Though her second album, Born This Way, was a success, her third, Artpop, pretty much flopped. Though her Little Monsters stood by their Mother, others were quick to dismiss her career, figuring that the act that had launched her had finally grown stale and assuming she had nothing else to offer. Not only that, but Lady Gaga herself started to wonder whether the life of fame and role-modeling was really something she wanted to do long term.
“At the end of 2014, my stylist asked, ‘Do you even want to be a pop star anymore?’ I looked at him and I go, ‘You know, if I could just stop this train right now, today, I would. I just can’t. I need to get off now because I’m going to die.”
In 2015, she announced plans to retire from singing.
She did not, however, consider abandoning the two causes she’s thrown the full weight of her influence behind – the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and her Born This Way Foundation.
Her influence, in case you were wondering, knows no bounds.
Lady Gaga has the most Twitter followers of anyone on the platform – 65 million and counting (enough people to populate Texas 3 times over!) – and she knows how to mobilize those Monsters when she needs to get something done.
In 2010, she encouraged her Facebook and Twitter fans, as well as everyone watching the fall VMAs, to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and urge him to bring Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to a vote. They responded with enthusiasm, crashing the Senate switchboard and earning a personal (Twitter) response from Reid himself. The policy was repealed.
Her Born This Way Foundation shines a light on the pervasive, growing problem of bullying, an issue near and dear to her heart after her own struggles as a teenager. It also focuses on LGBT acceptance, and mental health awareness. The website for her fans – littlemonsters.com, has a Monster Code that forbids any kind of inappropriate interactions.
Mother Monster is now back in the music game and better than ever. Her 2014 album of jazz standards, recorded with Tony Bennett, earned them a Grammy.
Her Sound of Music performance at the Oscars shut up plenty of naysayers, she dropped a 5th studio album, Joanne, in October of 2016, which many critics agree is a reminder of why she’s so vital as an artist, and she absolutely slayed this year’s Superbowl Halftime Show – where her Little Monsters once again proved their undying loyalty by taking on the body shamers who called her out for having an alleged “belly” at the performance.
That’s a ‘belly’? Really??
I’m not sure what’s next for her musically, but I can honestly say that I can’t wait to find out. If anything, her history of hard work and getting up after being knocked down should tell the world that Lady Gaga not only does what she wants, she does it very well. In this day and age, that also includes inspiring millions to make a difference alongside her, and her social media reach alone is testament to her ability to make things happen.
I think it’s safe to say that whether she’s putting out killer pop albums or not, Lady Gaga is here to stay. And based on the way she works and the smart, thoughtful ways she wields her influence worldwide, I don’t see how that can be a bad thing. So… maybe I was wrong about that whole ‘this is not a happily-ever-after ending’ scenario. Only time will tell, but I’m pretty sure no one can bring this Angel Down.
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