While it may have been “Poker Face” that inspired the video above, it was Gaga’s title track “Born This Way” that inspired Weird Al Yankovic. After some purported back-and-forth with Gaga’s manager, Weird Al got the blessing from Lady herself to produce “Perform This Way,” and according to Weird Al, Gaga loves his satirical spin on her chart-burning single and it’ll now be on his new album, slated for June 21st release.
Glee was also inspired by the self-love and acceptance anthem. A special 90-minute episode, which aired on April 26, 2011, not only used “Born This Way” for the episode’s title, but also as its closing number and overall plot theme. And while I preferred the flash mob scene tuned to Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand,” I definitely agree with Aly Semigran at MTV.com that “Born This Way” seems “almost tailor-made for Glee." Gaga also agrees, praising the show (and slamming those criticizing Glee for promoting a “gay agenda”) via Twitter:
"I really loved Glee's Born This Way episode. I admire the show for being brave + fighting for such modern social messaging. Never back down."¹
Of course, not everyone embraced “Born This Way” immediately. Initially, the song faced immense controversy due to its similarity to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” And while Gaga denies that she copied one of pop culture’s greatest icons, many have weighed in and now it’s almost impossible to not notice the similarities. (Perhaps the similarities stem from Gaga and Madonna being related.) Ultimately, the song won the world over, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (only the 1000th song to do so) and serving as Gaga’s seventh Top 10 song in a row.²
Gaga’s fame has only intensified since the drama of BTW’s initial single. She raked in the Most Innovative Artist Award at MTV's first-ever O Music Awards, gave a memorable entrance and performance at the Grammys, served as arguably the most helpful mentor of the season on American Idol, performed at Cannes, and just recently, reached 10 million followers on Twitter, beating out Justin Bieber to become “the first Twitter user to reach 10 million followers.” And finally, circling back to my librarian lead-in, Gaga also recently declared herself a librarian, too—of Glam Culture, that is.
So what’s next for the pop sensation? Besides touring and further promoting BTW, possibly a film career? Of course, that’s part of the allure of Gaga—there’s no telling what she’ll do next.
What do you think of Gaga? Is your library doing anything to celebrate BTW or prepare for the album’s release?