I was in awe of the 2016 Grammy Awards, as I always am. My love for some of my favorite bands began with this awards ceremony, so, naturally, I take it very seriously. This year, I was not disappointed. Gwen Stefani’s live music video performance, Taylor Swift’s debut of a new haircut, Kendrick Lamar’s colorful social statement; the list goes on. As usual, Lady Gaga did not let me down either; however, many would disagree.
There was a great deal of conflict regarding Lady Gaga’s tribute to David Bowie at the Grammy Awards Ceremony. Many claimed she butchered David Bowie’s songs — not having the voice for his rock songs as a pop singer. Before we look at her performance, we must first analyze her relation to David Bowie in the past.
Lady Gaga was called out in 2011 for an alleged “gay slave auction” in Berlin. During this event, she wore David Bowie eye makeup, as seen in the photos that surfaced on Twitter. Although this event reflected badly on Gaga’s reputation, it did not reflect badly on her relation to David Bowie. In fact, shortly after his death, she tattooed his face on her abdomen out of respect for his impact on the music industry.
Lady Gaga had nothing to prove with her tribute to David Bowie. She has proven her raw talent with past performances such as her nod to "The Sound of Music" at the Oscars in 2015, as well as her rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl this year.
She is undoubtedly one of the best performers of her time, infusing creative choreography, social themes and intriguing imagery into her performances time after time. She matches Elton John and David Bowie in creativity and uniqueness, bringing something new to each of her performances. We would be lying if we said she didn’t surprise us every time she walked out on that stage.
Not only does she pave new paths with the product of her artistic pursuits, but she is also attempting to better the world through charity work. Her Born this Way Foundation is intended to raise awareness and prevent bullying as well as provide equal opportunities for the youth of the U.S. Additionally, she has donated a large sum of money to promote LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS awareness.
How does this relate to her performance at the Grammy Awards, you may ask: It proves that she is both a trailblazer in the music industry as well as in social reform.
In her David Bowie performance, she exceeded all expectations, both in presentation and in pure talent. Decked out in custom attire resembling the David Bowie ensembles of the past, both for the red carpet and for her performance, and flaunting red hair with intriguing makeup, Gaga did not disappoint. Her voice did not let us down either. It proved that her range is extensive and her voice unique.
There is no denying that Lady Gaga has the qualifications to represent David Bowie’s legacy, and I believe she did him proud. I doubt any other performer would have done him justice as she did.
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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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