With her upcoming lead role on FX's smash hit, American Horror Story subtitled Hotel for season 5, this week's spotlight will focus on the one and only, the legendary music superstar, Lady Gaga.
Born Stefanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986, Lady Gaga would go on to become one of the most controversial, successful, and outspoken musical acts of the twenty-first century. Her rise to fame with 2008's The Fame showcased her ability to break onto the dance scene with chart-toppers, Just Dance and Poker Face. The latter would go on to win Gaga her first Grammy for Best Dance Recording at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. The album itself would go on to win Best Dance/Electronica Album at the very same ceremony, granting Gaga two Grammy's in one night.
Gaga's 2009 follow-up, The Fame Monster, introduced the world to a new Lady Gaga, a woman who could step beyond the conventions of the modern day pop star. The album would launch her not only into the stereos, iPods, and TV's of every home in America, but also to superstar status. The album released several successful singles including Telephone feat. Beyonce, Alejandro, and of course, the zenith of her career thus far, Bad Romance.
Bad Romance and The Fame Monster snatched another two Grammy's for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. Her collaboration with Beyonce earned her a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The Telephone music video also featured a cameo from Gaga's younger sister, Natali Germanotta.
For Gaga's third outing, she gifted the world with Born This Way, a perfect marriage of rock and roll, electro, and metal. The titular single expressed Gaga's love for the LGBT community, the way she felt about herself, and her desire to be taken seriously as a female artist, lyricist, and director. Though this album did not add to Gaga's collection of Grammy Awards, it did signal her third consecutive Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
Gaga followed the massive success of Born This Way with the album that best describes what Gaga really is as an artist: whatever the hell she wants to be. This album is called, ARTPOP. Probably her most eclectic variety of tracks released, ARTPOP led Gaga's fans through an emotional and psychedelic journey through the mind of Mother Monster herself. The lead single from the album, Applause went on to become a critical and commercial success.
Her fourth venture paired the pop superstar with Jazz legend, Tony Bennett, with whom she collaborated in 2011 for Bennett's Duets II. The unlikely pair recorded an entire album of Jazz classics titled, Cheek to Cheek. The album would go on to earn the duo the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
After the massive success and attention that Cheek to Cheek garnered for Gaga, she was asked to perform at the 87th Academy Awards, performing a touching tribute to The Sound of Music. Joined later that night by the film's star, Julie Andrews, Lady Gaga received a standing ovation of roaring applause. It was the most talked about moment of the night on social media sites, Twitter and Facebook.
A collaboration with legendary lyricist, Diane Warren, would produce the tear-jerking track, Till It Happens To You which Gaga recorded for the upcoming documentary about the negligible culture surrounding campus policy on rape, The Hunting Ground.
In 2015, the world will see her undertake her first major role on television with Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story: Hotel. Her role as "The Countess" has been kept mostly under wraps, but with only a month left to go, I'm sure details of her deliciously dark portrayal will certainly find their way from the shadows into the light.
Never ceasing the desire to express herself and make her fans proud of her, Gaga has been hard at work with her fifth studio album. She has said her time on American Horror Story has helped influence the creative process stating,
"I have returned to something I've believed in so much, which is the art of darkness"
And that is why Lady Gaga is my pick for Spotlight of the week.