During her rise to pop music superstardom, Lady Gaga has captivated legions of fans across the globe with her Monster movement.
In HuffPost Black Voices latest episode of "The Tanning Effect," the multifaceted Grammy Award-winner elaborated on how her fans have influenced her feelings of social responsibility.
"The fans lead the music. And it just so happens that a lot of my fans have shared with me their stories," she said. "I traveled all over the world, and every night when the show was over, I would stop outside the arena and take pictures and sign autographs. And sometimes when it was really cold out, I would invite 30 fans on the bus and give them hot chocolate, give them Cheetos. Ask them if they were okay and they would say, 'My dad kicked me out because I'm gay'" (see video 2, 0:37).
She continued, "I would meet fans who were beat up outside of school or had to move high schools because they were teased for being fat. I can go on and on about the stories. But it wasn't until they shared their stories with me that I realized how like them I was, and I began to relive all of my struggles as a teenager."
Connecting with her countless fans has also made the singer-songwriter want to treat them like her family. "It's about society, but it's also about pledging a certain allegiance to your fan base," she added. "It's not like, 'Thanks for buying my record, f*ck you;' it's like, 'Thanks for buying my record -- and I will live and die and breath my work and my art to protect your dreams. Because you protect mine.'"
Gaga also opened up about what she listens to when she's not recording or touring, and the effect of hip-hop on her musical style.
Watch parts one and two of the interview above.
Also, check out an excerpt from Stoute's book below.
Excerpt from Chapter 10 "Tan Is The New Cool"
Very simply, authentically, Monster Beats by Dr. Dre arrived after two years in development with a statement from Dre that explained his passion, why this product filled a need--because "people aren't hearing all the music." Who has greater credibility on that point than Dre? No one to my knowledge. Dre's statement went on, "With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should, the way I do."
Oh, yeah. The truth sells. You might not be able to be a legendary music producer, but you could share the experience with professional-quality earphones for consumers that delivered sound as it was meant to be heard. Plus, they looked as cool as they fit. And when they hit the market, the sound experience more than exceeded expectations. By leveraging Interscope's stable of iconic artists, along with innovative partnerships with HP and Best Buy--not to mention superb marketing that included the likes of LeBron James in what became a must-see commercial with him sitting in his locker room with his Beats by Dr. Dre on and singing along (off-key) to Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"--a sea change in awareness about the importance of sound followed next. The reception was so robust that a short time later Beats by Dr. Dre put out headphones with a Lady Gaga signature and high-quality earbuds for Sean "Diddy" Combs. When AdAge named Beats by Dr. Dre one of the hottest brands of 2010, Jimmy Iovine reported 1.3 million pairs sold for the year. He also announced that he and Dre's next collaboration with Hewlett-Packard was HP Beats Audio inside PCs and that five million units were readying for release.
Miraculous as it must seem to develop a high-priced product in the midst of the worst recession in modern times and have it turn out to serve a cultural need such that multiple industries are supported and enriched by it, I can attest that it's not brain surgery. It's problem-solving.
Reprinted from "The Tanning of America" by Steve Stoute by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright 2011 by Steve Stoute.
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