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Lady GaGa to play Madonna in new movie
Randy Aaron /
Lady GaGa has been compared to Madonna a lot (even though she's much better), but the comparisons will likely continue when Lady GaGa makes her acting debut in Life With My Sister Madonna, a movie directed by her brother Christopher. The movie also will also feature Adam Lambert, T.R. Knight, and Tina Fey. Would anybody in Memphis even go see this? Madonna is definitely a great icon, but Lady GaGa really needs to keep making a name for herself. Lady GaGa playing Madonna now would be like Madonna playing Marilyn Monroe in a movie back in the 1980s .It would have been a mistake (she already did it in the music video for "Material Girl") since Madonna took years to separate herself from the Marilyn Monroe comparisons. What do you think, readers? Do you think Lady GaGa should play Madonna? More importantly, how do you think Madonna would feel about this?

Lady Gaga at MEN arena, Manchester
Fresh from her triumph at the Brits, Lady Gaga opens her UK tour with glamour, grit and a battle with a giant squid/ Kitty Empire (The Observer)/The
Lady Gaga writhes on the floor of the stage at the MEN arena, attacked by a giant undersea monster that is half angler fish (the teeth) and half squid (the tentacles). Operated by a team of crew and dancers, it gradually subsumes her, as a fulsome version of "Paparazzi", one of Gaga's many hit singles, plays out. If you strain your ears you can just hear the sound of the biscuit being taken. Theatrical stadium tours come and go, but it is safe to say that no non-heavy metal star has ever battled a gruesome semi-animatronic sea monster in the name of fun before. Not even Madonna, Gaga's most obvious antecedent, whose sense of the outrageous the 23-year-old has taken on, and outdone, certainly in the ghoulish stakes. The monster at the heart of Gaga's Monster Ball tour crowns two hours of spectacle in which flaming pianos, harps, fountains and green vomit (simulated) vie with outrageous costumes and group mastrubation (also simulated) to relocate fans' jaws level with their collarbones. At one point Gaga appears dressed like a yeti crossed with a lampshade, an outfit she removes to reveal the Roman soldier-cum-sasquatch beneath. All great pop is transformative, but Gaga takes things to new extremes. What's more, Gaga's European production has been restaged from the version that toured the States – "I got bored of it," she confesses. Great swathes of it are awesome, even if some of it is missing, according to reports, and running late. The custom-made bass-cum-keytar called Emma previewed during her Brits performance is here though. The volume is the first thing that hits you. Pop isn't normally this loud; the bass isn't normally allowed to rattle your insides in venues this big and anodyne. But when Gaga, who has sold five million copies of her debut, The Fame, first appears out of the gloom, it's almost underwhelming. She is stock-still, dwarfed by shoulder pads and a downtown New York urbanscape circa 1975. The song is "Dance in the Dark", and it contains one of many references to La Ciccone in the rap where Gaga lists her patron saints of gay iconography like Madonna did in "Vogue". Then "Just Dance" happens, in which backdrops, dancers, musicians and Gaga erupt with life. There is, invariably, a baffling narrative arc to Gaga's mise en scene. But unlike most singers of her stature, who stick to anodyne nothings, Gaga is garrulous. No one really understands the long-winded Gaga manifesto, but we are all her "little monsters", she confides frequently. Like the Masons and hip-hop crews we even have our own hand signal – the claw gesture from the video to "Bad Romance". There is a poignant moment when Gaga confides that she wrote "Speechless" for her father, who "loves Johnny Walker just a little bit more than he loves me". Shorn of band, dancers and headdresses, she belts it out at the flaming piano. Monstrousness is a theme dear to Gaga. It takes some unpicking. Love can be monstrous – in "Monster", a lover eats her heart and then her brain. At its core, though, is the idea that Gaga is at one with the freaks and outcasts. The Monster Ball is where we can all be free. This is arrant nonsense, as the scads of people buying Gaga's cunningly commercial music are not limited to the niche worlds of drag queens and hip nightcreatures from which she draws her inspiration. But Gaga seems sincere. She says of her warm welcome at the Brits that it was "the first time in a long time we felt like the cool kids". Her arresting visuals, however, dwell on another aspect of monstrousness – physical distortion. Often teetering over into S&M, the Monster Ball's visuals play artily with blood, bandaging and dysmorphia. Gaga's nudity can be purposefully unsexy. Come-hithering still routinely dominates visual portrayals of mainstream female artists. She told Elle US recently about struggling with her label in order to make her album covers strange and dark. Prettiness does not concern her; physical alteration does, like it did a far lesser pop shock tactician, Marilyn Manson. Clearly, Lady Gaga's music isn't always the main focus of the show. Unreleased songs like "Glitter and Grease" don't particularly stand out. But when a great Gaga tune marries up with energetic formation dancing or ludicrous visuals, the result is dazzling. "Telephone" is terrific, a cacophony of miscommunication danced out on a stage-extending catwalk. Nothing, however, can match "Bad Romance", an encore the crowd start singing to the dark stage. When Gaga finally reappears, she has what appears to be a large glittery trilobite crawling up one arm. "Bad Romance" is the single that established Gaga's greatness beyond all doubt late last year, and tonight's version seals a performance of truly gargantuan proportions.

