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Michael Bolton About GaGa "She is the epitome of an artist"
Michael Bolton is gaga over one of his recent collaborators. “I love her … I adore her,” gushes the 57-year-old crooner about pop phenom Lady Gaga, who cowrote the song Murder My Heart on his new CD One World One Love. “I didn’t know who Gaga was because her record hadn’t come out yet,” he says. “I had heard she was an excellent songwriter, but I didn’t know what it was going to be like working with her until I got to the studio and we hit it off. We became friends immediately and had a lot in common immediately … and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her.” On working with Lady Gaga: When I met her and she started singing these melodies and lyrics to me, I realized I had a real artist in front of me. Someone who can actually sing and doesn’t need to be AutoTuned to sound good. She was the real thing. And she was so excited about what we were going to work on. I said, ‘It’s got to be something that’s going to kill people when they hear it.’ She said, ‘I have this idea for a title called Murder My Heart.’ So that’s how it began. We worked from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. the first night, so there’s no question about her work ethic. And we did the same thing the next night. Then we finished the lyrics in London. Her mom was in London too, so I took the two of them out to dinner. I remember her mother was a bit concerned whether her daughter was being hyped; whether the company was getting her too concerned about her career before her album came out. It’s funny; cut from that moment to four months later, when she obviously surpassed her mother’s expectations and became huge. That’s great. I love to see someone that focused who already has that vision of her career. People compare her to a new Madonna, a young Madonna, but I think she has the reins of her career more than when Madonna started out. She’s in on every aspect, from songwriting production to what the next video’s going to look like. She’s the epitome of an artist.

Lady Gaga's Early Career Analyzed In New York Profile
'She wasn't a diva at all,' one high school classmate says.
Aside from her meteoric rise to worldwide fame from seemingly nowhere, one of the most fascinating aspects of Lady Gaga's ascension to the pop stratosphere is how formerly unknown New York rock-club singer Stefani Germanotta seems to have known all along that this was her destiny. A just-published profile in New York magazine, written by Vanessa Grigoriadis and including an interview conducted in March 2009 — supplemented by recent quotes from people she knew during her early days, including songwriter/producer Rob Fusari, who sued Gaga earlier this month — the self-assured singer is depicted as already carrying herself like the pop icon she would soon become. "I don't like Los Angeles," she told the reporter, insisting that she be addressed by her stage name and recoiling from the camera flashes of tourists taking pictures of each other that she assumed were meant for her. "The people are awful and terribly shallow, and everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to play the game. I'm from New York. I will kill to get what I need." Though her path to six #1 singles, millions of album sales and a massive stage show appears to have happened in a blink of an eye, Gaga, 24, said the process took longer than it appears. "I went through a great deal of creative and artistic revelation, learning, and marination to become who I am," she said in the article. "Tiny little lie? I wanted to become the artist I am today, and it took years."
It began on the Upper West Side of New York, where she grew up in a duplex with her dad, whose company installed Wi-Fi systems in hotels, her mother, who was a vice president at Verizon for a time and younger sister Natali, now 18, who has a cameo in the "Telephone" video. The sisters attended the small Sacred Heart Catholic girls school near the Guggenheim museum, where the Germanottas were a solidly middle-class pair mixed in with the outrageously wealthy and those attending on scholarships. She began taking day-long acting classes on Saturdays at age 11 and by eighth grade was landing the leads in shows such as "Guys and Dolls" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at Sacred Heart's brother school, Regis High. Friends told New York that she insisted on being called by her characters' names even then, refusing to answer to Stefani backstage during rehearsals and performances.
Gaga also held down a job as a waitress at a diner on the Upper West Side during her school years, using one of her first paychecks to guy a $600 Gucci purse, a preview of her later dive into high fashion. Though some jealous older girls sometimes referred to her as "the Germ," the article says, most classmates remember her as being popular and not the awkward outcast she has painted herself to be in interviews. In addition to being a theater nerd, Gaga began her musical experimentation, starting a classic-rock cover band, performing at open-mic songwriter nights and cutting a demo tape of love ballads that her parents gave out as party favors at her sweet-16 party at a New York club.
