Tag Archives: Lady Gaga

‘AMERICAN IDOL’ AND POP STAR FEUDS – WHO IS THE CATTIEST OF THEM ALL?

idol panelInteresting how reports that “American Idol” was considering a judge change mid-season — with replacements for both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj — have surfaced just as the May 16 finale of “Idol” nears.  Let’s face it, the purported diva feud between the icon and the upstart is the most interesting thing about “Idol” this year.  It’s so interesting, former judge Steven Tyler publicly doubted its authenticity.  “Of course — are you kidding?!” he said, when asked if he thought the cat fight was more publicity ploy than organic venomous hostility.

Well, we see his point, but we’re thinking the organic venomous hostility is probably valid.  To recap:  Reports of friction between Mariah and Nicki date back to 2010, when the two were paired in their “Up Out My Face” music video and Minaj was said to have disrespected the superstar, whom she has dubbed “her $#@ing highness.” Exciting video of the two tangling over an “Idol” contestant went viral last fall.

When Nicki complained about Mariah and Randy Jackson making comments about pop musicians, Mariah snapped back with “I’m sorry, it’s just that that’s what I do, Nicki.  So when I’m making comments, I’m trying to help her, as opposed to just talk about her outfit.”

“Let me continue to speak,” Nicki said, to which Mariah responded, “Of course, you always do. Go ahead.”

The exchange got hotter, ending when Minaj tossed her seat behind her and cried “…Maybe I should just get off the $#@!ing panel!…” and Carey sniped back, “That was my move … I was gonna do that the next time she bagged on me.”  And Minaj stormed off the set in a cloud of explitives.

Carey later told Barbara Walters on “The View” that Minaj had made a comment that she’d have shot the $#@! if she’d had a gun.  She hired extra security.  Minaj pointed out on Twitter that no cameras or microphones caught her supposed gun comment — “say no to violence.”

So the idea was to bring back popular judge Jennifer Lopez?  When it comes to pop diva cat fights, J.Lo knows how to deal. Consider her on-again, off-again tiff with Madonna, which dates back to a 1998 Movieline interview.  Lopez soundly dissed Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder, and Salma Hayek.  She called herself a better actress than Madge:  “Do I think she’s a great actress? No. Acting is what I do.”

Madonna got back at Lopez at Donatella Versace’s millennial New Year’s Eve dinner party in Miami. Reportedly, Lopez was shunned by the Material Mom and her posse, which included gal pal Gwyneth Paltrow. Lopez arrived an hour and a half late at the South Beach mansion. As Versace got up to greet Lopez, Madonna purportedly announced, “Dinner’s over now.” Her entourage followed her as she left the room.

More recently, of course, Madonna’s been feuding with Lady Gaga, whom she has accused of excessive emulation, shall we say, calling Gaga’s “Born This Way” “reductive” of her own “Express Yourself” 80’s song.  She performed a mash-up of her and Gaga’s hits in Tel Aviv last year to make her point.  Then Elton John jumped into the mix, complaining on an Australian TV show about Madonna’s “horrible” treatment of Gaga — and adding that Madonna’s career is over and that she looks like a “fairground stripper.”

Now, there’s a guy who knows how to do a verbal slice.

Not that Elton hasn’t been sliced himself.  For instance, there’s his dog fight with fellow rockasaurus Rod Stewart.  Rod unloaded on several of his peers in Britain’s Radio Times magazine a few years back. He called Elton “Sharon” and said he should “lose some timber.”

Rod also complained that he’d been unfairly criticized for dating a younger woman, especially when nobody criticized Paul McCartney for marrying a woman half his age. The difference, he reportedly said, was that McCartney got a knighthood. “I don’t know why I haven’t got any honor. I do my bit for charity.”

He also complained that he’d been passed over for Grammys in favor of Sting. Said Rod, “The sun shines out his arse…Mr. Serious who helps the Indians.”

