|Photo by: Matt Anderson (Illustration)|
Say the term “pop icon,” and one name comes to mind: Madonna. She burst on the scene in the early '80s and has reigned supreme as Queen of all things pop ever since. But as we know, monarchs can’t survive without proper successors. Luckily for Madonna, the heir to her throne has arrived, shoulder pads and all.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, age 23, grew up in a small Italian household on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and attended a private Catholic school. Wait, wait, wait. Are we still talking about the lady who’s on the brink of accepting the golden crown of pop from the Material Girl herself? Yes, we are. And not just any lady -- Lady Gaga.
If 1982’s club mega hit was Madonna’s “Everybody,” then 2008’s was Gaga’s debut single “Just Dance.” Both performers have a flair for theatrics, as well as a fondness for, shall we say, pushing the envelope.
Madonna is arguably one of the first female artists to be in charge of both her music and her image, and Lady Gaga seems to be doing just that as well. Take for instance those, err, offbeat outfits; the answer is pretty straightforward: “I’m an outsider,” says Gaga in the April issue of Cosmopolitan. “I’ve always been delusionally ambitious to the point where people don’t understand me.” Sound familiar? It should.
Although we have yet to see Madonna draped head to toe in red lace or sporting an ensemble made entirely out of Kermit the Frog stuffed puppets, her personal creed runs along the same lines: “I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art,” says the Material Girl.
But please, in the name of all things sacred and sequined, don’t just take my word for it. Look at the charts. Lady Gaga held the number five spot on iTunes list of Top Ten Songs for the week of April 15 with “Telephone,” and looking back to April 11, 1985, Madonna’s “Material Girl” was also at number five on the Billboard Charts. Coincidence? I think not.
Still not buying it? Let’s get uber-technical and point out the iconic pointy cone-bra Madonna made famous in the 80’s and compare it with Lady Gaga’s exploding bustier she rocked while performing at the MuchMusic awards in Toronto. The quirky blonde bombshell could easily substitute herself into Madonna’s “Vogue” video, or prance around the stage in a wedding dress to the tune of “Like a Virgin.”
New York Magazine contests their differences in an interview with Gaga this past March, saying: “But the two are very different: Madonna hasn’t had a sense of humor about herself since the nineties, where Gaga is all fun and play.”
As much as I’d like to say each diva has her own thing going on, the truth is that they’re eerily similar in both style and, oh, yeah, the whole Italian heritage aspect. Maybe that’s a good thing, though, because love them or hate them, these two are poised to be staples of pop royalty for years to come. As Gaga puts it, they’re just changing the world, “one sequin at a time.”
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