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‘Billboard’ Payola: Magazine Earns Five Percent Of Lady Gaga ‘Joanne’ Album Sales

‘Billboard’ Payola: Magazine Earns Five Percent Of Lady Gaga ‘Joanne’ Album Sales

If anybody is questioning why Billboard is still publishing an average of 8 front-page Lady Gaga stories a day, we have an answer. Pop Music Scandal can reveal that in addition to the cash Lady Gaga has paid Billboard to promote her and help her manipulate chart positions, Gaga’s management has agreed to pay Billboard 5 percent of all the album’s earnings. Sort of shady for a magazine that is supposed to be the Bible of the music industry!

Bennett Raglin / Stringer

Joanne legitimately did well its first week considering there has been no hit single. But Joanne actually sold around 150,000 copies last week, not 170,000. Lady Gaga and her management purchased over 10,000 copies to give away, use as promotion, etc. There are 10,500 reported sales of Joanne that aren’t accounted for, indicating that Billboard and Soundscan agreed to cheat their numbers. There are also at least 8,000 copies of Joanne that were deeply discounted to $3.99. This should be an international scandal. But Lady Gaga is, for the most part, protected by the mainstream media, and a lot of that has to do with $$$ and her father’s mafia connections.

In addition to manipulating the album charts, Gaga has been manipulating the single charts as well. Last week, her new single “Million Reasons” hit No. 1, and Gaga bragged in all her interviews what a big hit it has been. There is just one problem; the song was sold for 69 cents — that’s half the price of a regular single. Pop Music Scandal can reveal that Interscope purchased more than 2,000 copies of the song as well to inflate interest.

Many people have asked us how Lady Gaga has this much money to spend if she’s not getting so much in returns. A lot of it has to do with her father, Joe Germonatta, who has several mafia connections. Somehow, Interscope is intertwined with the mafia connections. We will have more about this soon.

Lady Gaga Disgustingly EXPLOITS #BlackLivesMatter Despite Her Racist Past

Lady Gaga Disgustingly EXPLOITS #BlackLivesMatter Despite Her Racist Past

The main picture says it all. I don’t know the story behind the picture. Some say that Gaga was drunk when the picture was taken in 2011, but that DOESN’T EXCUSE IT! What is true is that with all the racial disharmony that has been going on in the world, the photo (which is legit — not photoshopped) has made waves over the past year, despite efforts by team Gaga to repress it.

Pop Music Scandal can confirm that Lady Gaga has been SCARED TO DEATH that the photo would go viral — so much, that she has paid a lot of money to keep sites such as TMZ from publishing the photo. She also decided to become a #BlackLivesMatter activist in order to deflate the criticism from her racist past.

Lady Gaga posed in blackface in 2010.
Lady Gaga posed in blackface in 2010.

Now that Joanne isn’t receiving the response it should, Gaga is using #BlackLivesMatter to shield herself from criticism of her album. This is how Gaga went after a New York Times critic who gave the album a mediocre review.

The song she is referring to not only has cheesy lyrics, but never actually mentions Trayvon Martin. Pop Music Scandal can reveal that “Angel Down” has only become a #BlackLivesMatter song at Interscope‘s request — they believe it will help sell more albums and that it will help manipulate critics into giving the album a good review. If critics don’t praise the album, they’ll be targeted as “racist” by Team Gaga. An Interscope employee tells us that Gaga will continue to target journalists — especially if they aren’t Black — to deflect any criticism from her album.

Meanwhile, the payola with Billboard continues as they have published more then 10 front-page articles on her in the past couple days. Billboard‘s review of Joanne, which hasn’t been published as of Thursday night, was written by Lady Gaga’s PR team and will be given a Billboard author’s credit. Pathetic.

‘Billboard’ Names Madonna Woman Of The Year — In 2016

‘Billboard’ Names Madonna Woman Of The Year — In 2016

I have to be careful on how I write this. Judging by emails, tweets, and comments, over half of Pop Music Scandal readers are Madonna fans. We don’t dislike Madonna AT ALL, but think her past five years — at least since the release of MDNA — have been, well, reductive.

When we reported that Madge was in talks to do a duet with Katy Perry, we noted that Madonna is far more talented than she is given credit for. We also said something controversial that upset her fans: Madonna needs to embrace her age, NOT RUN AWAY FROM IT. Yeah, we know — ageism this and ageism that. You can do better Madge.

