been reading our blog.
We have been saying how Gaga’s record label’s been furious with the over-hyping her material gets before hand. But it seems that finally Interscope had their way. I guess they had to intervene severely with Lady Gaga’s team to stop boasting about how incredible and artistic her next album will be.
Gaga’s team’s focus now is to create the impression that the production of FARTPOOP is going through a hard time due to Gaga’s creative block. But how does that help the album?
When there is low expectations for a new music album, any average track will be well-received. The lower the expectations, the better chances of surprising the listener.
After the Born This Way fiasco, an over-hyped album said to be “the album of the decade”, to contain a song that would become a “gay anthem” that would “replace ‘I Will Survive’”, they don’t want it to happen again. Not to mention the Born This Way Ball fiasco, which Lady Gaga said would “revolutionize live performance”.
It seems to me that, finally, Interscope convinced Gaga’s team that over-hyping her material has not worked as well as they expected in the past. So now they are trying the opposite: deflating expectations, so Lady Gaga can surprise the fans at the MTV awards.
Oh! You didn’t know about that? Yes! The current plan is to released the first single off of
artpop FARTPOOP (ARTSCAM) at the VMA’s 2013.
Gaga’s team will try the same thing they did with “Express Yourself 0.05”: debut the track on the same week she can perform it live at an awards show, boosting the sales to the roof, desperate to reach the #1 position on the charts.
I just hope Katy Perry does the same. Gaga’s people are trying their best to avoid any competition at the time her new material comes out. But I heard Perry is working on a new album. So is Shakira. Who knows? Maybe Britney Spears will also release something around the same period of time.
So what are your thoughts on this?
By Chris Tanasoff and PDLM
When we say “the American mainstream media protects Lady Gaga” some people have the nerve to say we are exaggerating.
Take a look at this article by Billboard, a pro-Gaga article trying to explain that cancelling the
Born Flop This Way Ball was a major loss for all, and alluding to the fact the cancellation had nothing to do with low ticket sales. [Click here to go to the article]
Now, please, take a look at this passage:
“In total, 22 shows were cancelled, forcing the refund of roughly 200,000 tickets worth approximately $25 million in gross ticket sales, Billboard estimates.”
I don’t think the poor things realized that while writing a pro-Gaga piece, they actually provided the empirical evidence we needed to say with confidence that the Born This Way Ball, was a commercial failure in North America as well.
Don’t understand why?
Do the math:
Roughly 200,000 tickets sold for the remaining 22 dates that were cancelled due to a hip injury (!).
200,000 / 22 = 9,090 tickets sold per show.
Yup! You read that right.
In an article written to suggest Lady Gaga’s tour was a success and cancelling the remaining dates was a loss for everybody, Billboard inadvertently revealed that Lady Gaga sold an average of 9,090 tickets per show.
If you have any common sense, you would agree that this is more than enough of an excuse to cancel those shows due to poor ticket sales. But no, here’s the excuse Lady Gaga’s team and Live Nation are giving:
Now please check the venues Lady Gaga was supposed to play before cancelling her shows.
Now check the full capacity of those same vanues:
Now compare those numbers:
Lady Gaga sold an average 9,090 tickets per show for venues that have an average 19,278 people capacity.
That’s roughly 50% of those remaing 22 dates that, coincidently, were cancelled due to a “hip injury”. It’s such a lucky and happy coincidence! It’s like getting sick right before a school test you haven’t studied for.
Note that even with her stage built in those venues, the capacity of most of those arenas still is above 15,000 people. Add to that, the fact that Lady Gaga’s shows do not have assigned seats on the floor, it is always general admission - which means it fits nearly double the number of people on the floor than at Madonna’s MDNA arena shows in North America.
So, thanks Billboard, for inadvertently revealing this info while trying to convince the world that Lady Gaga’s tour was doing just fine.
You can read my theory on why Lady Gaga’s tour cancellation is an awesome decision on her part on here.
On a light and humorous note:
ARTPOP FARTPOOP APP for iPad and iPhone is already available for download.
Click here to download it for FREE.
The Los Angeles Times revealed 2012’s ultimate Top 10 list in music, ranking artists in two different categories: biggest music act (combining record sales and concert box office), and streaming (as it’s become a big part of the music industry lately).
Guess who did NOT make it to the top 10 of neither list?
Despite not having a new album out, or being on tour, Adele managed to enter the 2012’s top 10 biggest music acts list. What’s Lady Gaga’s excuse? And what about Elton John?
2. Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw
3. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
4. Cirque du Soleil ”Michael Jackson — The Immortal World Tour”
5. Roger Waters
6. Justin Bieber
8. Jason Aldean
10. Van Halen
When it comes to streaming music, Lady Gaga also failed to appear on the top 10:
1. Taylor Swift (216 million streams)
2. Nicki Minaj (210 million)
3. Rihanna (204 million)
4. Katy Perry (177 million)
5. Eminem (174 million)
6. One Direction (168 million)
7. Adele (163 million)
8. Beyoncé (141 million)
9. Chris Brown (139 million)
10. Carly Rae Jepsen (135 million)
Note that neither Katy Perry, nor Eminem, or Adele have released new albums in 2012, and they still made it.
Now I ask you one thing: where are all the 30+ million Twitter followers Lady Gaga has? Obviously, not streaming her music, or buying tickets for her concerts. They haven’t bought much of her music either. Hence why she’s gone MIA on both lists.
Interestingly enough, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Adele… they all have been harassed by Lady Gaga’s fans (the little monsters) on Twitter or some other social network. So have Madonna and Justin Bieber - but Lady Gaga still has the nerve to accuse other people of bullying, turning her blind eye to the real cyber-bullies of our age: her little monsters.
Make sure you read my latest Open Letter to Lady Gaga here.
What Culture published back in November 2011 an amazing article on why Lady Gaga doesn’t matter. It could have been written today, as just like they predicted, Lady Gaga is declining in front of our very eyes. I reproduced part of it here, but make sure you click on this link and read the full article on their page:
“Some say she’s a genius; others say she’s contrived, but generally nobody is saying much anymore. It seems that Lady Gaga’s stranglehold over pop culture news has all but evaporated.
Stefani Germanotta’s Lady Gaga persona really gained popularity in 2009 as a sort of poor man’s Gwen Stefani, neither as talented as Madonna or culturally significant as Britney Spears, but not without a modicum of entertaining ability. Most importantly, she was just average enough to feel different without it being the entire reason for her being.
At some point, around the time she performed “Paparazzi” on the MTV Video Music Awards, she really raised the stakes in terms of ridiculous attention seeking behavior. She went from dressing relatively normally (yes, the outfits were revealing, but no more than you’d expect from a woman in the pop music profession) to faking handicaps and dousing herself with artificial blood.
Lady Gaga went from musician to performance art, an easily digestible image for the public to consume without further interpretation, containing as much depth as a Facebook profile picture and the same amount of artistic merit. From then on it was a parade of pseudo inspirational sound bites and clothing made from decapitated muppets.
From her first album “Fame” to “Fame Monster”, she was still singing generic love songs, but now her music videos and public appearances provided her with opportunities to dress in provocative ways, thus making her entire catalog FEEL more complex, but without actually deserving it.
On top of that, her popularity amongst the gay club culture offered a loyal and passionate fan base to be exploited. It was after she realized this that she was suddenly an outsider, imploring her fans, whom she dubbed “Little Monsters,” to be themselves and never let the oppressive mainstream culture keep them down.
The idea that Lady Gaga could pass herself off as an outsider is laughable, especially considering that at the very beginning of her career, a pudgier, brunette Germanotta played soulful piano ballads akin to Vanessa Carlton. All of which were completely abandoned in order to become a dance music sensation.
Lady Gaga gives us the ostentatious outfits and bizarre headgear, but she no longer engages the audience. She has become a special effect, empty and meaningless, providing no nutritional value for the mind.
And just like most movies, we will move on from Lady Gaga as soon as the next shiny object catches our attention.”
Since then, the Born this Way Ball tour, which according to Gaga was going to “revolutionize live performance” failed to be among the top 5 tours of 2012. Her latest album sold less copies than the previous one, and most music and video music awards ignored her latest music and video efforts —- talk about being absolutely right What Culture!
I personally can’t wait for
ARTPOP FARTPOOP. Lady Gaga has already announced a documentary a la Madonna’s Truth or Dare, a music app llike Björk’s Biophilia, and she already promised the best album of her career (just like she did with Born This Way). So I can’t wait to start analyzing this new era. Will she survive one more over-hyped album?
The most interesting thing here is the fact that there is the possibility that 2013 will be a good year for her:
But even if FARTPOOP succeeds, there is one thing Lady Gaga will not be able to avoid: FARTPOOP will be her comeback album after only 5 years in the business. And that, like I said, IF it succeeds. katy Perry will also be releasing new music this year, by the way. And when it comes to touring, we know who is ruling 2013 as of now.
