- By Alex Brown
Springtime is when many of us start to think of summer—warmer climes and dancing the night away in locales when the sun and surf rule. But 2020 was very different. For reasons we don’t have to recall here, this spring was not like any other. Luckily there was one bright spot that shone through the gloomy daily drone of news, to remind us all that the world still exists, and that we will get through this: the debut of superstar-in-her-own-right Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album, Chromatica.
On February 28, 2020 the first single dropped to a crowd of hungry music fans long waiting for what would come next from this New-York-born phenom. A mix of signature Gaga vocals and a beat that dared anyone not to shake in their seat, “Stupid Love” was, for many, one of the last moments before the world became a very different place. The next single, “Rain on Me,” which debuted on May 22 featured the also-impressive stylings of Ms. Ariane Grande, adding a sweetness and range to the song that dared audiences not to fall in love. And fall in love they did—the song debuted at number-one in the US, making Gaga one of only three artists to earn the distinction of topping the charts in the 2000s, 2010s and the 2020s.
But Chromatica, its first few hits and the latest dance-y release from Gaga are only the latest in an impressive history dating back to her upbringing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a place to which she has always remained faithful. Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, now Lady Gaga (who took the moniker from Queen’s hit “Radio Gaga”) started piano lessons at four-years-old. Gaga worked for years to train and hone her skills across multiple art forms including dance and acting, but music was always where Gaga’s talents flowed naturally—and it shows.
After being plucked from early 2000s New York, Gaga finally hit the big time in late summer of 2008 when her debut album The Fame hit the charts. The first songs off the album “Just Dance” and “Poker Face” established her globally recognized signature sound. But that wasn’t all that would come out of this first foray into the global pop scene—“Eh Eh (Nothing Else I can Say),” “LoveGame” and “Paparazzi” won her accolades, too, with The Fame and “Poker Face” winning Best Dance/Electronica and Best Dance Recording Grammys at the 52nd installation of the awards ceremony.
From here Gaga went on to develop a knack for reinvention rivaled by only one of her inspirations and predecessors, Madonna (the comparisons of the two are not unfounded). Two more pop albums—Born This Way and Artpop—produced classic hits like “Born This Way” and “The Edge of Glory,” both mainstays of any Gaga collection. But it was in 2014 when Gaga truly stepped outside of her paradigm and stretched her legs when she recorded Cheek to Cheek with jazz legend Tony Bennet, developing a reputation for expanding her art and her sound.
More recently Gaga found solid footing with one of her other passions, acting. The third film of the title A Star is Born, Lady Gaga performed opposite Hollywood mainstay Bradley Cooper as Ally, a struggling singer whose superstar boyfriend helps her hit the big time, even as it puts him in his grave. Her performance on-screen and show-stopping single “Shallow” from the film earned Gaga her nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. For “Shallow” she won four Grammys, an Academy Award a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award.
But while all these accolades are impressive, perhaps there is none more remarkable than the adoration of her “little monsters.” In addition to her powerhouse performances and music hits, her social activism from gun control to LGBTQI+ rights have earned her true love and admiration the world over. And that kind of treasure is worth its weight in awards.
“Chromatica” is available now wherever you download music. For her website, click here.