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“I ACTUALLY HAVE BECOME A BETTER ARTIST BECAUSE OF MY FANS, SAYS GAGA. “THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY FANS THAT’S SO PURE AND GENUINE..”

Music in Hollywood, said. “It sort of devalues everything after that, and it raises the question of whether she's going to have to do that again on her next record.”

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aga isn’t dismayed over the promotion or the backlash coming from traditional retailers. In an interview with Wall Street Journal, she is asked if she’s worth more than .99 cents, in reference to the Amazon promotion. Gaga responds confidently. “No, I absolutely do not. Especially for mp3s and digital music. It’s invisible. It’s in space. If anything, I applaud a company like Amazon for equating the value of digital versus the physical copy and giving the opportunity to everyone to buy music. And also it wasn’t really .99 cents because Amazon paid the difference on all of those purchases as part of their promotional campaign for one of their new services.” Traditional retailers now feel the aftermath from the Amazon promotion and are seeing its effects at ground-zero. “I can't remember that ever happening like this -- selling so much and then going down to so little, so quickly,” Amoeba’s Sheldon responds. “I had to look really hard to find it on our bestseller list. We're stuck with a lot of copies now.” Her popularity is now starting to crest after Rolling Stone magazine recently crowned her as being the “Queen of Pop.” The magazine abstracted her as their winner from a pool of pop divas like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Britney

Spears and Katy Perry. To calculate their winner, Rolling Stone looked at extensive data including Billboard Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, social media and digital sales. Not since Elizabeth Taylor publicly declared Michael Jackson to be the “King of Pop” at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards has there been another rock star to earn such a distinctively glowing title. When word leaked out about the latest jewel in Gaga’s crown, another forecast of upheaval from her worst enemies started to cluster. “Rolling Stone magazine has ceased to be relevant since the 1990s,” said music retail manager Darius McCain, at a Chicago program directors’ meeting. They act as PR agents rather than an actual magazine. Remember—this is the same magazine that gave Bruce Springsteen’s recent Working on a Dream album ‘five stars’ while it was panned by fans and critics.” Ralph Espinoza, local program director, echoed the same response. “Lady Gaga is a hasbeen now. Her album flopped. Her last two singles flopped. She is being sued for pocketing money that was supposed to go for charity. Lady Gaga is a prostitute and Rolling Stone is her pimp. This is the same magazine that, at the height of the 'Born This Way' plagiarism controversy, claimed that ‘Express Yourself’ is a much worse song." The high levels of negative criticism concerning her artistry are often muzzled into a coma of quietness as the favorable stats continue to roll in. Despite the lackluster single “Judas” and a major sales slump, Gaga has a lot to be thankful for. She

opened up the new year with overwhelming news from Billboard, as she took home Billboard’s top artist of the year honors. At the top of the year, she was hailed by Forbes 100 as being the most influential celebrity since Oprah. The good news continues with Born This Way as it reached No. 1 in over 13 countries. “Edge of Glory” has so far peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her tenth consecutive Top Ten single in the u.S. And like some twist of fate, the song’s companion music video clamored attention after word quickly surfaced that longtime E Street Band member Clarence Clemons is seen playing his legendary sax alongside a Pat Benetar-inspired Gaga. unfortunately, unbeknownst to the world, it would be his last. She’s even indirectly challenging the logistics of the marketplace to make major changes, as they wrestle with their prejudgments of the peculiar pop star. Analysts are now looking at Gaga as a different kind of chart monster. “Taylor Swift has the country fans who actually still believe in buying an album,” said Keith Caulfield, associate director of charts at Billboard magazine. “Swift appeals to consumers who still buy albums and who still buys a number of them. It’s the same for Adele. She’s still being discovered by people who really want someone they consider to be a ‘true artist,’ someone who really resonates as honest and true.” Gaga has done extremely well as a new artist, selling 4.2 million copies of her previous record The Fame Monster in the u.S., but she proves to find greater favor with her singles, something that Caulfield notes as being her greatest advantage. Her fans are quick to download a single immediately, sometimes without even hearing it first. That expedient response from her fans drives the single up the charts, particularly on the Hot 100 and Digital Sales charts. But it takes a while before radio programmers are able to play what’s hot with music lovers. Even if radio programmers are infuriated over Gaga’s success, they still must lay aside their Gaga haterade and focus on playing what’s popular. Gaga isn’t your traditional artist on any level. She caters to her fans exclusively. She connects directly with her fans almost telepathically. (“I actually have become a better artist because of my fans,” Gaga says. [CONTINUED ON PG. 50]

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

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HiFi Magazine #2 (Aug/Sept 2011)  
HiFi Magazine #2 (Aug/Sept 2011)  

HIFI Magazine is the new, official resource for the avid music lover. From rock to pop, R&B to hip-hop, HIFI Magazine strives to incorporate...

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