In the wake of Lady Gaga’s Latin American tour flopping and the impending disaster of the “new and improved” North American tour (which is already flopping), Little Monsters, once again, show their desperation through the only medium they know how: bullying.
It looks like the staff on Lady Gaga’s mental health bus have their work cut out for them.
In any case let’s take a look at what the little monsters are claiming: “Madonna helped spread aids” – ON WHAT PLANET?
Have these uneducated little teenagers ever READ anything of Madonna’s stance on “unsafe sex”? Let’s take a look at what this year’s most requested/wanted out-of-print book (Madonna’s SEX book) has to say about it:
Also, it is worth mentioning that even before the SEX book came out, Madonna was advocating safe sex on stage, night after night, during her 1990’s Blond Ambition Tour (“don’t be silly, put a rubber on your willy!”).
But that’s not all. Madonna has also spoken about safe sex in a more direct way, especially during the promotion of “Justify my Love” (check her Nightline interview).
And, please, do not forget the projections during the Who’s That Girl Tour (1987) which, at one point, showed the following message:
So, yeah, little monsters keep talking out of their asses. Lady Gaga’s tour (and album) would be more successful if they spent their time working, saving money to buy her tickets and shit.
Oh, well… maybe in 26 years she’ll be on Madonna’s level. But I guess not.
The same blog also makes racist comments towards Rihanna, besides other unecessary and uncalled for negative comments on Katy Perry and Taylor Swift:
Recently, Kelly Osbourne spoke about the things she hears from Lady Gaga’s fans, who constantly attack her on Twitter:
“Lady Gaga’s fans say I should kill myself because I’m fat”.
She goes on: “Gaga has the worst fans in the world and you have a responsibility to stop that. I think you do anyway.”
We agree with you, Kelly. Especially when Gaga “created” a foundation that allegedly works against bullying and cyber-bullying. But hey… I guess Lady Gaga failed there too. She’s been collecting a lot of failures lately.
Where are the results of the Born This Way Foundation’s anti-bullying educational program?
The constant bashing of other artists will not prevent Lady Gaga’s fall from fame. It’s inevitable.
But speaking of promiscuous sex: Gaga Stole my Boyfriend, Lady Gaga Betrays Taylor Kinney, Thief of Hearts.
No wonder she doesn’t talk about her love life, monsters! Being a home wrecking whore is embarrassing!
So, fuck yeah, little monsters. If ANYONE is advocating promiscuous sex, drug use and negaticity, it’s that morally bankrupt, pathological liar you call Mother Monster.
I love it that I Love Chile actually published this picture on their website.
You know you’re not an icon when a reporter/blogger of pop culture doesn’t recognize your face in a picture:
In the meantime, check who were the “female vocalists” most listened to in 10 years of scrobbling (2002-2012) on Last.fm:
Lady Gaga? She wasn’t even on the Top 20!
That shows how much the airplay she gets on regular radio is the result of payola.
When it comes to radio stations that people build their own playlist, Gaga isn’t even on the top 20. I guess she will have to tour a lot more to pay for all the radio timeslot her record lable buys her!
Check out the top 20:
01 - Katy Perry - 2.840.936 listeners
02 - Madonna - 2.556.874 listeners
03 - Christina Aguilera - 2.278.483 listeners
04 - Adele - 2.016.102 listeners
05 - Evanescence - 2.000.676 listeners
06 - Amy Winehouse - 1.986.018 listeners
07 - Nelly Furtado - 1.948.841 listeners
08 - Kelly Clarkson - 1.940.869 listeners
09 - Björk - 1.822.962 listeners
10 - The Cranberries - 1.803.814 listeners
11 - Alicia Keys - 1.773.062 listeners
12 - Gwen Stefani - 1.766.585 listeners
13 - Portishead - 1.732.277 listeners
14 - Lily Allen - 1.712.886 listeners
15 - Norah Jones - 1.688.725 listeners
16 - Feist - 1.619.277 listeners
17 - Florence + the Machine - 1.609.829 listeners
18 - Dido - 1.606.335 listeners
19 - Kylie Minogue - 1.598.075 listeners
20 - Alanis Morissette - 1.537.837 listeners
The Blond Ambition World Tour, Madonna’s third, is arguably the most influential concert tour in modern age.
Every male or female artist that has tried to create larger than life live concerts with a little bit of Broadway and theater has (or have) been influenced by this tour. But the importance of the Blond Ambition Tour is not only on what goes on on stage: the stage design and architecture model is, to this day, copied and used in current touring productions. And we are talking about something created in 1990!
