How Lady Gaga always gets by with a little help from her friends
Lady Gaga has a lot of friends with musical benefits.
“Chromatica,” her highly anticipated new album, drops on Friday, and for her fifth solo studio LP, she’s signaling a return to the dance-pop power moves that launched her to superstardom. She’s also continuing to collaborate with an array of musical artists, including new clubby collabs with Ariana Grande (“Rain on Me”) and K-pop girl group Blackpink (“Sour Candy”).
Here’s a look back on Gaga’s history of playing well with others — from Beyoncé to Tony Bennett.
Mother Monster’s breakout hit, 2008’s “Just Dance,” wasn’t just about Gaga. The track features vocals from her fellow New York native O’Donis, who hasn’t come close to matching those heights again. But for being a part of Gaga’s debut single, he’ll surely always have a special place in her heart.
You knew that all eyes were on Gaga when Beyoncé — who had already been around for years — took notice and paired up with pop’s new It girl for a remix of B’s “Video Phone” in 2009. They clearly hadn’t lost each other’s numbers, because they went on to team up for 2010’s hit “Telephone,” which, for sheer diva power, was the most fabulous thing since Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer did “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” in 1979.
After the disappointment of 2013’s uneven “Artpop” — which, frankly, wasn’t as bad as the haters made it out to be — Gaga needed a reset. And having struck up a friendship with Bennett, now 93, she formed an unlikely musical alliance with the classic crooner on the jazz-pop throwback “Cheek to Cheek.” Their 2014 set of standards won them a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
“Joanne” — Gaga’s 2016 country-pop detour — didn’t get the same love that her early albums got. But “Hey Girl” was an Elton-esque show of sisterly support with the voice of Florence + the Machine. Welch is one of the few female singers around who could keep up with Gaga on this girl-power pairing.
Gaga may not have won the Best Actress Oscar for “A Star Is Born,” but winning Best Original Song for “Shallow” is a pretty good consolation prize. The romantic rendezvous with her leading man Cooper also scored two Grammys, while becoming the singer’s first No. 1 single since 2011’s “Born This Way.”
The “Thank U, Next” singer is feeling the collaborative spirit these days. First she teamed up with Justin Bieber for their No. 1 single “Stuck With U.” Then she threw down with Gaga for “Rain on Me.” It wants to be “Telephone 2.0,” but it doesn’t quite get there. Still, anything that brings the Little Monsters and the Arianators together is too much fun to resist.
We hadn’t heard “Sine From Above” — Gaga’s diva-on-divo duet with Sir Elton featured on “Chromatica” — at press time. But we know that although these two pop titans may be generations apart, they are close enough for her to be the godmother of his two kids. And they recently joined forces for the “One World: Together at Home” benefit during the coronavirus quarantine.
A global superstar such as Gaga is too savvy not to know the international appeal of this cross-continent collaboration with the Korean girl-group sensations. And their deep-house dive on “Sour Candy” — a “Chromatica” track released the day before the album — is just the thing to bring some club vibes to your living-room dance floor.
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