Bennett Raglin / Stringer
No, Madge…just…NO!!

That said we weren’t entirely upset (nor entirely happy) when Billboard decided to name Madonna “Woman of the Year” in 2016. We can reveal that Madonna didn’t pay ONE CENT for this title, unlike some other artist. Her manager Guy Oseary has campaigned for this title since 2012, but it’s only this year that Billboard agreed.

Madonna is almost never given credit for her influence in music (when she used to make good records), and, especially, her influence in LGBT rights. Millennials don’t want to believe something existed unless there is an app for it on their iPhone, but there was a time, just twenty years ago, when the LGBT community was treated like trash…PURE TRASH!

Madonna risked her career to stand up for the gay community. No, she didn’t meet with any politicians, but most politicians couldn’t even say the word “gay” in the 1980’s or early 1990’s without suffering a backlash. Madonna suffered a backlash, but she also guaranteed she would have a dedicated following till the day she dies. So it’s great that Billboard is recognizing an older woman whose influence has spread far beyond music.

Is this what caused Elton John to call Madonna a "fairground stripper"?
Is this what caused Elton John to call Madonna a “fairground stripper”?

However, this is the year 2016…! Sorry Madonna stans, but can you name something she did this year that would qualify for “Woman of the Year”? Yeah, there was the Rebel Heart Tour, where she started shows two hours later than scheduled (some would argue that at least she performed despite her horrible family situation). There was that awful Prince tribute. There was that time she dressed up in the worst outfit ever and claimed it was for all for “women’s rights.” Yeah, there was that awesome performance of “Borderline” on the Tonight Show. But 2016 was NOT Madonna’s year.

Listen, Madonna stans — we are not saying that 2017 won’t be Madonna’s year. 2018 may even be a great year for her, just like 2005 and 1998 were. Billboard should change the name of the award to the “Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award” this year since that’s pretty much what they are giving Madonna the award for. But an award with the numbers “2016” should be given to Beyonce or Adele, two women who truly did rule 2016.

Main Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Lady Gaga Paid $5 Million For Super Bowl Gig And Even More To ‘Billboard’

Lady Gaga Paid $5 Million For Super Bowl Gig And Even More To ‘Billboard’

Read: Lady Gaga’s Unethical Payola Deal With Billboard

The corruption with Lady Gaga gets worse as the days go by. Pop Music Scandal has learned that despite denials from the NFL and Pepsi, the former pop superstar has actually paid her way into the Super Bowl. Despite denials from the NFL, Adele was the first choice. She wasn’t going to pay anything, and the NFL would have covered production costs.

Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears were also in contention for the gig. As a matter of fact, it was an almost done deal with Spears as of last month. And even though Spears is an icon, it’s a good thing the NFL didn’t go through with the deal after some of Britney’s most recent sub-par performances. But the real reason Britney’s deal fell though is because Gaga actually offered money for the gig. A LOT OF MONEY! Pop Music Scandal can reveal that Gaga paid $5 million up front. The NFL will also pay for all production costs. She will also give a very small percentage of money from ticket sales (a tour will be announced right after the performance) to the NFL. All in all, Lady Gaga could be paying more than $10 million to perform.

Lady Gaga pays the NFL and 'Billboard' millions of dollars in order to be relevant.
Lady Gaga pays the NFL and Billboard millions of dollars in order to be relevant.

Is this a smart deal for Lady Gaga? Perhaps. But it’s also unethical. NO ACT HAS EVER paid to be the Super Bowl Halftime performer. There were rumors that Katy Perry was asked to pay for the Super Bowl show a couple years back, but those rumors were completely blown out of proportion. In recent years, the NFL has asked acts to pay for some production costs which are higher than they usually pay. This is only the LATEST IN A SERIES of unethical activities from Lady Gaga.

Read: Shocking Interview With Former ‘Billboard’ Employee

If you think the money she is paying to the NFL is unethical, Pop Music Scandal is told that she has paid several million more to Billboard over the years. Pop Music Scandal was the first site to report that Lady Gaga and her team met with Billboard this summer to help Lady Gaga’s comeback. Since the release of “Perfect Illusion,” Billboard has published more than 30 front-page headlines about Lady Gaga — many which were written by her PR team and given credit to a Billboard author. If you don’t believe us, just do a Google search for “Billboard Lady Gaga.”

Lady Gaga has paid 'Billboard' for several front-page headline articles.
Lady Gaga has paid Billboard for several front-page headline articles.

