Pop music sensation, Lady Gaga, made Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in 2010 and Forbes list of 100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the world. Forbes even placed her at number seven in their list of Top 100 most powerful women. Clearly, she is having an impact, including on teen influencers, and especially in the social media circle. More and more, girls want to dress like her, act like her and wear makeup like her. A quick Google search reveals countless articles like “How to Look Like Lady Gaga”, “How to Get Lady Gaga’s Poker Face Look”, “How to Dress and Act Like Lady Gaga”, indicating she has become a role model, whether parents like it or not. But is she a good influence or a bad role model?
Who is Lady Gaga?
Better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986. She’s a New York City native who began performing locally in 2003. Lady Gaga is a much more than a triple threat. Not only is she a singer, dancer and performing artist, but she is a songwriter, record producer, activist and business women, making her a multi-force influence. Her musical abilities include playing instruments such as the synthesizer, piano and keytar.
Lady Gaga’s AchievementsIn 2008, her debut album “Fame” won her commercial success, domestically and internationally, with popular singles such as “Poker Face” and “Let’s Dance”. In fact, “Fame” reached number one in six countries and number two on the United States Billboard 200. Her second album titled “The Fame Monster”, released in 2009 achieved similar success. With two successful tours, “The Fame Ball Tour” and “”The Monster Ball Tour”, Gaga’s performances have reached out to millions of fans. Her next album, “Born This Way” is scheduled to be released in May 2011.
The list of awards that Lady Gaga has received in her short career is a long as her eyelashes. As of March 2011, she has won 92 awards and has been nominated for 200 others.
Her popular single “Poker Face” was nominated for a number of Grammys, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year, while its album, “The Fame”, was nominated for album of the year. The single “Poker Face” won Best Dance Recording 2010, while “The Fame” won Best Electronic/Dance Album. In February 2011, her single “Bad Romance” won two Grammys: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. The album, “The Fame Monster” won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. Lady Gaga won Favorite Breakout Artist and Favorite Pop Artist in the 2010 Peoples Choice Awards, indicating that she has wide appeal, and is a new artist making more than blips on the radar. Winning three out of 12 nominations at the Teen Choice Awards in the last two years, Lady Gaga signifies that she is one of the most modern teen influencers. Her achievements in the 2010 World Music Awards were even better — she earned all five awards out of five nominations, including World’s Best New Artist and World’s Best Pop/Rock Artist.
Her accolades aren’t limited to her music. Vogue Magazine recognized Lady Gaga with the 2010 Best Dressed of the Year award. On the other hand, Gaga won NME Award for Worst Dressed in that same year.
Lady Gaga is considered to be a glam artist, inspired by the likes of Queen, David Bowie, Madonna, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. Gaga refers to her fans as “little monsters”, which has evoked some criticism. One of her six tattoos is dedicated to her fans, while another tattoo is a peace symbol. Her labels of fashion icon and trail blazer have been both criticized and praised. On the one hand, critics applaud her unique place in popular culture and pop music as well as her attention-grabbing antics to important social issues. Critics contend that her music is pop, but it’s pop with substance.
Gaga is so influential in today’s pop culture, society scene and teen influencers that the University of South Carolina developed a course based on her influences. The course, “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame” depicts the unraveling of Lady Gaga’s music, fashion, videos and artistic actions and their sociologically significant dimensions.
Be sure to read part two of this post here.