Lady Gaga had emerged from the New York City art scene...some would say it was a dying art and not the Warholian epic that she was clearly evoking with her performance art, but none can argue that the ambitious young singer lacked talent and verve! She immediately started making a name for yourself in the downtown circuit for her punk-like style and over-the-top fashion. Making her name for yourself as a lyricist and songwriter, Lady Gaga perfected her craft and when the timing was right she immediately struck a chord with her first solo single, the club friendly "Just Dance". The pop-friendly track immediately endeared her to the club scene and especially to the hungry for a modern day anthem gay crowd. Similarly to her icon and inspiration Madonna, when the track was released there was little to be scene of Lady Gaga and with MTV no longer really toting TRL as a destination for new artist, by the time the video started making the rounds it's playability was limited to gay bars and YouTube -- which didn't seem to phase the establishing artist in the least.
As a matter of fact, it appeared that Lady Gaga's sensibility appeared tailor-made for the digital age; she immediately set out the popularize herself and has become one of the most downloadable acts of the last decade! All the while she worked to perfect her image and her performance -- as much using "shock and awe" to present herself as well as teasingly taunt with her sexuality and using the latest technologies to enhance her persona and solidify herself as a fashion plate along the lines of the artists she immolated: David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, sprinkling in some Sylvester for good measure and a dollop of Madonna's marketing skillz, Lady Gaga backed up with the package with a whimsical ability to create pop music that was catchy and memorable. Sure she aligned herself with some of the most gifted producers in the industry for her debut album The Fame but the relationship she sought to cultivate, to nurture to the extreme was her gay audience and the "freaks" who always felt out of place in society.
Lady Gaga was speaking to them. Embracing and taking in those disenfranchised Gaga created her legion of "little monsters". Madonna may have had "wannabees" but Lady Gaga's fan base fully connected with her outrageous look and daring ability on the stage! It wasn't long before pop's own royalty from Elton John, to Sting, to Madonna herself were giving the Lady their own blessed approval, all the while creating impressive collaborations with contemporary pop artist's like Beyonce and even Michael Bolton!
Cut to: 2 years and Lady Gaga is greeted by more than 20,000 fans at Rockefeller Plaza -- the most any artist has ever gathered for the Today Show's summer concert series. Gaga in her native town, performing to 3 sold out nights at Madison Square Garden only after recently selling out Radio City, performs her heart out under a summer shower that begins after her startling emergence from a fog of dried ice. The artist cheered for her audience and didn't hold back, giving the crowd that had been waiting over night exactly what they had come to see -- Gaga full on! If she is anything she is the face of showbiz -- of any artist currently on the scene she completely "gets it" and understands the art and manipulation of the performance, and embraces her audience at the same time she thumbs up her nose in rebellion to the fame she herself has created for herself. She is this generation's Madonna -- no other modern day act can lay claim to that similarity -- not Britney, not Beyonce, not Christina!
But at the same time that Lady Gaga climbs on the backs of all those that have paved the way for her own success, she clearly stops to slap the hands and give them their props understanding that without them she would never have realized and perfected her own brand of performance -- she would never have known what fierce determination would have in store for her, especially just at the start of her career. For Gaga the next bench mark is anxiously being awaited, but she will continue to advocate for those that made her what she is and celebrated her ability to be a "free bitch".