The Blond Ambition Tour, in fact, received the “Most Creative Stage Production” at the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards and grossed $60 million dollars in 57 dates. In today’s money, that would be somewhere between $220 and $240 million dollars in 57 dates!
Musically, the Blond Ambition supported Madonna’s fourth album - Like a Prayer - and the soundtrack for the film Dick Tracy - I’m Breathless.
Rolling Stone magazine called it an “elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza” and proclaimed it “the best tour of 1990.” And time has proved that the tour became the best tour of the decade.
Speaking of the best of the decade, just watch how Madonna was already kicking Lady Garbage’s saggy ass at 32, in 1990, with the Blond Ambition tour.
This is how you do it, folks!
Tell me what is your favorite performance in the show.
It’s so hard for me to choose, Madonna was perfect in every aspect of it.
Perfect hair, perfect body, perfect dancing… the show is flawless.
I think I can pull a top 5 - but there’s no order of preference:
1) The opening with Express Yourself - Madonna was on fire.
2) The iconic Like a Virgin performance with the red velvet bed sheets and the men in cone bra.
3) Vogue in its original form - such a classic.
4) Act of Contrition/Like a Prayer/Oh Father - that whole section is flawless.
5) Family Affair / Keep It Together - Simple and basic staging for a real Broadway Musical star.
It’s common knowledge that Lady Gaga fans are arguably (paraphrasing the singer herself) the most “idiotic, moronic and retarded” fan-base of all popstars in this day and age. Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, none of them have such an uneducated group of followers.
I get a lot of tweets from these uneducated Lady Gaga fans, and while Twitter is a great way of communicating, it is not the best tool to explain and teach them anything - no one that stupid can learn anything in less than 140 characters.
And maybe that’s the problem with Lady Gaga’s fan-base: they are so stupid, they think the world is explained in 140 characters. They live and build their so-called knowledge on headlines and catchphrases, not on factual information.
So this is an illustrated commentary on how little monsters are misinformed, illogical, and just plain stupid, as well as an analysis on their rhetoric and corrections on the comparisons they draw between Lady Gaga (universally known as Madonna-wannabe) and the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna.
Here’s an example of a rather lengthy exchange I had with a little monster on Twitter the other day:
First, this little monster told me to compare Madonna’s first three tours to Gaga’s based on how much money those tours made - even though the Madonna’s tours he asked me to compare happened three decades ago.
How can anyone compare tours from the late 2000s and early 2010s with tours from the 1980s?
Suggesting a comparison around MONEY-MAKING over a period of time that spans three decades is the most efficient way of telling the world how ignorant you are.
This little monster AKA @berns_pdf clearly has no idea of what INFLATION means. Obviously, he does not understand the notions of CURRENCY RATE and how volatile currency is. Let me reinforce this unknown notion for him:
$5 today (in 2012) does not have the same value as $5 in 1985. In fact, let me point out that the Federal Minimum Wage in 1985 was $3.35. In 2012, it is 7.25. Meaning, today, the minimum wage is 54% more than in 1985 - that’s more than half.
So this little monster (@berns_pdf) wanted to compare the amount of money Madonna made in 1985, 1987 and 1990 (as he informed me the amounts in his tweets) to Gaga’s tours that happened in 2008/2009/2011. How dumb can he be? The funniest thing is: he had asked me to have an intellectual conversation. It’s rather ironic coming from a person whose intellect ignores the notions of currency volatility, rate and inflation.
But that was not it. You would think he would understand how wrong he was and let it be. But no, he was determined to “win” the conversation. So he tried to convince me that he was talking about “momentum and rate”, by talking about “sales and attendance”:
Well, @berns_pdf is clearly too dumb to understand that the “sales” issue had already been solved, and his comparison was not valid because the amount raised by the sales of tickets three decades ago is not the same as in the late 2000s. So I decided to focus on the other issue: attendance.
So I used Madonna’s second tour (The Who’s That Girl Tour) and compared it to Lady Gaga’s second tour (The Monster Ball). Logically, Madonna’s average attendance was 5X more than Lady Gaga’s:
Madonna’s Who’s That Girl Tour / Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball
Audience: 1,386,594 people / 1,454,824 people
Number of shows: 39 / 201
Average attendance: 35,554 per show / 7,237 per show
So both parameters @berns_pdf used to try to convince me Gaga’s success is equal to Madonna’s were invalid:
The money made by the sales of tickets of Madonna’s tours in the 80s cannot be compared to Gaga’s tours without inflationary adjustments. While the attendance, well, Madonna’s attendance was 5X higher.