Team Gaga has gone into overdrive this week after “Perfect Illusion” dropped from No. 15 to No. 42. This is a HORRIBLE FALL for a first single from a major artist. For any other artist, it would be a negative headline. Instead, Billboard produced several front-page headlines this week about Lady Gaga’s tattoos, Lady Gaga’s hair, Lady Gaga’s “successful” comeback, and even Lady Gaga’s tweets. We are told that Gaga’s team wanted Billboard to try and make “Perfect Illusion” a top 10 hit, but Billboard has already been in trouble for accepting cash in order to make “Dope” a top 10 hit in 2013 despite the fact that nobody ever heard of it.

Read: ‘Billboard’ Helps Lady Gaga Manipulate A No. 15 Position For ‘Perfect Illusion’

How can Lady Gaga top herself? We are told that several music critics have been paid cash to give glowing reviews for Joanne, her album that will be out on October 21. There was recently a “listening party” for certain critics who will write the very first reviews for Joanne. One critic is from Entertainment Weekly, but we have been told that Billboard (surprise, surprise) will give the album an especially good review. Will Gaga keep getting away with her shenanigans? Stay tuned!

How Jennifer Lopez Scammed The Music Industry

How Jennifer Lopez Scammed The Music Industry

Jennifer Lopez is an inspirational figure. Her rise to superstardom paved the way for other Latina women to become stars in their own right. She was (and still is) sexy, a great dancer, and a decent actress. But her music career is a scam that was paid for by Sony boss Tommy Mottola.

After Jennifer Lopez starred in the hit movie about Selena, Tommy Mottola of Sony Records had dreams of making her the first Latino pop megastar. JLo’s first single “If You Had My Love” was a genuine hit, but certainly didn’t deserve the No. 1 status it achieved. Radio stations were paid a lot of $$ to play the song at first. However, after a couple weeks, the song took off on its own. In order to guarantee the song hit No.1, Sony put it on sale for 99 cents and 49 cents in some places. Tommy Mottola made sure the single was put in front of music store cash registers as well.

As MTV revealed, radio programmers received airline trips to add “I’m Real” in July of 2001. The song went on to become JLo’s biggest hit to date. Future Lopez songs like “Play” and “Jenny from the Block” also relied on payola. Besides free plane trips, radio programmers and others received actual cash and sexual favors in order to try and make JLo hot. It worked for awhile. But after the payola scandal was exposed a couple years later, Jennifer Lopez was no longer hot property.

To Lopez’s credit, she reinvented herself as America’s sweetheart. Her hosting job on American Idol made her hot property again. She has released a couple of flop albums, but people have forgotten them due to Lopez’s extremely successful Las Vegas residency. But will anybody ever remember any of her “hits”?

Billboard Former Employee Interview Part 2: Billboard’s Unethical Relationships With Lady Gaga And Justin Bieber

Billboard Former Employee Interview Part 2: Billboard’s Unethical Relationships With Lady Gaga And Justin Bieber

Read Part 1 of out interview here about how Billboard helped” Michael Jackson.

Welcome to Part 2 of our interview with a former veteran employee of Billboard.

PMS: Describe Lady Gaga’s relationship with Billboard

Former Billboard Employee: The only way I can describe it is to say it is the most unethical thing I have ever seen. Lady Gaga, through her past two managers and Interscope, has funded millions of dollars into Billboard, sometimes indirectly. The magazine was  going down the drain financially, but Lady Gaga kept it afloat. Justin Bieber, through Scooter Braun, has helped as well.

PMS: Can you be more specific?

Former Billboard Employee: Well, the money didn’t start pouring in until around 2011. Bill Werde was the managing editor then, so I don’t understand why she had to pay the magazine so much money. He basically had a hard-on for Gaga. He was obsessed with her to the point his coworkers even started questioning his state of mind. Don’t get me wrong, Werde was (and probably still is) a wonderful guy. He just let his personal tastes in music get the best of him.

‘Billboard’ allowed Lady Gaga to chart with her 99 cent scam after allegedly being paid to do so.