A few days later, Sting fired back, “I think he deserves [a Grammy], I really do. I’m thinking of sending him one of mine.”

Yep, Steven Tyler is right about the attention-grabbing value of pop stars sniping at each other.  He’s in the mix himself, after all.  Recall he criticized Minaj’s judging ability, saying “If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips.”

Of course, her answer was to accuse him of racism.  Huh?

She responded on Twitter: “That’s a racist comment. You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what?”

Tyler then went on a Canadian talk show and apologized, and added that “I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don’t know where she got that out of me saying I’m not sure how she would’ve judged Bob Dylan.”

No word on all this from Bob Dylan.  Yet.

 

While Feud Rumors Flare, Here is Our Madonna Vs. Gaga Handicapper

Lady Gaga

Madonna

Madonna, back in the Superstar spotlight with her “W.E.” film and her date to perform at the Super Bowl, finally addressed the matter of her self-described biggest fan, Lady Gaga. 

Of the homage to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” that is intrinsic to Gaga’s “Born This Way,” she told ABC’s Cynthia McFadden it “feels reductive.” As in reduced, abridged, less than.  She also said “I can’t really be annoyed by it…because obviously, I’ve influenced her.” 

Obviously indeed.  Where does the line fall between being influenced by someone and plain old copying them?  Grace Jones, another Gaga influence, was quoted in the U.K. saying, “I’ve seen some things she’s worn that I’ve worn, and that does kind of p— me off.”  But it’s Madonna, more than other celeb, who keeps getting the Gaga déjà vu.  Acknowledging that both ladies’ talents are far beyond those of more run-of-the mill stars, we decided to run a comparison check:

 Madonna, nee Madonna Louise Ciccione
Vital Statistics:
Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan
Age: 53
Height: 5′ 4½”

 Lady Gaga, nee Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Vital Statistics:
Birthplace: New York City
Age: 25
Height: 5’1”

 Madonna record-holding: The Top Selling female recording artist of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, with more than 300 million records sold world-wide.

 Lady Gaga record-holding:  First music artist to get a billion viral views on You Tube; Most Followers of anyone on Twitter — 13 million – according to 2012 edition of Guinness Book of World Records.  

 Madonna, Structure:  Flab-free perfect muscular dancer’s body, and toned yoga arms 
Gaga, Structure:  Flab-free almost androgynous-looking body with bones apparent 

 Madonna, watch it with those things:  Cone bras
Gaga, watch it with those things:  Machine gun bras

 Madonna, ancestry:  Italian and French Canadian
Gaga, Ancestry: Italian and French Canadian

Madonna, outrageously eye-catching in: “Erotica” book S&M gear, “Sex” book nudity including nudity hitchhiking; topless with black leather, whips in a stable evoke bestiality in a W photo spread; male drag and more.
Gaga, outrageously eye-catching in: “Alejandro” video S&M gear, meat dress, plastic bubble dress, Muppet dress, antlers, horns, no pants, male drag, lobster hats, dozens of other wacky performance art-ish outfits.

 Madonna, Family:  One of eight children of an automobile design engineer father, she lost her mom to breast cancer when she was a young child.  The traumatic life event scarred and strengthened her.
Lady Gaga, Family:  Elder of two sisters.  Her father Joseph is an internet entrepreneur, mother worked in telecommunications.  Resists description of childhood as “affluent,” but it was at least comfortable. 

 Madonna, Coming of Age:  Dropped out of the University of Michigan, where she attended on a dance scholarship, and headed to New York City on her own to make it as a performer with $35 in her pocket.  “The bravest thing I’d ever done.”  She worked at Dunkin’ Donuts until her dance gigs supported her, eventually getting into the music scene, singing, playing drums and guitar in her earliest bands.
Lady Gaga, Coming of Age:  Dropped out of NYU, where she was a musical theater student at the Tisch School on early acceptance (age 17).  A pianist from age 4 and song writer from age 13, she went and got her own apartment in the City (her father agreed to pay the rent for a year) to make it as a performer.  Before she hit it big, she says burlesque dancing was her No. 1 source of income.

