Once upon a time, there was a bright, young, up-and-coming singer named Stefani Germanotta--known to most by her stage name, Lady Gaga.
The young woman burst onto the music scene, first appearing in an episode of The Hills before taking the world by storm just a few months later.
Her first hit, "Just Dance," though ridiculous, had an addictive melody and synth composition. Resistance was, as I learned, futile.
Soon she became known for more than just her music; her outlandish outfits came to be expected and even anticipated by audiences across the globe. To us, they were watercooler fodder. To her, statements on society.
Either way, no matter how larger-than-life her persona became, most people were still on board. It's all a part of her image. It's performance art. It's a character. Whatever you wanted to call it, it was working.
Lady Gaga cranked out hit after hit off her debut album. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing "Poker Face" or "Bad Romance." Plus, this is when people still kind of liked Glee, so we heard about 900 versions of any given Gaga song.
Every now and then she would do some respected side project or performance to remind us she was actually talented--singing with Tony Bennett, acoustic piano versions of her electronic pop hits--all of which totally won me over.
I stood by Lady Gaga, despite her ever-growing antics. I defended her to my friends. Not in a "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE" kind of way, but in a "you know, she's actually pretty talented even though she's crazy" kind of way.
She won me over time & time again until I took a step back and realized her path had at some point crossed a line into being creepy and no longer just a celebrity being a celebrity.
I hold celebrities to a different standard of humanity. They are allowed to be about 150% crazier than normal human beings because their entire life relies on self-promotion and they live in the spotlight and blah blah blah. Plus most of them aren't Christians anyway so that right there gives them a different frame of reference on what counts as acceptable behavior and what doesn't. So I can't really hold them up to my own standard and judge them accordingly. I mean, I can, but I understand why they don't live their lives the way I would if I were them.
Anyway, all that to say, I have a fairly reasonable bar of expectation for celebrities before I'm going to go all "this person is a nut job" on them.
But y'all, Lady Gaga took a turn. Suddenly it wasn't just meat dresses and Kermit hats anymore. Suddenly she was like performing seances on stage and pretending to be hanged and there was always a lot of blood. I mean why so much blood, Gaga?
All this would be fine if her music had stayed up-to-par. Let's face it, we as a society are willing to overlook a whole tankload of crazy if the person still makes solid art.
But no. Lady Gaga's much-anticipated sophomore album was largely a letdown. I mean "Born this Way" is pretty catchy but we all kind of agreed it wasn't very original. "You and I" is admittedly a pretty great song, but I'd already heard her perform it, and "Edge of Glory" was fine but not fantastic. No one cared about the rest of the album.
The jukebox of semi-generic synth-pop that was Born This Way was kind of the nail in the coffin for Lady Gaga, I think. That combined with her never-ending attempts at activism.
I quote the new Golden Moon Buffet podcast (which you should totally listen to BTW) when I say, "People don't like it when people try to do more than one thing."
It's true. If you're a singer, don't try to start a nonprofit. If you're a singer, don't try to act in movies about Facebook. The public will not thank you for it.
The only person who can get away with stuff like that is Beyonce and that is because she is great. I would add J.Lo to the list but she's very mediocre at music AND acting so I'm not really even sure how she's as famous as she is.
The question I pose to you now is, WHERE has Lady Gaga gone? I haven't read anything about her in months, and we definitely haven't heard a new single in a while.
I don't peg her as the type of person to give up. It's highly possible that she could be hibernating in a human-sized cocoon waiting for the right moment to do some sort of like David Blaine emergence and burst into her new single and she's like totally naked except for a mic headset (because isn't that the only thing she hasn't done yet?) and covered in goop and she's like gotten some zoologist to breed a real live phoenix and it swoops down and bursts into flames and then no one's even there to see it because no one cares about her anymore.
I'm just speculating, here.
Thus concludes the meteoric rise & fall of Lady Gaga.
Where do you think she is? Do you want her to come back or stay in the cocoon?