Going Gaga for the Lady/by David Owens, Wales On Sunday
In the week that she wowed the world at The Brits, a new book about the pop sensation that is Lady Gaga by Welsh writer Helia Phoenix, pictured below, aims to uncover the truth about the many shocking sides to the international superstar that people either love or loathe. DAVID OWENS reports...IT’S not often dreams come true. We’ve all had them – winning the lottery, living on a paradise island or scoring the winning goal in the Cup final. For most of us they remain just that – unattainable fantasies. However, according to Cardiff-born writer Helia Phoenix, 29, penning a book about the world’s biggest pop star was a dream made real. “When I was asked I was amazed,” she enthuses. “I jumped around screaming for a while. “I’ve always been a Lady Gaga fan because she’s so mad. I have a lot of respect for people who enter mainstream media wearing what they want to wear, saying these ridiculous things, having these crazy philosophies when she’s really intelligent and she doesn’t shy away from saying intelligent things. “Other pop stars like Cheryl Cole or Lily Allen, they’re not really purveying any sort of message about art or about music or about anything really. But Gaga studied musical theatre at university and she’s studied her whole life, she’s really intelligent, really bright, she got into university a year early, where she was exposed to theories about performance and if you look at her appearance at the Brits or the extravagant shows that she puts on you can see those influences.” A Cardiff University graduate, Helia has already written what she describes as “mini-biogs for the tweenie market – those aimed at teenagers and twenty somethings” about celebs such as Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and Cheryl Cole – but it was the chance to write a fully-fledged book that broaches the many infamous talking points that make up the Lady Gaga mythology that fired her enthusiasm and imagination. “I’ve wanted to write books since I was about nine years old, so you can imagine my excitement, although that was followed by almost passing out when I was told the final word count was 60,000 words – the most words I’ve ever written in my life,” she said. It wasn’t easy as Helia, who works by day as a web editor at the Welsh Assembly and also moonlights as reviews editor for Cardiff-based Kruger music magazine, had to fit the writing in around work. She’s aware that the question will be asked, how can you write a biography about someone who has only been a pop star for three years? “She’s crammed a lot in a short life,” explains Helia. “She’s only 23, but she’s achieved so much in that time.” It’s undeniable that she started young. Gaga – real name Stefani Angelina Germanotta born to Anglo-Italian parents in New York – was a talented musician as a child. She learnt piano when she was four and wrote her first ballad at the age of 13. “Her parents were from humble beginnings but were pretty well off through her dad Joseph’s internet business,” says Helia. “As a result they could afford to send their daughter to the exclusive Convent of the Sacred Heart independent girls’ school in Manhattan. “It’s the most expensive girls’ school in New York. “The school is most famous for educating former pupils Paris and Nicky Hilton. Lots of the girls were society girls like the Hiltons, which she’s not like at all, but that’s where her ideas of fame first came from. “Despite the strict environment she got to focus on studying piano, voice and drama, three things she was already mad about. “She endured the oppressive nature of a strict Catholic school for so long, although she was always disciplined enough to get top grades. “All the girls had to adhere to a strict dress code. “The nuns measured the length of the skirts with a ruler, so it’s almost certain that this environment had an influence on the future style of Lady Gaga and her outlandish choice of dress.” What was also forming in the young girl’s mind were thoughts of becoming a pop star. The teenage Gaga was a massive Britney Spears fan, although she was also being drip fed a host of influences that would become important signposts in her life. “She had a very broad love of music,” says Helia. “Her dad used to play in a band and he would play her Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and Grace Jones. She said that Bowie and Grace Jones were massive influences on her as she was growing up, especially their sense of style and sense of dress.” She started having vocal coaching at 11 and she was encouraged to write her own songs. That quick musical maturity also saw her performing at open mic nights, talent competitions and anywhere that would have her. “Throughout her teenage years she started playing songs in lots of different places accompanied by her mum because she was too young to be in there,” explains Helia. “She was really precocious and determined and definitely she knew what she wanted.” Getting a place at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts in New York at 17, she became one of only 20 youngsters to gain admission early. The college, which counts Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and Woody Allen among its alumni, could have been the making of her, but the single-minded Gaga had different ideas, dropping out after