I sat through a very, VERY long Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday night. The annual music show, hosted by Alicia Keys, was one of the better ones in recent years as most of the talent who performed truly impressed me. Looking back on it, however, there was one that stood out more than all the others. And that… was Lady Gaga.
I was thrilled with many performers, notably Kacey Musgraves who has been the literal middle finger to the homophobic country music community for years now. But Gaga… jeez. I’ve been an on and off fan of hers for the past decade, but what she has been able to do with her career recently has really solidified my thought that she’s the best thing to happen to music in quite some time.
Gaga and I have a lot in common. We are natives of New York. The same age. Except she’s a global superstar and I’m here typing on my laptop next to a Diet Coke and some snacks. Funny thing is, I remember Gaga when she was just another singer trying to get noticed in the West Village of NYC.
I never paid too much attention at that time, but that quickly changed when I saw the video for “Just Dance” on my television and was blown away about how quickly she was able to skyrocket to superstardom.
It’s been over ten years since her first taste of fame occurred, and she’s no doubt had some highs and lows since then. Something that has never wavered, from my opinion, is her passion for what she does and that she has remained humble throughout it all.
Perhaps it was my jadedness about Gaga’s music choices that blinded me from seeing that all she was doing was trying to express herself in a uniquely creative way. That doesn’t mean I saw her as the new Madonna, or the new anything… she’s herself. A lot of us were quick to jump down Gaga’s throat when she dared to do an album like Joanne that was vastly different from her past efforts. Kept us talking though, right? She’s authentically been a breath of fresh air in a see of stale music personalities who can’t even sing live or do mumble rap (some of those performed last night). Those never go outside the lane that they began with.
Take for instance what Gaga was able to do with “Shallow” during the Grammys. She did this on her own, as Bradley Cooper was across the pond at the British Film Academy Awards. No shade to B. Coops, but the power in her voice and how she commanded the stage meant that he wasn’t necessarily needed. It’s how many of us felt when her character of Ally stormed the stage to perform that song next to Jack. We were simply blown away. And that leads me to my point about why she’s the best thing to happen to music in a decade.
I can only count on one hand the number of performers who came out around the same time she did that have that sort of effect on the music industry. Adele is one, Janelle Monae is the other. These are singers who we want to see, who we want to hear sing and see what they do. Gaga has taken it to a whole other level with the leaps and bounds she has done with her career.
Let’s break this down: multiple Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, 9-time Grammy winner, gay icon, Super Bowl Halftime Show performer, critically-acclaimed actress, humanitarian, ambassador, etc. The list can keep going and going. She’s someone that most of us generally root for in life, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.
Her staying power has exceeded many who have come before her… and these are artists who I grew up and loved. She’s been able to navigate the world of being a celebrity without her news being fodder like getting drunk at all the Los Angeles clubs, infidelities, sex tapes and more.
I’m amazed that it took me this long to see just what an incredible impact she really has had on us all… especially the LGBTQ community. Just like Kacey, Gaga is the LGBTQ supporter we didn’t ask for but I’m sure as hell happy we have. My hope is that the next generation can find their own Gaga in a sea of crap that’s currently out there.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.