 Madonna, Religious Background: Had a strict Catholic upbringing. Now she strongly supports the Jewish related Kabbalah faith.
Gaga, Religious Background: Grew up in the Roman Catholic faith, attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart private all-girls school on Manhattans Upper East Side.

 Madge, Provoking the Church: In the “Like a Prayer” video, she danced in front of burning crosses and it was so controversial that she lost her endorsement with Pepsi. Ongoing tweaks, such as her “Immaculate Collection” compilation album.  More recently, upset the church leaders by performing a song during her concerts while hanging from a cross.
Gaga, Provoking the Church:  Her “Alejandro” video with Gaga sucking on rosary beads and wearing a nun’s habit in scenes suggesting S&M and group sex led to Katy Perry’s Tweet: “Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke.”  Her “Judas” song caused the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to accuse her of blasphemy, too. 

 Relationship status, Madonna:  Twice divorced (Sean Penn, Guy Ritchie), son Rocco with Ritchie, daughter Lourdes with Carlos Leon.  She’s been linked to choreographer Brahim Rachiki and studly male model Jesus Luz in recent years.
Relationship status, Gaga:  Single, boyfriend of six months is handsome actor and model Taylor Kinney

 Madonna and girls:  She made headlines by deep kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the VMA awards.
Gaga and girls:  Proclaims her bisexuality.

 Madonna influences: The Supremes, Martha Graham, Karen Carpenter, Led Zeppelin, Rudolf Nureyev
Gaga influences: Madonna, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Yoko Ono

Madonna, Quote:  “People think being a star is about being fabulous, having your picture taken all the time, going to parties in limousines, having everyone worship and adore you, being rich, rich, rich… …having it all. And you know what? They’re absolutely right.”
Gaga, Quote:  “I’ve made it my goal to revolutionize pop music. The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago.”

 

Tony Bennett Thinks Gaga Will Be Bigger Than Elvis

Tony Bennett

Lady Gaga will be bigger than Elvis? Well, maybe — in the opinion of none other than beloved 85-year-old crooner Tony Bennett, who calls her a “magnificent, magnificent performer.”

In an interview carried on AARP.org, Tony points out that at his age, he’s
worked with pretty much everyone who’s anyone on the music scene, and he says of Gaga, “I’ve never seen anybody that intelligent when it comes to knowing how to perform properly.”

Bennett, of course, has his highly anticipated “Duets II” album coming out
Tuesday (Sept. 20) with Gaga as part of a lineup of stellar partners — a roster that also includes Carrie Underwood, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble and the late Amy Winehouse.  Carrie will join Tony onstage Sept. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles — along with John Mayer and Stevie Wonder — for a special concert benefitting the Drive to End Hunger, the national effort by AARP and the AARP Foundation to end food deprivation among older Americans. The concert comes at the end of the organization’s giant Life@50+ National Event, Sept. 22-24 at the LA Convention Center. (See AARP.org for information.)

Laurieann Gibson, Lady Gaga’s Choreographer-Artistic Director, a Phenom herself

Laurieann Gibson

The Lady Gaga phenomenon has been going on for a few years.  Now her choreographer and creative director, Laurieann Gibson, is having a phenomenal time of her own.  Gibson is an Emmy nominee for directing the HBO special “Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden.”   She’s up for Teen Choice Awards as Choice Female Reality/Variety Star for her E! show, “The Dance Scene.”  Her choreography is nominated for an MTV Music Video Award for her work on Lady Gaga’s “Judas.”   And that’s just her awards calendar.