just a year to forge a different route to success – hard graft. “She didn’t want to become famous on a whim or through a talent contest, she wanted to earn her stripes the traditional way with good old-fashioned hard work,” says Helia. “At 18 she was living in New York on her own, she was working as a waitress, considering she was from a rich family she paid her way completely.” It was at this time that her life became ever edgier. She began dancing in go go bars in skimpy, barely there outfits and performing at night as part of a duo with the equally outrageous wannabee style icon Lady Starlight, while working by day, she started to use cocaine to get by. “She used to order a bag of cocaine from a delivery service, do some lines, then work on her hair and make-up for hours,” says Helia. “She would wake up in the morning at 10.30am do some more lines, write music, then stay up for three days in a creative whirlwind of drugs, drink and music.” She was leading a more deviant lifestyle and a noisy gig to a crowd of university frat boys became a trademark she would later became famous for. She took off her clothes. “She was desperate to get this noisy crowd to listen to her, she realised she had to do something shocking so she did the only thing she could think of, she pulled off her skirt and took off her shirt,” says Helia. “She was sat at a piano dressed in her bra, panties and fishnets, while the whole venue stared at her wondering what was going on.” It was around this time she was spotted by music producer Rob Fusari who loved her style and her songs and he got her signed to a major deal with the giant Interscope Records. The Lady Gaga phenomenon was almost fully formed, the outfits were getting weirder and more outrageous, the stage appearances were ever sexier and the questions about her sexuality were causing an even greater air of mystery to a media both baffled and intrigued by this riot of individual style and sexiness. Did she like men or women? This question circulated around, with Gaga doing little to dispel the rumour. “I think she said she wouldn’t have a relationship with a girl but she was sexually attracted to girls,” says Helia. “I don’t think it was a PR tactic, I don’t think she needs the sexuality angle to be outrageous. She’s just honest.” An even bigger question was waiting to hit the tabloids – was she a man or was she a woman? “It all started with a comment by Christina Aguilera,” explains Helia. “She appeared at a music awards in a Lady Gaga style latex outfit. “She was asked by the media if she was inspired by Lady Gaga, Aguilera deadpanned that she didn’t know who this person was and didn’t even know if it was a man or a woman. “The great thing about Lady Gaga is that she refuses to slag off another artiste, so refused to be drawn into an argument over Aguilera’s comments. “That was the catalyst for all these stories about what her true sex is.” And so the real answer? “She’s all woman,” says Helia. “One hundred per cent.” All this controversy, all these salacious stories have only served to polarise opinion. She’s the Marmite pop star, people either love her or hate her. Helia believes those detractors have got it all wrong. “Those who dislike her think she’s manufactured and over the top, has come from nowhere, really has no talent, just sings some songs and will disappear as quickly as she’s appeared. People who hate pop music will hate her because she’s quintessentially a pop star. “However she’s not fake or contrived, she’s pushed the boundaries of music, fashion and culture and worked damn hard to get where she is today.”

Lady Gaga Should Accept Tunick's Offer & Pose Naked In Public / by Robert Paul Reyes
"The famous American artist Spencer Tunick who is known for his 'installations' in which hundreds of people strip and pose in front of a monument or any famous place, has asked this very popular 23 old singer to fly down to Australia, because he is going to do another installations known as Mardi Gras installation in front of Sydney Opera House." Male celebrities, with the rare exception of a bimbo with no discernable talent like Levi Johnston, don't pose naked, regardless how much money they are offered. Female celebs on the other hand, often pose naked, sometime for just a few thousands dollars. My advice to female entertainers is to not allow themselves to be objectified, and to turn down all offers to pose nude. However, I would make an exception in the case of Lady Gaga, and I would recommend that she accept Tunick's offer. If Lady Gaga posed naked in a public place it would, once and for all, dispel rumors that she's a hermaphrodite. Not that there's anything wrong with being an intergender individual, but it would be to Lady Gaga's benefit if there's one less controversy swirling around her. Lady Gaga is much more than just a singer and entertainer, she's a performance artist. If Gaga posed in the buff in front of a public monument, it would be performance art at its most elegant. Lady Gaga, whether naked or wearing an outlandish outfit, is a walking work of art. Art shouldn't be confined to stuffy museums, it should be out in the open for everyone to enjoy. Lady Gaga, please accept Tunick's offer, and let the whole world enjoy your body as a work of art.

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BORN THIS WAY - 2/11/11