Lady Gaga is now officially ubiquitous. Last year she dominated the charts, with accumulated sales of The Fame and its spin-off releases The Fame Monster and The Remix making her the world’s top-selling artist. This year, she’s become the champion of cyberspace: the first living person with more than 10 million fans on Facebook and over one billion channel views on YouTube. Now Gaga has become the first person to reach more than 10 million Twitter followers. On learning the news last week, she tweeted excitedly to her fans: “I’m speechless, we did it! It’s an illness how much I love you.”
As outrageous in her fashion sense as she is savvy with social media, Gaga has transcended pop stardom to become a cultural icon. The New York City native, born Stefani Germanotta, arrived in 2008 like the second coming of Madonna, an ambitious blonde with a provocative persona and an infectious sound. Courting controversy, she scandalized with revealing attire and bizarre outfits like her meat dress. Now the mistress of mischief is set to incite more Gagamania with Born This Way.
Already, the album’s title track has drawn comparisons to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” as a thumping empowerment anthem. Other similarities can be found in religious double entendres like “Judas” and “Bloody Mary.” But Gaga out-shocks Madonna with risqué songs like “Heavy Metal Lover” and outdoes her dance-oriented contemporaries with such joyous numbers as “The Edge of Glory.” With Born This Way, Gaga has become the undisputed queen of pop.