Note that attendance does not require inflationary adjustments:
100 people in 2012 equal 100 people in the 80s. One person in 2012 equals one person in 1985. The value of the unit of people, of physical bodies present at a venue does not fluctuate. And, unlike what @berns_pdf expected, Madonna’s attendance was a lot bigger than Gaga’s per show.
In other words, @berns_pdf is just plain stupid (feel free to send him this post on twitter).
He also failed to understand another thing. He said: “I don’t see how comparing tours is any different from the comparing of album sales and single sales that you were doing, so…”
First of all, let’s clarify one thing: @berns_pdf himself tweeted me the amount of money Madonna’s three first tours made and asked me to compare them to Gaga’s - he asked for the comparisons.
Secondly: not all parameters are invalid. The one @berns_pdf wanted to compare was invalid because money-making three decades ago was different than three years ago. But there are other parameters that do not require adjustments because their numbers are real, objective and do not fluctuate with inflation, like attendance and the number of shows.
But the most astonishing of it all, is that he mentioned the sales and singles comparions I made (probably on this post here) without understanding it.
On this post, I actually state that the inclusion of digital artists on Wikipedia’s best selling artists’s list is wrong if it’s done without inflationary adjustments - and that is exactly the same I say about money-making with a tour in the 80s in comparison with a current tour. How dumb can @berns_pdf be?
What I say in that post is that the number of albums and singles sold in the past (before the MP3, iTunes and the digital music era) need to be adjusted if they are put in comparison with people from the digital era, where downloading ten songs from the same album individually on iTunes might count as ten albums sold.
Talk about being a complete moron.
I love it how he dug himself an even deeper hole when he suggested I didn’t know what rate and momentum meant. Well, we had already discussed the two topics he mentioned (“sales and attendance”) and Madonna was above Gaga on both, so what is this fixation with “rate and momentum”?
But before I talk about that, let me quickly point out how after failing in recognizing how Madonna’s attendance in her second tour was in average 5X bigger than Gaga’s, he told me to compare Gaga’s first tour with Madonna’s first tour. But there’s a problem: there is no official number for Gaga’s first tour (The Fame Ball). There is an imaginary list that includes her appearances at several summer festivals in Europe as part of her tour - even though those people were not there for a Gaga concert, but for a music festival with several other headlining acts.
So, what’s up with rate and momentum?
1983-1987: in the first four years of her career, Madonna’s album sales were increasing. Her second album sold more than the first. Her third album sold more than the second. By the time Madonna started her second tour, she ditched her old look and everything that made her an icon in the previous years and came out completely different. The highlights of Madonna’s Who’s That Girl Tour was her new material, songs from True Blue and the soundtrack of Who’s That Girl?
2008-2012: in the first four years of her career, Lady Gaga’s album sales are decreasing. Her second album was released as an EP, but virtually, it sold the same amount as The Fame. Her third album, Born This Way, sold less than The Fame Monster or The Fame individually (and obviously, combined). On her second tour, Gaga is already relying on her past looks (meat dress, origami dress, etc.) and the highlights of her show are songs from her previous albums, not the ones from Born This Way. And she’s been around for four years only.
Rate and momentum? Madonna was on the rise in the first four years of her career. Lady Gaga’s in decline right now.
@berns_pdf is so moronic and confused that he said I compared Lady Gaga’s first tour (Fame Ball) to Madonna’s current tour. He even called me “retarded fuck” and told me to “read my tweets again”.
Can you guys show me what part of my tweets compares Gaga’s first tour with Madonna’s current tour?
What a fucking moron this @berns_pdf is. Please, tweet him your thoughts on him.
Without any factually based argument, @berns_pdf started changing subject. As he failed to proof how Gaga’s “rate and momentum” is as equally successful as Madonna in the same moment of her career, he started talking about issues I never denied, such as “Born
This Way Reductive” selling more than “MDNA” on its opening week. Arguing about something no one was arguing about. Is that a smart or intellectual thing to do? No. Especially when you are as moronic as @berns_pdf.
First of all: Madonna’s MDNA album was not sold for 0,99 cents, Born This Way was. Secondly: The Super Bowl was NOT promotion for MDNA. @berns_pdf also does not know what a promotion is.
