April in Glenwood: Going gaga over Gaga
Lady Gaga won the Super Bowl.
OK, the New England Patriots were the official champions of last Sunday’s Super Bowl LI in Houston. But if artistic talent were measured by athletic championships, Mother Monster, as her Little Monster fans lovingly call her, should be the real holder of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
As well as the Stanley Cup, Rosewater Dish, Borg-Warner Trophy and every one of Michael Phelps’ Olympic Gold Medals.
All monumental sports milestones aside, Lady Gaga has certainly received her share of accolades for her work, including six Grammys and Billboard’s 2015 Woman of the Year. Deservedly so. I’m a relatively new Little Monster when it comes to Gaga fandom. I can honestly say it was her powerful rendition of the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl in that gorgeous red Gucci pant suit that locked in my adoration. I was first intrigued back in 2014 by her album and tour with old-school big band and jazz crooner Tony Bennett, who is not only 60 years her senior but also a close, personal friend.
Age really is just a number.
Most importantly, Lady Gaga is a passionate philanthropist and activist who stands up for LGBT rights and gender issues and against sexual assault and bullying. She has given her millions of fans and those who may not feel they fit in or belong —why her song “Born This Way” is so important — a place to feel safe and wanted through music.
We need that in the world.
The more I listen to, watch and learn about Lady Gaga, the greater the appreciation. Sister can sing — her live Super Bowl half-time vocal performance was certainly not lip synced, and seemingly flawless. She can obviously dance, even in Swarovski crystal-covered, spiky-heeled Versace boots, like she was born that way.
I challenge any of her critics and Internet haters to give that a try.
Lady Gaga plays multiple instruments including guitar and piano, the latter which she began at age 4. She writes, produces and choreographs her own music. She has acting chops, trained in method acting and won a Golden Globe last year for her portrayal of a vampire in one of my favorite TV series, “American Horror Story.” Each and every one of her artistic pursuits requires an unbelievable amount of hard work, dedication, practice, drive and natural talent. Just attempt karaoke at a local pub or Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii and see how that goes. She makes it look easy.
I assure you she has super-human talent.
In an aerial illusion that’s already gone down in Super Bowl history, Gaga, birth name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, propelled into center stage at Houston’s NRG Stadium after singing “God Bless America” and the Woody Guthrie favorite, “This Land is Your Land.” I screamed bloody murder when I went paragliding off Red Mountain into Glenwood Springs, and that was tandem with a guide doing all the work. So I can only imagine how I’d look being suspended in the air attempting aerial acrobatics in a crystal-studded costume and heels.
Think comedy. Pure comedy.
What Gaga brought to the Super Bowl was no joke. According to ratings, more people tuned in to watch her half-time show than the actual game, with approximately 117.5 million viewers, compared to the game’s 113.3 million. She sold an additional 150,000 digital albums of her latest release, “Joanne,” named for her aunt, after the performance, and announced a world tour that will take her throughout the U.S., Europe and beyond this year.
I’m awe-struck, to say the least.
I’m also disappointed that the Internet’s trolls couldn’t help to come after Lady Gaga to body shame her about her flat belly as it appeared in tight boy shorts during her performance. Apparently perfection is all in the eye of the beholder, as I would do about anything for a dancer’s physique. I can almost guarantee she’s in better shape than any of her haters, and her belly is certainly not flabby as criticized. Obviously aware everything she does is in the public eye and subject to opinion — remember her meat dress in 2010? — Gaga responded just as she should on social media. The viral Instagram post, which included a pic of her dancing in her custom Versace Super Bowl football pads, has already received 1.3 million likes and 47,000 comments.
“I heard my body is a topic of conversation, so I wanted to say I’m proud of my body, and you should be proud of yours, too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. Thank you so much everyone for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga.”
Proving even the most super-human artists are still just that, human.
April E. Allford is listening to Gaga’s “Million Reasons” and trying to dance more. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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