In the past year href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/lady_gaga/artist.jhtml">Lady Gaga has risen from little-known dance act to one of today’s major international superstars. But how do you know you’ve really arrived? It’s when you get invited to perform at Sting’s annual Rainforest Fund benefit show.
On Thursday night (May 13) Gaga was on-hand for the star-studded show at New York’s Carnegie Hall, which also featured performances by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, host Sting, Mary J. Blige and Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
Wearing a frumpy gray old-lady wig, a white mini-hoop skirt and matching leggings that looked like they were made out of Ace bandages, Gaga sat down at the piano for what the href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/2010/05/14/2010-05-14_rain_forest_show_soars_gaga__elton_are_highlights_of_benefit_that_mixes_camp_sin.html" target="_blank">New York Daily News described as a “sober version of one of the most earnest pop songs of all time,” Ben E. King’s timeless “Stand by Me.” She also hooked up with pop icon John again for a run through her song “Speechless,” which segued into his hit “Your Song” in what the paper described as a seamless collaboration between two stars who seemed “made for each other.”
The 21st annual show opened with Sting singing “Englishman in New York.” He later hooked up with Mary J. for their duet, “Whenever I Say Your Name.” Springsteen belted out Bryan Adams’ “Cuts Like a Knife” and “Dancing in the Dark.”
Though he played such classics as “Philadelphia Freedom,” John also got in on the cover action, taking on the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl,” accompanied by a kick line of male go-go dancers wearing Speedos. Harry performed the Blondie classic “The Tide Is High,” while Dame Shirley Bassey busted out two of her iconic James Bond themes, “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” as well as her hit “Big Spender.” Chic leader Nile Rodgers served up “Le Freak” and Sting returned later in the show for a cover of the Fine Young Cannibals’ 1989 hit “She Drives Me Crazy.”
The whole gang ended the night by taking on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”