When artists promote their album/singles, they are trying to reach people that do not follow them, trying to reach people that are not their fans. The fans already know about their future releases because they follow them. A promotion is about expanding their followers:
When Gaga goes on Ellen, or Jay Leno, or Letterman, or Oprah and talks about her new album/single, she is promoting a product very specifically. The introduction on these shows are usually “here to perform her brand new single”, or something similar. The TV hosts usually hold the CD in their hands and show it to the camera. At the end, the people watching those shows will know Gaga has a new song, or album, and if they like it, they might buy it. None of this happened to MDNA during the Super Bowl.
Take a look at what’s in Ellen’s hands and the image behind her:
If you were not a Madonna fan but watched and enjoyed her Super Bowl performance, you still did not know she had a new album coming out in the next couple of months. Madonna was not introduced as “here to performe some classics and a brand new song” or anything like that. In other words:
MDNA was not promoted during the Super Bowl in any moment.
There was no advertisement, no mentioning that Madonna was releasing an album at all. How is that a promotion? The people watching the event did not find out during the Super Bowl that Madonna had an album about to come out.
See the difference?
Other than that, I have no problem with Lady Gaga, who is a star of this generation, selling more records than Madonna today. That’s why I don’t have a problem with Born This Way selling more than MDNA. The bottom-line is: Lady Gaga has to do a lot of promotion to sell the amount of albums she sells. “Born This Way” is virtually the most promoted album in history. MDNA barely received any promotion and is, as of now, the 5th best selling album of 2012.
The victory and success of MDNA is not in the comparisons with other people, but in the fact that after 29 years in the music business, Madonna still manages to release an album that ends up among the best selling albums of the year. I can assure you that by the rate Gaga is going now, she won’t be among the best selling acts in 25 years. It’s logic.
I am much more interested in comparing another newer act, Adele, whose latest album “21”, received less than 1/3 of the promo Born This Way received and sold more than 4X what Gaga did with a very timid promotion in the same period of time.
Oh, and one more thing:
Remember his tweet that mentioned Mariah Carey’s “Billboard dominance”?
Madonna is the one who dominates the Billboard charts, NOT Mariah.
According to Billboard itself:
Madonna is the second most successful musical act on the Billboard charts of all times, not Mariah. Mariah isn’t the #1 either. The #1 is the Beatles.
And that makes Madonna the most successful solo act and the most successful female on Billboard - NOT Mariah.
Mariah Carey comes at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists list.
Mimi’s Dominance? At #6? While Madonna is #2?
That’s the logic behind @berns_pdf.
Feel free to tweet him this post.
The link to this post is to be sent to every little monster who says things like “the MDNA Tour is only more successful than the Born This Way Ball because Madonna has been around for a longer period of time”.
Let’s analyze this lame excuse and prove how this rationale is flawed and does not work for other music acts, especially for other women in music:
Too many moronic and ignorant little monsters, when they finally understand and admit Madonna’s MDNA Tour is kicking Lady Gaga’s Born Reductive High School Ball in the saggy ass (which is a fact based on the superior attendance and gross numbers reached by Madonna), they still manage to create an excuse for Gaga.
Every time you think there is light at the end of the tunnel and a little monster is being a decent human being, seeing facts and not denying them (MDNA is largely more successful than the BTW Ball), they come with the ignorant, unfounded, and uneducated excuse that “Madonna’s had a 29-year career, Gaga just four, they don’t compare”.
Well, sorry, monsters, but they do. And you’re flatly wrong.
In these circumstances, having a long career is actually worse for the artistic class. People that have been around for longer, have been seen for longer, have toured for longer, usually end up playing in smaller theaters a few years after their peak. Let me give you examples of other music veterans, with a similar career-time as Madonna to prove:
Cyndi Lauper has been around for as long as Madonna has. She doesn’t even tour arenas. Her shows are in small theaters, small amphitheaters, nightclubs. It’s very similar with Debbie Harry and Blondie, Belinda Carlisle and the Go-Go’s, Janet Jackson… Even Mariah Carey, who was one of the biggest stars in the 90s - with both her last tours having several gigs being canceled in arenas in the US for the lack of ticket sales.
You see, the FACT is longevity does not mean more people will pay to see you. It is actually the opposite:
People lose interest if you’ve been around for too long, overexposed in the media. Not with Madonna - she is a phenomenon. Only music legends like Madonna can pull similar numbers after a long career.
Stop fighting a fact, it will be easier on you all. Accepting the fact that Madonna is a legend, that Madonna is a phenomenon, and that today, Madonna still is more successful than a newbie like Gaga is not going to hurt you.