Billboard was notified that the album Born This Way would be released for 99 cents, and that it would cause an uproar. However, Gaga’s management (which is different from her new management) paid the magazine a lot of money not to change Billboard‘s charting methods. I’m not sure what the amount was. It was also agreed that Bill Werde would write an article and appear on different news shows to defend Lady Gaga’s 99 cent deal, which everybody else thought was desperate. However, there was a huge backlash among Billboard employees. One outspoken critic was chart co-manager Keith Caulfield (whom I am surprised is still at the magazine since he is one of the only ones there with ethics). Eventually, Billboard had to cave in and change their charts to not allow an album to chart if it costs less than $3.49. It pissed off Lady Gaga. And Bill Werde was pissed that his decision was overridden. I’m not sure if the money that Gaga paid for her chart position was returned.

PMS: There was a lot of controversy over Bill Werde, and there was a famous internet troll around the time that called out his firing right before it happened.

Former Billboard Employee: Angela Chang!

PMS: Was she just a troll, or did she have some true inside information?

Former Billboard Employee: She, he, or it….was both. This Chang person rocked the industry and Billboard so much that it forced Bill Werde to make calls everywhere, get her fired, and then attempt to defend himself. He says he wasn’t fired, but just moved on to another position. However, he took the fall when it was discovered that Billboard was manipulating their charts in favor of Lady Gaga. Werde was in several meetings with Lady Gaga, Interscope, etc. and agreed to let all streams of her song “Dope” count towards the charts. However, there was one main problem: The video (and I’m not sure how much Interscope paid for it) for Lady Gaga’s performance of “Dope” was put in front of EVERY SINGLE YouTube video for the whole week. If somebody didn’t click “Skip” in five seconds, which most people didn’t, it counted towards the charts.

PMS: And the song hit the top 10 in Billboard the next week, even though it was far from a hit.

Former Billboard Employee: Exactly! That was the plan all along. To give an illusion that Gaga was so hot that she would have two hits in the top ten. I believe this is what got Werde fired, although Janice Min, who has taken over for Werde, isn’t much better when it comes to Billboard helping artists like Lady Gaga manipulate the charts.

Janice Min allowed Lady Gaga to pay for the "Billboard Woman of the Year" Award in 2015.
Janice Min allegedly allowed Lady Gaga to pay for the “Billboard Woman of the Year” Award in 2015.

PMS: Speaking of Janice Min…

Former Billboard Employee: She is an absolute disaster. The most dishonest and corrupt woman that has ever been born into this society. She actually agreed to give an award to Lady Gaga for “Woman of the Year” last year as long as Gaga funded money into one of Billboard’s charities, which I believe deals with educating lower-income students with music classes. You read the letter Prince posted, right?

One employee quit after learning of Billboard's scam with Lady Gaga
One employee quit after learning of Billboard’s scam with Lady Gaga

PMS: How did Prince get a hold of the letter?

Former Billboard Employee: I was gone by the time the controversy came to light. My understanding is that an employee, who is no longer an employee, sent it to Prince and other music industry insiders. Janice Min fired at least three employees who questioned the ethics of calling Lady Gaga the “Woman of the Year” when she didn’t even have one hit in 2015 and was being bashed by critics for her role in American Horror Story.

PMS: Wow! You mentioned Justin Bieber earlier…

Former Billboard Employee: Yes, Billboard was part of Justin Bieber’s comeback campaign. Thousands of dollars were poured in by Justin, his manager Scooter Braun, and Universal for a comeback campaign, which has worked. His management had literally written over 30 articles for Billboard to publish last year, which they did under certain authors. Billboard also held several meetings with Justin’s team to suggest how the highest chart numbers possible can be achieved. You would not believe it!

PMS: We believe it!

What do you think of this former Billboard employee’s revelations? Tell us in the comments section.

Read Part 1 of out interview here about how Billboard helped” Michael Jackson.

‘Billboard’ Helps Lady Gaga Manipulate A No. 15 Position For ‘Perfect Illusion’

‘Billboard’ Helps Lady Gaga Manipulate A No. 15 Position For ‘Perfect Illusion’

The Lady Gaga and Billboard scam machine keep going. The magazine that was paid money to call Lady Gaga “Woman of the Year” in 2015 has now published more than ten front-page stories about the former superstar and the alleged “success” of her single “Perfect Illusion.”

Yesterday, Billboard wrote a front-page story on how “Perfect Illusion” debuted at No. 15, although most other sources consider that a huge disappointment since the single was the most hyped-up one of the year. But there’s even more of an illusion here; the song shouldn’t have even debuted in the top 20.

