Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lady Gaga debuted at #1 with “Born This Way”

Born This Way

Lady Gaga

Writer(s): Lady Gaga, Fernando Garibay, Jeppe Laursen, DJ White Shadow (see lyrics here)

Released: February 11, 2011

First Charted: February 13, 2011

Peak: 16 US, 11 BA, 14 DG, 11 RR, 22 AC, 7 A40, 3 UK, 17 CN, 11 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.94 UK, 10.45 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 380.65 video, 516.95 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Born This Way” was the lead single from Lady Gaga’s second studio album of the same name. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top in more than 25 countries. It set a Guinness World Record for fastest-selling single on iTunes with more than a million copies solid in its first five days. WK It also set a record for its first week airplay audience of 78.5 million. SF

Gaga called it “her freedom song,” explaining to Billboard that it harkened “back to the early ‘90s, when Madonna, En Vogue, Whitney Houston, and TLC were making very empowering music and the gay community.” WK The lyrics “talk about empowerment, while the chorus talks about making no apologies and accepting one as themselves.” WK

The Guardian’s Michael Cragg said “Born This Way” an “almost disco anthem” and that the music’s “campiness” made the lyrics sound less serious than they were. WK Artist Direct’s Rick Florino called it “an immediate pop classic.” WK Forbes’ Meghan Casserly referred to as “the next girl power song.” WK Digital Spy’s Nick Levine said it as a “life-affirming equality anthem, a straight-up club pumper and a flat-out fantastic pop song.” WK

The song did garner some criticism in the Asian and Hispanic communities for using terms deemed offensive and deragotary. SF Spin’s Kevin O’Donnell pointed out lyrical similarities to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and criticized her, saying “imagine what she’d come up with if she’d spent more than ten minutes writing.” WK

It was also pointed out that it had “similar chords, same uplifting, girl-power theme…[and] same tempo” WK as Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Gaga defended her song, saying “the only similarities are the chord progression. It’s the same one that’s been in disco music for the last 50 years.” SF The Daily Telegraph’s Neil McCormick said the reworking was “a bit too much Madonna for someone who is trying to establish her own identity as, er, new Madonna.” WK


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First posted 4/2/2021; last updated 7/24/2023.

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