Midler miffed at Gaga

Renowned Broadway star Bette Midler accuses Lady Gaga of stealing her thunder.

Rayan Khan July 19, 2011


Lady Gaga has made it pretty obvious that she isn’t shy of sensationalism. Shows like Fox’s “Glee” have dedicated entire episodes to her brand of attention-seeking ‘theatricality’ in music and performance. Her fans — these bands of purported nonconformists and self-proclaimed misfits dubbed “little monsters” by Gaga — worship her like an occult icon, a great subversive mother who stands by the ostracised and marginalised.

Backed by such avid support, she continues to shock the world with her outlandish garb and videos which scream and incite controversy. She’s worn a meat dress, gotten an album banned and has recently upset members of the Catholic community with the single “Judas” from her latest album, Born This Way. The video of “Judas” is a controversial re-envisioning of Jesus and his 12 disciples and depicts lots of leather and motorcycles, with Gaga herself playing a hyper-sexualised Mary Magdalene.

Even when she’s travelling, Gaga makes sure that she astounds, appalls and makes the gossip headlines for looking like an alien princess, navigating through airport security in outfits that may or may not be travel appropriate.

“I’m a fearless person. I think it creeps up on you. I don’t think it can be stopped. If my destiny is to lose my mind because of fame, then that’s my destiny. But my passion still means more than anything,” said the 25-year-old pop sensation.

Still, there are many who doubt the originality of the avant-garde musician’s ‘passion’ and content, claiming she’s just rehashing what Madonna aka Madge has already done. Born This Way is almost an audio-visual homage to Madge’s gimmickry.

But it’s not Madge who’s calling Gaga out on her penchant for copying or ‘borrowing’ from her predecessors. Last week, during the “Gaga Live” concert in Sydney’s Town Hall on July 13, Gaga performed in a wheelchair sporting a black mermaid outfit, as her mermaid alter-ego, Yuyi. In addition to offending disabled groups, Gaga has succeeded in irking the formidable Bette Midler (who also goes by her stage-name, The Divine Miss M). Midler is a renowned American singer, actor, comedian and Broadway-gem who boasts a very successful and Grammy-winning career of over 40 years.

She is now Twitter-trashing Gaga for copying her 80’s ‘Mermaid-in-a-wheelchair” act: “I’m not sure that Lady Gaga knows that I’ve performed my mermaid-in-a-wheelchair act for millions of people — and many of them are still alive,” tweeted The Divine Miss M. The “Wind Beneath My Wings” singer also addressed Lady Gaga on Twitter by remarking, “Dear Lady Gaga, if you think a mermaid-in-a-wheelchair seems familiar — it’s because it is! You can see it on YouTube, with me performing it.” Midler also tweeted that Lady Gaga could “keep the meat dress” but the mermaid was hers and hers alone.

Although Midler is a comedian and we expect nothing but good humour from her, The Huffington Post reports she’s not “just joking around when it comes to confronting Gaga about her stolen act”. A source close to Midler confirmed the real anger behind Midler’s razor-sharp tweets: “She’s fed up of these younger stars coming forward and stealing her act.” The source also commented on one of Midler’s biggest regrets: “To this day she regrets never saying anything in the early 80’s when Madonna replaced her as the ‘Queen of Vulgar’ without ever crediting her.”

After her performance had ended, Lady Gaga was bombarded with eggs while leaving a Sydney club. It wouldn’t come as a big surprise if hardcore Midler fans, if not Midler herself, hand-picked the eggs to crack on Gaga.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.


Unanimous person | 12 years ago | Reply

"outfits that may or may not be travel appropriate." HAHA what a lol

Scooter C | 12 years ago | Reply

I am not a fan of Lady Gaga, but HAD admired her gusto in the entertainment world. However! Stealing from a long time favorite (hardcore), Bette Midler, really turned me completely OFF. She revealed to be just another outrageous nut-job, a clown.. What else has Gaga stolen?

Gaga worded that she "didn't know about the Divine Miss M's classic mermaid act". Her credibility is out the window! Gaga doesn't compare to the "Divine Miss M", not even close!

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