For the next several months, we will have a lot of stuff on Lady Gaga, who is about to put out a new album. Like previous Gaga albums, she is going all out for this one. Promotion is fine. However, hiring a top trade magazine like Billboard to support your campaign isn’t. Unless you forgot, Billboard is the magazine that agreed to call Gaga “Woman of the Year” in 2015.
What did Gaga actually do to be given that title? Not much. She did have a critically acclaimed performance at the Oscars. She went on tour with Tony Bennett. She had a role in American Horror Story and literally bought herself a Golden Globe, despite mixed reviews (more on that in another post). This is all fine and dandy, but you don’t think of Lady Gaga when you think of 2015. PERHAPS THIS LETTER TO JANICE MIN that Prince posted and then deleted, SAYS IT ALL.
The rumor was that Lady Gaga agreed donate to one of Billboard‘s charities. But we hear that there was more involved, including an alleged promise by Interscope Records to give Billboard more access to its artists. However, the Gaga and Billboard love and pay fest has gone on FOR YEARS. Billboard constantly puts Gaga on their covers and their front-page internet headlines, and it’s not because everybody at the magazine loves Gaga. There’s more to it. Billboard has also been directly involved in manipulating their charts for Lady Gaga.
Have you ever heard of a song by Lady Gaga called “Dope”? Probably not!
A meeting took place with Team Gaga and Billboard in late October of 2013. It was pretty much a given that ARTPOP would not be a big hit. It has been suggested that editorial director Bill Werde (who was replaced with Janice Min two months later) was the one who managed the meeting and suggested that if Lady Gaga had two hits in the top ten (“Applause” was currently there), album sales would increase because fans, reporters, and industry insiders would believe that she’s doing well.
It’s also important to note that Werde has vehemently denied being involved in anything that would help Lady Gaga manipulate the charts. As a matter of fact, he chastised Lady Gaga for tweeting her fans a link that would loop her video several times in order to score more chart points when “Applause” was first released in August of 2013. Whether Werde knows of the meeting or not, it CERTAINLY TOOK PLACE.
Since Billboard counted video streaming into its chart method, there was a plan: Gaga was performing “Dope” at the YouTube Awards and they could use the performance of “Dope” as an advertisement for millions of other YouTube videos. For one week, the performance would play anytime somebody played another video. This was basically throwing a performance that people didn’t ask for in their faces. And you thought U2 were bad with their Apple deal? Well….VIOLA! THERE’S YOUR HIT, GAGA! ANOTHER ACHIEVEMENT YOU DIDN’T EARN.
Since Gaga actually performed at the YouTube awards, the advertisement didn’t cost much. The song barely sold on iTunes. IT WAS NEVER PLAYED ON RADIO STATIONS! However, it soon hit No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Lady Gaga, Interscope, and even Billboard bragged how Lady Gaga was such a big star because she had two songs in the top ten. The next week, without the support of the streaming scam, “Dope” fell out of the Hot 100. The fact that the charts were manipulated to give Lady Gaga a hit she never earned is a scandal, but the fact the people WHO PRODUCED THE CHARTS actually helped Gaga is an even bigger scam.
If you thought that was bad, wait until you see what Billboard has up their sleeves for Lady Gaga’s new single “Perfect Illusion.”
“There have been two meetings that have already taken place with Billboard. The plan is to make “Perfect Illusion” one of the biggest worldwide hits of all-time, even if it isn’t received well,” a source at Billboard tells us. The trade magazine has already prepared several articles in order to hype up the single.
One article quotes different radio station program directors saying how much they and their listeners love “Perfect Illusion.” THIS IS LONG BEFORE THE SINGLE HAS EVEN BEEN HEARD! Another article has “Perfect Illusion” making some type of Twitter history, even though it is completely made up. An article that Gaga’s PR team wrote in late July, which Billboard will present as their own article, is about the crazy reactions on Twitter.
In the meantime, Lady Gaga and her team have worked overtime in creating fake Twitter accounts and buying followers for each one in order to hype up “Perfect Illusion” and the new album. When it’s released, these accounts will do nothing but praise the song.
However, Billboard isn’t the only news outlet involved in Lady Gaga’s latest scam. We are told that a relatively new writer for the entertainment section of the Huffington Post and a young writer at Entertainment Weekly are either being paid cash under the table or are being promised “special gifts” in order to hype up Lady Gaga, her new single, and her new album. If you read these news outlets, it’s pretty easy to spot who these writers are.
Our source at Billboard doesn’t understand why a record company would waste so many resources on an artist who is far from her peak. “Why can’t they let the record speak for itself?” he asks us.
“BECAUSE LADY GAGA CAN’T LET A SONG SPEAK FOR ITSELF!” is our answer. Lady Gaga, more than any artist in music history, has relied on hype and gimmicks to sell records, even when they are really good. The big question this time: WILL THE RECORD INDUSTRY AND MEDIA LET HER GET AWAY WITH IT? More to come….very soon.
Update: Team Gaga has allegedly paid a substantial amount of money to a columnist at a website called “Showbiz411” as well as a writer at Buzzfeed. Keep the payola goin’!