You see, most music veterans cannot have Madonna’s success, neither can “newbies” like Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rihanna. That’s just a fact. Their tours do not come close to Madonna. And if the number gets close, it is only because they need to be on the road for a lot longer, changing the parameters for comparison completely. Just like the last time Gaga and Madonna were on tour:
It took Gaga three years on the road with the Monster Ball to make half of what Madonna made in seven months with the Sticky and Sweet Tour (which is the most successful tour ever made by a solo artist - male and female). Not to mention that in seven months, Madonna played for one million more people than Gaga in three years on the road. Why fight these facts? Why be so moronic in denying them?
This year, again, Lady Gaga is on a tour that has much more shows than Madonna and at this point, she’s made a lot less money in comparison to Madonna’s. Gaga’s attendance is also a lot smaller than Madonna’s.
Last time official numbers came out on both tours, in only 19 dates, Madonna had sold 678,066 tickets and made US$79,657,998.
Whereas Lady Gaga with 14 more shows than Madonna (that’s 42% more shows than Madonna), in 33 dates, sold less tickets, 525,909, and obviously, made less money, US$71,298,189.
So what is there to argue about?
Numbers don’t lie. The MDNA TOUR is bigger and better than the Born This Way Ball.
And not even the lame excuse of “longevity” will work. After all, if that rule was truth, other veterans like Cyndi Lauper, Cher, Debbie Harry, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson would have their tours among the top grossing tours every year they go on the road. Note that Cher is on that list, but it also took her three years to make less than the Confessions Tour made in a few months.
If you monsters insist with this stupid, illogical and moronic argument, please explain why those other divas are not selling out arenas and stadiums worldwide in recent times.
Once and for all:
the attendance and gross of the MDNA Tour are higher than the Born This Way Reductive High School Ball. The Only thing bigger in the BTW Ball is Lady Gaga herself.
I saw this post on GagaCheat and I decided to write about it:
Adele, sweetie, I like you. Love your album. But please, do not try to talk about issues you have no idea about. Simplifying a popstar “taking her clothes off” as if it had always been all about “selling more records” is such a simplistic, superficial, and dismissive thing to say. It is very [oh, the irony], “reductive”.
While I agree that Lady Gaga does it mindlessly, in a social context that the simple act of doing it is meaningless, we cannot say the same about Madonna. When Madonna came out, there were no “other Madonnas” or other girls doing what she was doing in mainstream American culture.
In mainstream culture here in the US in the early 80s, girls were divided in two groups in the media: the good girls (“the Belinda-Carlisles”), and the crazy / kooky-goofy ones (“the Cyndi-Laupers”).
There were, of course, other archetypes in the mainstream culture, but they were not as easy to put in one single broad category (stylistically and behaviorally speaking) as those two groups above.
In other words, of all the different female representations (or groups of female representations) we had in the media at that time, none was self-empowering, focusing on the woman in control of herself, her body, and her sexuality. And let me tell you, just like today, every school had its “slut”. Every school had those girls who are “ahead of their time” when it came to their sexuality and maturity as a whole. Every school had those girls who did not want to pick between being a saint or a witch. But the media pretended they didn’t exist.
That was what Madonna brought to the table. She was the representation of a group of women the American media pretended they did not exist. Madonna’s sexually-charged presence was about being in control of one’s own identity at a time of moral oppression in America. And how do you reinforce moral values unisonously for an entire nation? Through their representations in the mainstream media.
Madonna represented the girl who did not want to be crying over the boy who stood her up at prom. She was the girl who would go after someone better. She represented the unapologetic girl who would not feel sorry for not being white enough, or pretty enough, or a “virgin” anymore. It is important to note that Madonna even kept her wild eyebrows in the 80s because it made her “ethnic roots” evident. She was proud of being who she was, the girl on the left of the white Christian Reagan American family.
When you see Lady Gaga taking her clothes off today, there is no meaning behind it. She is not being defiant, she is not breaking any rules, she is not doing what a girl shouldn’t be doing because society says so. Rihanna, Katy Perry, Shakira, Kylie Minogue, they all do it. It became a prerequisite in the post-Madonna world.
When Madonna started doing it in the 80s (unlike Cyndi Lauper, unlike Belinda Carlisle, unlike Debbie Harry), she was defying the pop cultural status quo. She was branded all the nasty names in the book: slut, whore, bimbo… to this day, people still try to denigrate her image by saying she “slept her way to the top”. But at the end, even those detractors cannot accuse Madonna of being a puppet, or a tool in the hands of a man, or a corporation. The corporation behind Madonna was her own ambition for artistic and existential independence. Always has and always will be.
