Lady Gaga recently topped the ultimate media maven Oprah Winfrey in Forbes magazine as the world’s most powerful celebrity. Billboard projected one million sales for the first week’s release of her new album “Born This Way.” Whatever your opinion about Gaga, she seems to be conquering the world one palatable pop beat at a time. So, what is the secret to her meteoric success?
There are countless talented, piano-playing singers drudging through the New York club scene trying to make it. Gaga made it bigger than she could’ve ever imagined. She once said in an interview with John Norris for “Noisevox,” “I did pop music the way indie rock bands do rock n’ roll.” She built her career from the ground up.
The media specialists and public relations companies hired by Gaga’s record label may in part be responsible for her popularity but ultimately it’s her and her content that draws fans. She has taken over twitter with more than 10.5 million followers because people want to hear what she has to say. She exudes the perfect mix of charisma, talent, depth, originality and humbleness. Plus she births infectious beats people want to hear, or else no one would care about the rest.
On May 14, 2011 Gaga posted a YouTube message to her fans saying, “Thank you for supporting my artistic vision and always letting me be myself. I will always fight to the death for you to be yourself.” This familial and familiar relationship between the Mother Monster and her Little Monster fans has produced a pantheistic pop religion. In her “Good Morning America” appearance earlier this month Gaga said about her fans, “They’re my family, for sure.”
Gaga was asked during her “GMA” interview what she would be doing if she wasn’t famous. Her apt response was, “Well, I would still be a singer. I just wouldn’t be famous.” Asked if she ever thought of doing anything else she said, “That would be so awful, wouldn’t it? If I just gave up because nobody bought my music? I just really love what I do.”
The dictionary definition of gaga is to be “marked by wild enthusiasm: infatuated, doting.” Complex theories aside, this could be the simple key to Gaga’s fame and influence. It’s the lesson Oprah Winfrey, the woman Gaga eclipsed on the Forbes’ list, offered in her final episode. She urged her audience, ” — know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”
Just like Gaga does in every appearance and performance, Oprah said people who found their calling, ” — lit up the stage with their passion.” Perhaps beyond talent and luck, that’s the real magic of Gaga. Her passion is the secret to her fame and ultimate pop legend longevity. Gaga pursued her calling and now illuminates the world.