The long-running feud between Madonna and Lady Gaga is heating up again, and it’s easy to imagine that Madonna is a tad annoyed that the younger pop diva is getting Oscar buzz and the kind of acclaim for her film work that long eluded the Material Girl.
Madonna showed some frustration with Lady Gaga’s constant “A Star is Born” media coverage by calling her out for repeating a certain statement in interviews, Page Six reported. Madonna claims she originated the statement.
A video montage has been circulating online that shows Lady Gaga, 32, repeating this phrase, or a variation thereof: “There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life.”
It turns out that Madonna, 60, said something similar back in the 1980s. According to Page Six, the “Respect Yourself” singer shared a video on her Instagram story of an interview she gave several decades ago, in which she said, “If there are 100 people in a room and 99 say they liked it, I only remember the one person who didn’t.”
Madonna also posted an image of herself with the caption “Don’t (expletive) with Me Monday,” Page Six reported.
Madonna’s post reignites a nearly decade-old, high-profile feud between the two singers that stems from the idea that Lady Gaga is trying to claim Madonna’s “crown” for a certain brand of pop diva stardom. Madonna and her fans have accused Lady Gaga of using some of her ideas and music in her work, notably in her 2011 hit “Born This Way.”
The women certainly share similarities. Both are ambitious, massively talented singers who rose to fame with songs and videos that feature elaborate personas and costuming, high production values and sometimes sexually charged, provocative imagery.
In her statement about having someone believe in her, Lady Gaga is no doubt referring to Bradley Cooper, her director and co-star for “A Star is Born.” She has credited Cooper with spotting her acting potential for “A Star is Born” — a drama about an aspiring young singer who is noticed by an older male rock star, who in turn falls in love with her and grooms her for stardom.
Of course, the sentiment is nice, whether it’s being said by Lady Gaga or by Madonna. It also must be hard for stars to do these media tours, where they have to answer the same questions over and over again.
But it’s highly likely that Lady Gaga will have to continue to answer these same questions over and over again as she does more press for “A Star is Born.” The film currently is in the running to score Academy Award nominations for best picture, best actor and, for Gaga, best actress, according to the Gold Derby site.
In fact, Gaga is the no. 1 contender to win the Academy Award, ahead of Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, Melissa McCarthy or Viola Davis, according to Gold Derby.
That kind of Oscar glory is something that eluded Madonna in her mixed efforts in the 1980s and 1990s to transform herself into a movie star and serious actress. She had some well-received turns in “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “A League of Their Own” and “Evita.” But Madonna’s movie star hopes were dashed by widely panned performances in embarrassing films like “Shanghai Surprise” and “Body of Evidence.”
Madonna’s loyal fans, of course, don’t see her as being jealous of Lady Gaga’s “A Star is Born” success. They think Gaga should stop copying Madonna.
For one fan, the way Lady Gaga has apparently used a Madonna quote for her interviews reminds her of the 1992 thriller “Single White Female,” about a woman who tries to steal her roommate’s identity.
“For all the 11-year-old Gaga fans, just google ‘Single White Female,’ then you’ll understand why Madonna is likely upset,” the fan wrote, according to Page Six.
But Gaga’s fans, the Little Monsters, came out in force to defend their diva, with one firing back at Madonna, “You’re a little old for games, you’re sentences are not catalogued, much less protected by copyright.”
When Gaga first burst onto the music scene with her debut album “The Fame,” she and Madonna seemed close, posing together at a 2009 Marc Jacobs fashion show, PopSugar.com reported. They also took part in a tongue-in-cheek skit on “Saturday Night Live” that same year when they pretended to have a cat fight.
But tensions between the two emerged after fans and critics pointed out that Lady Gaga’s 2011 single “Born This Way,” sounded a lot like Madonna’s 1989 hit “Express Yourself,” another self-love anthem, PopSugar.com said. Gaga denied ripping off Madonna’s work, saying in an interview that the only similarity was “the chord progression.”
Nearly a year later, Madonna finally broke her silence on the “Born This Way” controversy. In an interview with ABC News, Madonna called the song “reductive”and said, “I certainly think she references me a lot in her work. And sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well done.”
In another interview with a Brazilian TV show, Madonna quipped, “I’m a really big fan of (‘Born This Way’). I’m glad that I helped Gaga write it.” Madonna subsequently addressed the question of whether Lady Gaga was trying to steal her “crown” in a 2015 Rolling Stone cover story:
“We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other,” Madonna said. “And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I’m doing. … The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs. It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’”
Lady Gaga got in some digs at Madonna over the years. In 2013, Gaga said to Howard Stern, “To me, honestly, I think she’s more aggravated that I’m not upset that she doesn’t like me. Because I don’t care that she doesn’t like me. No, I don’t care.”
In a 2016 interview on Beats 1 Radio, Gaga praised Madonna as the “biggest pop star of all time,” but threw some shade by referring to herself as a superior musician. She said, “Madonna and I are very different … She’s a nice lady, and she’s had a fantastic huge career. Biggest pop star of all time. But I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours and hours a day in the studio. I’m a producer. I’m a writer.”
Then again, the women have made efforts to be cordial to each other. Madonna proclaimed her admiration for Gaga in 2012, saying “I love her,” according to the Daily Mail. Meanwhile, in her Netflix documentary, “Gaga: Five Foot,” the singer said of Madonna, “I still admire her, no matter what she might think of me.”