Even today, when Madonna takes her clothes off, she still does it meaningfully:
While simple-minded people like Adele think “it’s to sell records”, and quickly jump to this conclusion without analyzing it deeply enough, I see a creatively active woman in her 50s, who still needs to show the world she has no intention to stop being who she is. And why does she need to tell us that? Because we, as a society, keep using our representations in the media to impose upon her what we think she should be doing at her age. Just check any current article on Madonna in the media to see what I’m talking about.
In other words, while Adele thinks Madonna is taking her clothes off to sell records just like Lady Gaga does, I see Madonna taking her clothes off at 54 as a big “fuck you, I’m 54 and I’ll do what I want with my body”.
Adele also failed to understand that Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Shakira all take their clothes off now because Madonna did it in the 80s and 90s, when it meant something in a society living during and pos a conservative Reagan era. But I guess Adele doesn’t have a clue.
Madonna is the last cultural icon of the post-modern/contemporary era. The term “icon” is often misused today, and people don’t even know what it means.
Madonna was a much needed strong female representation in the 80s. Today, the much needed representation in the media we lack is that of a strong male gay icon. The media, just like in the 80s, still pretend “the gays” don’t exist. That’s why no unapologetic strong “gay idol” has been kept in the mainstream media for too long yet. There have been huge gay representations in the media (TV shows, series, actors), but musically, we are still orphans.
In a way, I am kind of glad that at this moment, we have not found our male gay equivalent of the Madonna in the 80s: Adam Lambert and Jake Shears aren’t good enough, in my personal view, for the gay community to be associated with and represented by in the media. They are too mediocre for that.
People are desperately trying to become the “icon” for something (anything!) for this generation. Lady Gaga, for example, is like a ship lost at sea:
She is going on every direction, desperately trying to become the “icon” for anything she can. She tried to represent the club and dance scene in mainstream culture, she tried to represent the gay community in the media, she tried fashion… She also tried to become a Pop Art icon.
Now, Gaga is trying to represent the girls who are not “size-super-model” in the media. She even created a campaign in her own social network inviting people to publish pictures of themselves being proud of their not-so-perfect bodies (according to the beauty standards of our society).
Just like all her attempts at becoming the representation for those groups of people/issues in the media, Lady Gaga will fail again. And I don’t mean that because I don’t like her or anything, I am saying that because her involvement with those issues is not genuine. Especially the last one. I don’t even think Adele has what it takes to take this position - and she is extremely popular now. I’d much better see Beth Ditto taking that spot. But she is too aggressive to reach middle America.
Let’s not forget that Adele has been on the cover of Vogue magazine, and even though they kept a “bigger-than-size-0-figure”, her pictures were photoshopped into making her a lot smaller than she actually is.
I have no problem with people who don’t take their clothes off, or who think it’s not part of their business to do so. If you follow my blog, you know I am very fond of Adele. But I do have a problem when people talk about complex issues without thinking, I do have a problem when people spread their shallow view of the world and pose as intellectuals. And that’s what Adele just did.
Sorry, Adele, you sounded like a big poser here. Don’t start thinking you’re too cool for school, honey.
Unfortunately, I think fame has gone up Adele’s head too.
Even if only compared to people like Rihanna, Gaga and Katy Perry, Britney Spears - who all have a very young following but keep their “sex act” performances - Adele is not superior to any of them. Especially if the parameter here is “not taking her clothes off” and “focusing on the music”.
At the end, whether you like Gaga’s music or not (or Britney’s, or Rihanna’s, or anyone else’s), the visual representation they choose to add is a plus.
Even if it’s a “bad” plus, the kind we wished we hadn’t seen, it still is more than someone who only stands (or seats) and sings.
Adele really needs to stop posing as the crème de la crème in music. It’s going to ruin her image:
I think so many people identified themselves with her because she was a humble, not perfect girl with great heartbroken ballads.
But if she keeps acting like this diva who thinks she is above everybody else because she doesn’t “do the dirty stuff”, she is going to become out of touch.
You know, in real life, the chubby girl who is made fun of at school for being overweight will not sell 25 million copies of an album, the next day, people will still make fun of her size, and she will be constantly criticized. The singer she used to identify herself with will now be part of the “mean girls”, criticizing other people for not being as “unperfectly perfect” as herself.
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