The startling renaissance of Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga’s vocal abilities were never in question.

Regardless of whether or not you like her music, there’s no arguing she has a powerhouse voice with great range. But what is more open for argument is how you perceive her “artistry,” the facade she puts on when performing in public and the panache that comes with it.

It’s that element that’s seemed to cause wildly varying opinions among people about Lady Gaga since her arrival in mainstream consciousness seven years ago. While it was her talent that brought her fame, it was the gimmicks afterwards that polarized many.

Lady GagaBut even the people who bashed her the most still probably couldn’t help but sing along to her earlier pop-friendly hits like “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” or “Bad Romance.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, even people who adored her probably still couldn’t help but question some of her antics, like beginning a Grammy performance inside of a giant egg, cross-dressing at the 2011 Video Music Awards, or wearing a dress of bubbles.

That’s been the overarching theme to Lady Gaga’s public image the last several years. People either hate or love her, most are confused by her, and yet, everyone pretty much agrees that she’s a great singer.

It’s also what makes it equally surprising, that, several years into a career that’s been met with so many critics, she’s now reaching a point where she’s almost universally celebrated. Look no further than last month’s Oscar performance, when she blew away audiences across the world with a beautiful tribute to The Sound of Music. 

What happened here?

I think people are finally starting to see the real Lady Gaga minus the gimmicks, while appreciating her recent successes: She got engaged a few weeks ago. She’s set to star in the next season of American Horror Story. And she’s also coming off an acclaimed collaborative album with Tony Bennett, a crooner who basically looks like the lovable grandpa we all wish we had.

If that’s not the formula for Public Relations 101, I don’t know what is. Lady Gaga2

Taylor Swift has certainly taken note of Gaga’s resurgence. Two days ago, she tweeted, “Is it just me or is Lady Gaga,
like, fully LIVING right now?” to which Lady Gaga graciously replied by expressing her thanks.

What’s probably earned her the most approval, though, is her normal appearance lately. No costumes. No disguises. No eccentricity.

Just a young woman who can really sing.

Now I’m not saying that Lady Gaga, who is still only 28, needs to conform to appeal the masses. But she was really floating on the edge of lunacy at times, it appeared, and it’s nice to see her come back down a little closer to reality and show the world that there’s a real person there.

Or, maybe, the first several years of her career was just her poker face.

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