 Tonight (8/2), her second reality show premieres:  BET’s “Born to Dance” — a competition series in which Laurieann will guide and develop up and coming dancers as they vie to stay on the show.  “I wanted to give my artists not just a trophy, but the information they’ll need to traverse the politics in the industry, to inject what I have found out along the way.  It’s not about me making money as a producer or jumping onto the idea dance is hot,” she says.  “It’s a real look at what really takes to make it as a dancer, and it’s a real opportunity.”

Indeed, the former “Making the Band” personality has already hired some of her “Born to Dance” contestants for other jobs.  

Despite her myriad other creative enterprises, Gibson says her work with Lady Gaga continues to be at the forefront.  “I just finished directing her ‘You and I’ video; I’m editing that now,” she says.  (We knew that. Their fellow collaborator, fashion director and editor Nicola Formichetti’s Twitter photos of paparazzi literally parachuting down trying to snap shots of Lady Gaga on the video location have been all over the internet).   “We have the VMAs coming up, a new tour….”   

Those who saw the avant garde pop star on “So You Think You Can Dance” last week also saw Gibson’s choreography for her.    

Gibson observes, “My schedule is kind of unbeliveable to a regular person and I think most people woudn’t believe all that I’m doing.”

She attributes her drive to hard years coming up.  She arrived in New York City by bus at age 17 intent on a career in dance — and subsequently waitressed on an overnight shift and studied at Alvin Ailey by day.  “It comes from a really grateful heart, to be at that place where you don’t have to go back,” she says.  Hardscrabble years are something she says she has in common with her collaborators.  “All three of us come from nothing.  Five years ago, [Lady Gaga] had two failed attempts at different labels and was not understood.”

She and Lady Gaga and Formichetti and his assistant got together the other day to discuss what Laurieann will wear to the awards.  Do not expect a meat dress. 

“They all have their different interpretations of who they think I am that they were playing around with.  She wants to tell the world what she’s experienced as a result of me, in terms of what I wear.  It was very interesting to see because I’ve done it for her for so long,” says Gibson.  She also says, “I looked at some of the ideas and said, ‘In no way will I be wearing that, that, and that.'”  She adds, “My approach is completely different from hers, but equally effective.'”

BECK/SMITH HOLLYWOOD’S 33RD ANNUAL TACKY TASTE AWARDS

Snooki

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, and a big serving of gratitude to the readers who contributed their votes — and wit — to this annual celebrity turkey shoot. Our cornucopia overflows with tackiness, so let’s get to it:

1. Snooki. Just in time for her 23rd birthday this week (Nov. 23), the petite “Jersey Shore” vixen becomes the top vote getter in the 33rd Annual Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards. Yes, Snooki, nee Nicole Polizzi, won the hearts — or at least, the attention — of Tacky voters across the land.

“Cute little figure and dumb as a box of rocks. Snooki is my Tacky Princess for 2010,” writes R.M. of Anaheim, CA. “Snooki and ‘Tacky’ go together like Cheetohs and orange fingers. Ya gotta love her,” says Jamie L. of Canton, OH. Referring to her arrest this past summer for loudly stumbling around drunk on a beach, Teri99 points out: “When a judge calls you a ‘Lindsay Lohan wannabe’ it just doesn’t get tackier than that.” Carlos G. of New York brought up Snooki’s surprising “Happy Birthday” Twitter exchange with John McCain: “Look out. This is how it all began with Sarah Palin.”

2. Lady Gaga. “Lady Ga-ga’s dress con carne pushed her into the gag-o-sphere of tackiness” as reader Bernice R. of Naples, FL cleverly puts it. She adds, “I propose a last name for her: ‘Maggot.’ Then, she could be called, ‘Lady Gag-a-Maggot.’ Grace H. of Burbank, CA, concurs: “She seems to be the figment of a deranged mind. She really went too far when she was dressed in slabs of meat. Now that Mr. Blackwell is gone women will do anything.”