"Everyone was playing her demo, like, 'Whoa, she's going to be a star,' " Justin Rodriguez, who attended Regis, told the magazine. "She was by far the most talented person in high school, but she'd do so many random acts of kindness, like saying, 'Your singing has gotten so much better, you're working hard and I've noticed.' She wasn't a diva at all." Like many of her peers, the article says Gaga had obtained a fake ID by the time she was 15, around the time she started dating a 26-year-old waiter and got her first tattoo, a musical G clef on her lower back. About 15-20 pounds heavier at the time, Gaga would often get into trouble at school for wearing inappropriately low-cut shirts, which reportedly earned her the high school nickname "Big Boobs McGee." After graduation, she briefly attended New York University, but feeling she was more advanced than the other students, she dropped out during her second semester to pursue her dreams of rock stardom. Her dad agreed to pay her rent for a year if she promised to go back to school if things didn't work out. "I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate sh-- until somebody would listen," she told the magazine of her early days. An EP of ballads as the Stefani Germanotta Band soon followed, with a dedicated fanbase of 15-20 people showing up at her shows.
A week before her one-year deal with Dad was up, Gaga performed on a bill with Wendy Starland, who introduced Germanotta to producer Rob Fusari, an early collaborator who recently filed a $30.5 million lawsuit against Gaga over claims he hasn't been properly compensated for the work he did establishing the Gaga sound and persona. After feeling uninspired by her rock-singer direction, Fusari said he decided to re-invent Gaga as a dance-pop artist and encouraged her to ditch her leggings and sweatshirt look in favor of something flashier. So Gaga began studying how to be a star by reading a biography of Prince, shopping at American Apparel, reading the new age-y self-help bible "The Secret" and cutting her skirts shorter and shorter until they basically disappeared.
A short-lived, $850,000 deal with the Island Def Jam label followed in 2006, after which she went back to square one and performing in small New York venues and go-go dancing at the club Pianos while wearing a bikini and fingerless gloves and opening for the band that is now her opening act, Semi-Precious Weapons. By the spring of 2007 she auditioned for Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine, who signed her, and after a makeover that resulted in her signature blonde hair and space-age-disco-diva look, the Gaga we now know was born.
"I believe that everyone can do what I'm doing," she said as things were starting to heat up. "Everyone can access the parts of themselves that are great. I'm just a girl from New York City who decided to do this, after all. Rule the world! What's life worth living if you don't rule it?"

Paramore's Hayley Williams Sings Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' On Twitter
'Most fun I've ever had in ever,' she tweets about performing the cover.

Paramore singer Hayley Williams has one of the most entertaining Twitter feeds of any musician on the Internet. She regularly tweets her reviews of movies she has seen (she recently saw and loved "Hot Tub Time Machine"), rants about UFC events and exchanges inside jokes with her own band members, Nashville friends and boyfriend Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory. Though she drops the occasional Twitpic, her Twitter has been mostly a word-based experience. Until now. Over the weekend, Williams posted a video to her Twitter feed. "Feel a bit crazy posting this ... but you asked for it!" the 21-year-old frontwoman wrote. "My apologies to Miss Gaga. Love, your friend, Lady Haha." The link revealed a video of Williams sitting at a piano, adusting her hair and then singing and playing Gaga's "Bad Romance." Williams gave Gaga's hit a nice little remix, making the solo piano version into a cabaret shuffle. She seemed to take extra pleasure in the "Ooh la la" portions of the tune, rolling the R's and belting out the notes. The video came as a result of a tweet she sent only a few hours before. "Playing 'Bad Romance' on the piano and pretending to be Lady Gaga," she wrote. "Why haven't I ever done this before? Most fun I've ever had in ever." Williams is just the latest star from the rock world to take on a Lady Gaga song. She joins the ranks of Chris Daughtry, Weezer, Maximo Park, We the Kings and, of course, Eric Cartman of "South Park" fame. Could "Bad Romance" sneak into Paramore sets in the future? We'll find out when the group kicks off the latest stretch of tour dates on April 26 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Lady Gaga Brought To Tears By Fans' Birthday Video
'I've never cried so hard in 24 years, from pure joy and unconditional love,' Gaga tweets.
