Lady Gaga stans were by far the loudest fandom during the Golden Globes nominations announcement on Thursday—in the livestream chat, on Twitter, and IRL at the press conference itself. Every time it was mentioned, A Star Is Born got audible “woos” from the audience (it was 5:30 AM in LA, so that’s saying something). Tons of comments on the Golden Globes Facebook Live feed were just all-caps lyrics from “Shallow,” the breakout single from Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s remake.
Turns out, the stans had a lot to get excited about on Thursday morning. A Star Is Born walked away with five Golden Globes nominations, including two for Gaga herself.
With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011. In 2012, music journalist Rob Sheffield wrote, “It’s already hard to remember a world where we didn’t have Gaga, although we’re pretty sure it was a lot more boring.” In 2015, TIME noted that “Lady Gaga practically invented the current era of pop music as spectacle,” and credited her for the trend of over-the-top performances from singers like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. Gaga even has two species of fern named after her.
Lady Gaga taught us that part of the spectacle of pop stardom is reinvention. In 2015, Kelefa Sanneh wrote in The New Yorker that “Lady Gaga blazed a trail for truculent pop stars by treating her own celebrity as an evolving art project.” Whether it was by arriving at the Grammys in a giant, egg-shaped vessel, or hanging and performing at the MTV Video Music Awards as Jo Calderone, not once breaking the fourth wall, she's morphed and experimented as a means to enrich her art.
She’s upped the ante for herself again in the last few years, delivering an astounding performance at the 87th Academy Awards, winning a 2016 Golden Globe for her acting in American Horror Story: Hotel, performing with hundreds of drones in the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show, starring in a documentary, releasing even more music and touring around the globe, preparing for a two year residency in Las Vegas, and of course, starring as Ally opposite Cooper in A Star Is Born, which will likely put her in the running for an Academy Award, in addition to her Globes nominations.
Gaga is a bit of a try-hard. She’s worked seemingly tirelessly at expanding her celebrity footprint, and has been extremely strategic with her reinventions of herself. Sometimes those experimentations were head scratchers, but her latest seems to be a genuine call back to her roots. As she noted in her 2016 Globes acceptance speech, “I wanted to be an actress before I wanted to be a singer, but music worked out first.” Back when she was still Stefani Germanotta, Gaga studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and her ascent to superstardom is the stuff of which most aspiring artists only dream. Gaga may be earnest and out there in her pursuit of becoming the most famous multi-hyphenate artist in the world, but goddamn, she is pulling it off.
The way Gaga has been conquering Hollywood has some fans drawing comparisons to Madonna, who famously told Dick Clark in 1984 that her career aspirations were “to rule the world.” Gaga is clearly laying the groundwork to do the same. This nomination is another step in gaining that foothold.
A Star Is Born has put her on the map for tons of casual fans who wouldn’t have self-identified as Gaga stans before the film. It’s an incredible performance, and if she picks up a tons of trophies for it, they’ll be well-deserved. Gaga's a bonafide triple threat who's earned her superstardom.
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