It's not always easy being Lady Gaga—and in , it was Gaga, with a sparkling new Versace campaign and her upcoming ArtRave tour. Meet the Woman Who Vomited on Lady Gaga Mar 17, when, during a SXSW Lady Gaga performance of "Swine," she stuck her. Singer-songwriter Lady Gaga is pop's greatest provocateur; Tony Bennett is the last of the old-school crooners. PM BST 08 Sep Lady Gaga announces UK tour dates .. The duo are doing only a handful of interviews worldwide.
They have no idea what I put into this, they have no idea the work that I've put behind my performances and what I do.
In fact, people have no idea what it really took for me to get here. So it doesn't bother me, it's just an interesting observation of where we are as a society. People focus less on the music and focus more on how the music's doing; how it's faring from a numbers perspective, from a financial perspective.
If you think I give a damn about money then you don't know me as an artist at all. Written after she had to cancel her Born This Way Ball Tour at the beginning of the year, the result of a severe hip injury that required an operation and left her in a wheelchair, the song is about the need she has as a pop star to experience adulation from a crowd. Gaga says she would have tried to keep the hip operation a secret — to shield her fans once more — if she had managed to make it to the end of her tour, but it wasn't possible.
I know everyone was thinking I was trying to be a bit silly with my gold wheelchair but I was really trying to keep a bit of strength for my fans because it really upset them and scared them. Rather, she says, it is as universal as any love song.
I want you to wake up in the morning and say: Like Michael Jackson before her, it often felt like the Biggest Pop Star on Earth was creating music not for the everyday pop fan who might buy an album, but for the first 20 rows of dressed up, banner-waving, camped-out-since-4am apostles.
When you talk about your fans, who do you mean? I mean anyone that's watching. I made a choice to show people that," she says. That's sometimes more powerful than making a pop song and it just was at that time.
Even that, however, was overshadowed by Miley Cyrus and her semi-naked grinding of Robin Thicke's groin area. I do what I do and they do what they do. Isn't it nice that it all happened and that it's all been recorded and we can watch it all — it's not like the good things stay and everything else gets erased. In fact, she is open about the fact that things needed to change following Born This Way. But whence that passion? In a press statement released when the album was announced, Gaga was quoted as saying: They take the vibrato out so you sound like a robot.
A major artist of your widely reported control? Although it was still my songs, and I still had a lot to say about the production, the vocal was something that they really, really wanted to control. So my vocal presence has been kind of the smallest presence about me for a long time.
Lady Gaga on Tony Bennett: 'I've been controlled for years. He liberates me' - Telegraph
So everything else becomes the focal point. Sinatra, Ella, Nat King Cole — they all did that. He, then, is aligning her with those 20th-century vocal greats. Gentlemanly unimpressed as he is with social media stats and tabloid kerfuffles, he seems able to see past all the bells and whistles and wigs and steak frocks and focus on the singer within. But he just sees an artist. And he hears the voice. I think the way I am is actually more old school than people realise.
The duo are doing only a handful of interviews worldwide. But two days ago they undertook a nine-hour shoot with fashion photographer Steven Klein and, well, Bennett is both legend and old man, one with his own painting and concert schedule. Time with the pair of them, then, is at a premium. Before they go, I ask about Lush Life.
Lady Gaga on Tony Bennett: 'I've been controlled for years. He liberates me'
Among other setbacks, a hip injury forced her to cancel the end of her Born This Way tour, she split with her long-standing manager, and she admitted to heavy use of marijuana — seemingly it took 15 to 20 joints a day to cope with physical and mental distress. Mr Phillips, the jazz director at the Regis High School, gave that song to me and said: Singing that song with Tony, putting that down — gosh it was like therapy, you know?
But that was really a therapeutic moment for me: Has making Cheek to Cheek changed her as an artist and a person? He has made me so happy in the way that I really needed to feel. And when I get put in a box I get very like a wild animal.
And he let me be free.