As we have previously reported, there have been several meetings with Billboard that involved Interscope, Lady Gaga, and her manager Bobby Campbell. Why would Billboard hold meetings with individual artists about their chart positions? $$$$$. Lady Gaga and her team have paid Billboard so much money that they PRACTICALLY OWN the magazine.

The first meetings centered around making “Perfect Illusion” a huge smash. However, now that the song has flopped, the latest meeting centered around making “Perfect Illusion” seem like not quite the disappointment people are making it to be.

Billboard is highly aware of the manipulation software passed around to thousands of people in order to increase streams of the song. However, they are allowing thousands of fake streams of the song to count. In fact, even though Billboard didn’t suggest the particular software to team Gaga, they pointed out that there is software out there that can manipulate ip addresses and streams.

Lady Gaga and her team created several fake Twitter accounts to promote this chart manipulation software.
Lady Gaga and her team created several fake Twitter accounts to promote this chart manipulation software.

Billboard is also aware that several fans and Interscope employees gifted “Perfect Illusion” to  thousands of people in order to increase its chart position. The first week sales of the song should not be anything past 90,000. Of course, other artists do this too, but not to the extent Lady Gaga does.

The video for “Perfect Illusion” debuts tonight. We are told that a front-page story regarding the video and how wonderful it is was already written and given to Billboard at least two weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how Billboard keeps dealing with the fact that nobody is interested in the song.

An Interview With Former Veteran ‘Billboard’ Employee

An Interview With Former Veteran ‘Billboard’ Employee

As Pop Music Scandal has revealed Billboard’s unethical alliance with Lady Gaga these past couple weeks, a veteran employee of the magazine got in touch with us. We met for an hour conversation this afternoon, and the interview is very telling. Of course, for legal reasons, we can’t give his real name, but his information is interesting.

PMS: What made you get in touch with us and write such a passionate letter?

Former Billboard Employee: I worked with Billboard for several years. I thought what you wrote might have been over-exaggerated, but I just knew there was also some truth to it and wanted to tell you the real story.

PMS: What did we over-exaggerate?

Former Billboard Employee: I don’t think artists ever meet with Billboard and try and pay them cash to cheat. That is a ridiculous assumption (no offense). But you’re not far off. Billboard does do “favors” for certain artists or their record companies, but they don’t add unearned points to artists’ songs so they could chart better.

PMS: Be More Specific

Former Billboard Employee: In 1995, around the time Billboard started going downhill, Tommy Mottolla met with the magazine after Michael Jackson’s HIStory wasn’t selling as well as expected. Motolla wanted to know if Billboard had any “suggestions.”

I was at the meeting when they informed Motolla that since single sales were big, Sony could severely reduce the price of the single.  Thus, we have the beginning of the end of the relevance of Billboard‘s charts. “You Are Not Alone” was released at 99 cents (49 cents in come places) and debuted at No. 1 — thus giving the illusion that people still wanted to hear Michael Jackson. Then, Sony started doing this with a lot of artists. Soon, other labels followed.

PMS: Didn’t anybody at Billboard say something, like how wrong it was. 

Former Billboard Employee: If they did say something, they were fired. But, it gets worse. Later in the year, there was a meeting with Billboard, Sony, and, I think, Soundscan. Michael’s album had shipped more than 2.5 million copies though it didn’t sell nearly as much. Sony wanted to make it seem like a bigger hit because everybody was calling it a flop, though it certainly wasn’t a flop worldwide.


It was Billboard that suggested a double album (if the recordings go over a certain time — I forgot what that was) should get double certification. I thought it was an okay idea, but the only reason the idea even came up was to appease Sony, not because Billboard thought it was really the right thing to do. Suddenly, overnight, Michael Jackson’s album went from being certified 2X platinum to 5X.

PMS: But Billboard did change their charts in 1998 to reflect airplay more than sales, correct?

Former Billboard Employee: That was three years too late. And the only reason they did it was because a lot of people were criticizing the charts. Billboard didn’t care if the industry was cheating, After all, Billboard was now PART OF the industry, but pretending to be a magazine that reported on it.

PMS: You said in your letter that Billboard has special “relationships” with other artists besides Lady Gaga. 

Former Billboard Employee: Yes, Billboard tends to develop special relationships and act as a publicist for pop divas, given that over 80 percent of the employees are gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that. [He laughs at the Seinfeld reference from the 1980s.]

PMS: Can you give any names?