Kate Gosselin

3. Kate Gosselin. “She claims to ‘do it all for the kids’ but goes around dressed like a $2 whore and never misses an opportunity to denigrate and bash her ex-husband,” says reader Dee W.. Tell us how you really feel, Dee! She continues that Gosselin “treats other people as if they are less than human, including her own children. This not only is bad for the children, it’s now showing up in the kids’ behavior as well, with 2 of them being expelled from kindergarten (!!) for bullying and mistreating their fellow students.”

4. ‘DWTS’/Bristol Palin. “The politicizing of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ their fawning over Sarah Palin, and all the Tea Partiers voting to keep the clearly

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas ABC photo

inferior Bristol in the competition all these weeks, has ruined the show for me. I won’t be watching any more,” proclaims Joanne R. of West Haven, CT. Others, like brucekn write, “It’s ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Since when is Bristol Palin a star?”

5. Mel Gibson/Oksana Grigorieva. “I certainly don’t condone Gibson’s terrible behavior, what with the racist rants, the verbal abuse and threats he’s heaped on Oksana, and the fact he left his wife for this nasty woman. However, I feel sorry for him because he is obviously mentally ill and she took advantage of

Mel Gibson

that to trap and extort him. The whole situation is beyond tacky,” writes TrulyJenC. Her sentiments are echoed by Rory from Atlanta: “All she cares about is $$. These tapes exploit his bipolar disease. Stop posting them!” But others are less sympathetic to the rage-spewing star. Tim G. of Northridge, CA, blasts, “Set up or not, Gibson is an abuser, pure and simple. His claim of being ‘broke’ is funny. I thought he had a $900 million fortune not so long ago. So, now he’s down to $300 million and feeling the pinch? I should be so broke.”

6. David Arquette, for “going on Howard Stern’s show after the announcement of his marital split from Courteney Cox and airing all their dirty laundry? Announcing his having sex with another woman? Ugh. I wonder how Courteney stayed with this idiot for so long,” wrote Rochelle T. of St. Louis.

7. Charlie Sheen. “I don’t know which is worse: Sheen or his Hollywood enablers. He tears up a NYC hotel room and clocks a hooker and they say it’s an allergic reaction?! As long as the checks are good, right folks?” — Rich M., Newark, NJ

8. The Kardashians. The celebutante/socialite sisters Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe seen on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” drew tacky votes for various reasons. “Kim flaunting her sexual relationship with Miles Austin in front of ex Reggie Bush shows again she’s a total skank” — Tenney, Brooklyn, NY. “Khloe’s ongoing comments about finding it hard to conceive with Lamar Odom are tacky T.M.I.” — Brenda K., San Diego, CA. “I still don’t get what these three sleazy man-eating @#!$es are famous for.” — Pat O., El Paso, TX

9. Joaquin Phoenix. Clearly, Casey Affleck’s “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” hoax was a dud. Bernice R. skewers Joaquin thusly: “Wacky jokester but otherwise talented, Joaquin Phoenix’s nauseating hair and beard garnered him literally tens of fans worldwide this year, bringing the total attendance to his last movie to 72 virgins, but only if you count the enamored camels.” Ouch.

10. Laura Schlessinger. A past Tacky Taste winner returns, with complaints over her tackiness summed up by G.H.: “Laura Schlessinger used the ‘N’ word repeatedly as she was talking to a caller who was black.”

Dishonorable Mentions. They’re not celebrities, but many would agree with Michael B. of Rockford, Il, when he says “The brain trust at the Transportation Security Agency who came up with the virtual strip search and sexually invasive pat downs to which travelers are suddenly being subjected are tackiest of all this year.” Then there’s “Stephen Colbert’s appearance before the Senate hearings on migrant workers. [It] will stand forever in the annals of tackiness, otherwise known as the Congressional Record. Single-handedly, Colbert elevated a government committee up to the level of cheap entertainment. Kudos also go to Jon Stewart for calling the President of the United States, ‘Dude,’ to his face.” — B.R., FL

And that’s it for this year. Here’s hoping all your turkeys offer the very best of taste.