When MTV News spoke to director Ryan James Yezak earlier this month, he told us all about the making of his totally excellent "Telephone" tribute vid and then, in passing, mentioned that he was also working on a special birthday present for his muse, Lady Gaga. Yezak was asking for "Happy Birthday" messages from his fellow Gaga enthusiasts, which he hoped to edit together into one singing, strutting birthday card for Lady G. At the time, it seemed like a pretty nice — if not slightly fanatical — gesture, but that was about it. Only on Sunday — her actual birthday — Gaga watched the video then tweeted about it, writing, "I've never cried so hard in 24 years, from pure joy and unconditional love. Tears still streaming." And suddenly, Yezak's birthday video became a very big thing. Which is good, because he clearly spent an inordinate amount of time working on it. He received submissions from nearly 150 of Gaga's biggest fans from all around the world (England, Malaysia, Germany, Brazil, Spain and Italy, to name just a few), then edited them together into one epic, nine-plus-minute message, filled with a whole lot of tears, some outrageous costumes and genuinely touching messages too. In the clip, Gaga fans thank her for inspiring them, for giving them courage to be themselves and, in the case of one fan, giving him the strength to come out of the closet. There is also plenty of singing and dancing, a whole lot of makeup and even a few special birthday wishes. It's a pretty touching thing and it's no wonder Gaga was moved when she saw it. And as for Yezak, well, he still can't believe that Gaga saw the video, writing in an e-mail to MTV News that the whole experience has been "pretty amazing," and writing on his Twitter account that "anything is possible."

Viral video: The rebirth of the music video
From Lady Gaga's edgy epic Telephone to OK Go's recent Heath Robinson-inspired effort, Larry Ryan rewinds the online virals of the moment
Ten months ago Ross Ching was a new graduate from film school in San Diego. "The economy had tanked, nobody was hiring and I had nothing to do," he says. "I had this idea for a music video. So I made something and put it on the internet." The video was for "Little Bribes" by the alt-rock band Death Cab for Cutie. He chose, in his own words, to "blatantly infringe upon Death Cab's copyright" and make the video without any endorsement. There are home-made efforts for famous songs all over YouTube, most are best avoided, but Ching's effort was a small delight: using time-lapse photography techniques, he shot visual representations of all 211 words used in the song's lyrics and interspersed them with images of LA. It took Ching 50 hours to make and cost about $100. In May, he put it on his website,, under the banner "looking for work". It quickly got attention. The music site ran the video declaring, "We rarely post fan-made videos, but this is too good... Hire him!" Within days Ching was contacted by Atlantic Records, Death Cab's label. They had no truck with his copyright infringement; in fact, they wanted to buy Ching's work and make it the official video. By September he had been signed as a director at a production company in LA. The domino effect of Ching's efforts wasn't just serendipitous: allied to a good idea and some luck was a savvy understanding of the web. Before posting it online, he contacted people on Twitter who had large amounts of followers. He gave them a preview of the video; they in turn tweeted about it to their followers, creating a chain reaction. Alongside this low-level marketing he developed a template for videomaking based on endlessly watching YouTube, all aligned around reducing the temptation for viewers to move on to other online distractions. First, the video should have "something within the first ten seconds that will make you want to watch it past the first ten seconds," he explains. "A lot of people just look at the first ten seconds and then just click away." Next, he looked at ways to sustain interest throughout, as "you're bound to hit boring parts in a video." Finally, he used a song that came in at the three-minute mark – the shorter the video, the greater chance that people will watch it to the end. On a higher budget than Ching, but still at the smaller end of the spectrum, is the video for Hot Chip's latest single, "I Feel Better", directed by the comedian Peter Serafinowicz. In the first ten seconds, the electropop group are humorously re-imagined as a JLS-like boyband. Over the next three minutes, the video takes numerous strange and surreal turns. Like Ching, Serafinowicz, who has over 300,000 followers on Twitter, was able to create a swift online buzz for the video. Previously he had also utilised Twitter while shooting the video to recruit extras for the crowd scenes. On the day it was released in mid March, there was an instant receptive audience. It also received glowing attention from the likes of, Stereogum and New York Magazine. The video has been viewed half-a-million times on YouTube alone. "It's very difficult to succeed in going viral, so we're frequently seeing cool bands team up with provocative comedic