Former Billboard Employee: Well, at beginning of 2015, when reports that pre-orders for Madonna’s Rebel Heart album were crashing — which I thought was ridiculous because pre-orders don’t stay on top for a long time — her management contacted Billboard to try and fix up the PR damage. Billboard wrote a front-page article [it is posted here] about how pre-orders for the album were estimated at between 50,000 and 60,000 copies — that number was WAY exaggerated. If the album sold that much in pre-orders, there is no way it only debuted with sales slightly more than 100,00 copies when it came out.

Janet Jackson is another recent example. Her team had several meetings with Billboard. I don’t know what the contents of those meetings were about. I do know that Janet was gaming the system by giving away free copies of her album at her concerts to people who bought other things. Janet’s team claimed the album sales were part of a bundle, but many argued if those getting their free copies were aware of any bundle. Then, there was something that had to do with albums given away with Uber rides, but I don’t remember exactly what it was.

PMS: I remember the Janet Jackson thing and thought that Billboard needed to take a stand on that. 

Former Billboard Employee: Well, of course. And other employees were pissed as hell. But if they said anything, they were suddenly “let go.” It only got worse when Janice Min took over.

Stay tuned to Part 2 of Pop Music Scandal‘s interview, which deals more specifically with the truth behind Bill Werde’s exit, Janice Min’s takeover, and more specifics about Billboard‘s relationship with Lady Gaga. 

Lady Gaga: Several Fake Twitter Accounts Created With PURCHASED FAKE Followers To Promote “Perfect Illusion”

Lady Gaga: Several Fake Twitter Accounts Created With PURCHASED FAKE Followers To Promote “Perfect Illusion”

Trust us, this will NOT be a Lady Gaga site. But what is going on right now should be the BIGGEST MUSIC INDUSTRY SCANDAL of the decade. But because ethics in the media and music industry are so low, it may go unnoticed.

This site first reported that Lady Gaga and Billboard, who have had a PAYOLA deal for years, are “working together” to make “Perfect Illusion” one of the biggest hits of the year. Starting tomorrow, you will see non-stop hype from Billboard, who announced that “Perfect Illusion” was a No. 1 song on some chart even though it had never been released.

Starting tomorrow, you will see several articles on how the fans love it, how it is breaking records, and interviews with radio programmers on how much they and their listeners love the song. These articles have been PURCHASED and WRITTEN ahead of time. Besides Billboard, we hear that Gaga has teamed up with a site called Showbiz411 in order to hype the song.

Remember when we said that several Twitter accounts would be created with SEVERAL THOUSAND paid followers. Well, if you didn’t believe us…

Hmm..lets look at “Eric’s” tweet from yesterday.

Let’s take a look at Eric’s followers.

A majority of them, despite the fact that the account was created a week ago, are rather suspicious. Click on them and you’ll know what we mean. It turns out they were ALL PURCHASED. Many of them are the same EXACT followers of this recent account, which just happens to tweet the same exact things.

Hmm…tweeting links to manipulate page views. It certainly sounds like something Lady Gaga would be involved with. Let’s look at “Jade’s” tweet from yesterday.

And, LOOK AT THE FOLLOWERS. Lil Monster Julio has almost the same EXACT TWEETS, but he didn’t tweet illegal software to manipulate the charts like the other accounts did. You would think people would be able to come up with better and more creative names! There are a lot more of these types of accounts, but we’re too tired to search for and list all of them.

So, despite the fact that Lady Gaga’s fans have been sending us pictures of BEHEADINGS, DEATH THREATS, etc., we are not budging. Despite the fact that Billboard‘s legal team has sent us a CEASE AND DESIST LETTER, we’re not ceasing anything. Both Billboard and Lady Gaga are the most insulting things to ever happen to the music industry, and we will risk everything to bring you the truth.

Lady Gaga And Billboard: A Match Made In Unethical Payola Heaven

Lady Gaga And Billboard: A Match Made In Unethical Payola Heaven

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.

One employee quit after learning of Billboard's scam with Lady Gaga
One Billboard employee quit after learning of Lady Gaga’s scam to be called “Woman of the Year.”

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.

Lady Gaga 'Billboard'
‘Billboard’ manipulated their ethics and charts in order to try and make ‘ARTPOP’ a hit.

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.”

Lady Gaga and Billboard are currently, um, "working together" to make "Perfect Illusion" a huge hit. [Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
Lady Gaga and ‘Billboard’ are currently, um, “working together” to make “Perfect Illusion” a huge hit. [Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
“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’!