She’s had six No. 1 singles in 14 months, and her debut album is still No. 7 after 72 weeks
The death of Michael Jackson last June reminded us just how few stars there are nowadays who have that larger-than-life reach beyond their particular genre or niche.
Yet, lifting her blonde ambition straight out of the Madonna handbook, that is what Stefani Germanotta appears to have done.
Better known as Lady Gaga, Germanotta is proving to be more than an outrageously attired gimmick. In two short years, Gaga has become a major force in the music industry, selling more than 8 million records worldwide; she’s also the most successful digital singles artist ever, with sales in excess of 22 million. (Or at least until Sony dusts off those unreleased Michael Jackson tracks from the vaults.)
One, the experts are saying, with staying power.
“She will last because, also like Madonna, she’s already proven herself a master of reinvention,” said Thea Andrews, who until recently was "Entertainment Tonight’s" senior correspondent covering music and celebrity. “The difference is, Madonna adopted a new persona for every album, whereas Gaga does it for every song, every big performance.”
She’s got, Andrews told TheWrap, “that faux-edgy boundary-pushing persona that makes people feel like they’re indulging in something just a little naughty and cutting-edge.”
When the provocative singer’s latest single “Telephone” — which also features Beyoncé — hit No. 1 on the Billboard Pop charts earlier this month, Gaga and the former Destiny’s Child front woman tied Mariah Carey with six No. 1s — the record since the radio airplay chart was started in 1992.
But it took Carey from 1993 to 2005 to have her six chart-topping singles. It took Beyoncé from 2003 to 2010 to have hers.
Gaga only even first appeared anywhere on the charts 16 months ago, only had her first No. 1 a mere 14 months ago and, most telling of all, hit No. 1 with her first six efforts in a row.
And in an age where music sales are in double-digit decline, her 2008 debut record "The Fame" has been on the charts for 72 weeks and is still the number 7 album in America. All this while accounting for over 321 million plays via free streaming on MySpace alone.