Listen up, Little Monsters: It’s Mother Monster’s 26th birthday! And in that quarter of a century (plus one year!), Lady Gaga has managed to reinvent the pop wheel with her eccentric persona and pumping, politically charged dance music. When asked how she planned to celebrate another year, she simply told a Monster on Twitter, “Quinceanera.”
While we’ll be Quinceañera-ing in spirit, we will celebrate her colorful life and career by remembering 10 of the most-revealing bites she’s shared with MTV News. So, dabble on some glitter, put on your best wig, platforms and leotard, and let’s take a stroll down memory lane — in no particular order.
10. In 2009, Gaga sat down and explained that when “Poker Face” was re-imagined by Kanye West and Kid Cudi as “I Poke Her Face” (later changed to “Make Her Say”), she felt that it was time for someone to get the true meaning of the lady-love euphemism.
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“It’s funny, because a lot of my fans were like, ‘Gaga, Kanye wrote a song … and it’s not about what your record’s about. Your record is about gambling, and this song is about dirty sex things,’ ” she recalled. “I said to them, ‘You’re wrong. Kanye was right,’ ” she explained, laughing.
“That’s exactly what this song is about. The record is about how I used to fantasize about women when I was with my boyfriend. It was really exciting that he had so much insight into what the song was about. He’s a cool guy.”
9. Gaga’s pop-music kinship with Beyoncé has been well-documented in two songs: G’s “Telephone” and B’s “Video Phone.” When Gaga headed to shoot the Hype Williams-directed video for “Video Phone,” she had this message for the team: “I said, ‘I want to do you in your video, and I want to tribute you. I want to dress up like you,’ ” Gaga recalled telling her co-star. “And Hype Williams … was so excited. He was like, ‘Gaga, I want no makeup on your face.’ It was really stripped down — real Beyoncé hair, and we wore the same outfit in the video, and I [paid tribute to] her.”
8. Gaga’s love for her hometown of NYC is hardly surprising, and she shared on the MTV special “Inside the Outside” that when she sat down to write the track “Marry the Night,” “he” was the perfect muse to inspire the song. “It’s never gonna go away, the tan of New York never goes away,” she explained about always identifying with the city that bred her.
7. During the same special, Gaga opened up about her other inspiration — her fans — adding, “The biggest surprise to me has been my relationship with my fans. They’ve changed my life. The fans are the thing that you can’t learn; they were the instrument in the music that nobody taught me about.”
6. Always politically charged and motivated, Gaga has made it her mission to not only make chart-topping music, but also be a voice for the disenfranchised. When she sat down for “MTV First: Lady Gaga” in 2011, she explained that, despite her strong political beliefs, she wouldn’t want to run for office.
“Well, first of all, I wouldn’t want to be president for the day,” she said. “And I say that because I really, for myself, it’s important that my message, although it has political implications, I like to keep myself separate because politics can constrain things,” she continued. “So, our message can be completely free of any politics, and we can just surge forward.”
5. During that “MTV First,” when she debuted her video for “Yoü and I,” the singer discussed how difficult love can sometimes be and how her art explores that theme. “Sometimes in love, you can’t make it work,” she said. “No matter what you do, there’s this giant boundary between you and someone else. So, that’s what it’s about: perceiving in your imagination that there’s something magical inside of you that you can make it work.”
4. At the 2011 VMAs, she pulled the ultimate costume change by appearing as her male alter-ego, Jo Calderone . Gaga, as Jo, took home the Moonman for her fist-pumping equality anthem “Born This Way.” Afterward, Jo explained, “She was texting me after the award, after I picked it up for her, and she just said, ‘You know, more than anything I’ve ever gotten before, this means more to me, because “Born This Way” is about the fans and the fans are more important to me than anything I do; more important than f—ing breathing, you know?’ ”
3. In late 2011, Gaga released her semi-autobiographical video for “Marry the Night,” noting that history can be reinterpreted for her art, if need be. “This was one of the first times that the fashion didn’t propel so much of the story line,” she explained. “It is autobiographical, so the entire story’s true, and it’s through the lens of how I choose to repaint my past.”
2. Behind every great woman is a great Haus. Gaga’s famed, rarely spotted, Haus of Gaga are the folks who help create the live shows, fashions and accessories she wears. And they mean everything to her. “They’re my best friends,” she said. “I’m not really sure what the world thinks … but I do hear things like, ‘Who is the Haus of Gaga?’ and ‘Are you putting out a fashion line?’ And no one gets it. It’s not a commodity. It’s not something that’s meant to be sold.
“It’s a real bond and relationship, and that’s what I think music and art is about,” she said. “They are my heart and soul. They believe in me, and they look at me like a mother and daughter and sister, with pride and love.”
1. In the end, everything Gaga does is for her art, and there’s no place Gaga feels more at home than onstage in front of thousands of screaming fans. “I don’t see the live show as extension of the record at all, it’s meant to be a completely different experience with the artist, with myself. I want my fans to come and go to a party,” she told MTV News .
“I want them to watch the show and think, ‘I’m so f—ing cool that I am here right now.’ It’s about them. It’s about love. It’s about art. The show is meant to bring a tremendous feeling and sentiment of escapism.”
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