directors like Tim & Eric and Peter Serafinowicz," says Scott Lapatine, editor-in-chief of Stereogum. "Music discovery now happens online, and we live in a meme culture, so a clever video is one effective way to break an act." The US pop-rock band OK Go know their way around a clever video. In 2006, for their single "Here It Goes Again", they created an ingenious promo featuring the band in a meticulously choreographed dance on treadmills. It has been viewed 50 million times on the band's official YouTube channel. There's even been a wan imitation in an ad for Berocca vitamin supplements. This year the band attempted the trick again with two videos for their single "This Too Shall Pass" off their third album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. The second of these videos has really captured attention. In the month it's been online, the video has been viewed 10 million times. It is yet another triumph of planning and coordination. In it, a grand Rube Goldberg Machine is enacted – a domino/mouse-trap contraption is set in motion in time to the music, incorporating the band who mime along to the lyrics while taking part in the colourful mess of unfolding events. It's an impressive feat, perfectly designed to be passed around the internet, but it also highlighted a flaw: OK Go's visuals are memorable, but their music is unremarkable. Indeed, the electro musician Max Tundra wrote on Twitter, "OK Go should record an innovative, exciting piece of music – and make a plodding, nondescript video to go with it." Despite all of OK Go's viral exposure, they haven't sold many records. The band recently split from EMI to set up their own independent label, Paracadute Recordings; it's been suggested that disagreements with EMI on how to distribute their videos was a major factor, but perhaps also poor sales for their third LP played their part.
"The thing about OK Go is that they outdo what they have done before. And that is a hard thing to do. Give them credit for that," says Lana Kim, head of music videos at the Directors Bureau in LA. Kim also hosts a web music show at Increasingly for producers like Kim, whose company represents several high-profile directors, record labels are naturally seeking conceits that will create online word of mouth. "Often the brief comes in with, 'we want this to be viral, just like such-and-such video'," she says. "You can't force a video to be passed around, so you can't base a successful concept around that. It happens organically, and if something is good, people will share it." Towering above them all is Lady Gaga. Last week it was reported that with just three videos, "Bad Romance", "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", she had become the first artist to be viewed one billion times online. This figure doesn't include her latest juggernaut, "Telephone", which, since its release several weeks ago, has been watched almost 30 million times on YouTube. The importance of the visual elements makes Lady Gaga interesting: her music doesn't seem complete until you see the outrageous costumes and watch the daring videos and performances. This might explain the high numbers watching her work; though monumental hype helps too.
"What I appreciate in Lady Gaga's videos is that spectacle that we often don't see nowadays," says Kim. "But you can see the formula: insane costumes, plus almost nude Gaga, plus dancers, plus bright lights, plus saturated colours, plus product placement, plus someone dying." "Telephone", a lurid tale of Gaga as an inmate in a women's prison turned killer on the run, conforms perfectly to her formula, with the bonus of an appearance by Beyoncé. It also seems specifically designed to create cartoon controversy, much like Lady Gaga's entire career. With that controversy, its celebrity cameos and an extended nine-minute length, "Telephone" recalls an earlier MTV age when pop stars made grand "event" videos: epic affairs with lavish budgets intended to get people talking, long before they could email links to each other. With most record labels on their knees, such garish events are now rare, and paid for in more roundabout ways. "Major label artists finance flashy mini-movies via increasingly obnoxious product placements," says Scott Lapatine. Lady Gaga claims that "Telephone" is a commentary on contemporary American culture. However, its biggest statement seems to be about the artist herself: an assertion of the power of her brand that also displays her ear for a pop tune and head for a well-timed web event. No doubt, many are combing Lady Gaga's videos to try to replicate her success, just as Ross Ching created a formula from watching videos online. But the one constant, as it always has been for the best music videos, is an arresting visual idea. "Interesting concepts are interesting concepts, regardless of where technology has gone," says Lana Kim. "It is amazing how a good video, as dated as it might be, would still hold up today. Mediocre videos get lost in the mess of the internet. No one wants to forward a link of a boring video to friends."

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BORN THIS WAY - 2/11/11