Last week, there was a lot of controversy going on between Weird Al Yankovic and Lady Gaga. Weird Al recorded a parody of Gaga’s “Born This Way”, called “Perform This Way”. Apparently, she refused to grant permission for him to release the song. Several news sites and blogs (not this one) jumped all over the news.
If I found out this was true, I was ready to rip her like crazy this week. But as it turns out, Lady Gaga did not reject the song.
Here is an update from E! Online:
A few weeks ago, the Weird One decided, much to the Internet’s delight, to make Gaga his next parody subject. So he wrote up some lyrics, sent over a pitch and waited. And waited.
Incidentally, while Yankovic’s parodies are all protected under fair-use and no approval from the artists is necessary, he has always sought a blessing from the singers he spoofs.
He finally heard back from Team Gaga, informing him that the superstar would need to hear the tune before signing off. So he sent over the lyrics. And was informed that she would actually need to hear the finished product before offering her magnanimous blessing.
So he did. And sent it over. And was rejected.
Down but not out, Al decided to respect Gaga’s rejection, telling fans “nobody is more disappointed than I am”—and instead of including it on his album as his lead single, as he was hoping to do, he instead leaked it online and made it available for free download.
It was an immediate sensation and, as one might’ve been able to predict, eventually found its way to Lady Gaga’s ears.
For the first time.
Turns out, it was her manager who had been making the crazy demands under the guise of doing so on Gaga’s behalf, who, as it turns out, knew absolutely nothing of Weird Al’s requests.
“Apparently the fact that she didn’t approve it was news to Lady Gaga herself!” he blogged. “Gaga’s manager has now admitted that he never forwarded my parody to Gaga—she had no idea at all. Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that’s what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own.
“He’s sorry. And Gaga loves the song.”
As a result, the song will indeed be released as Yankovic’s first single and, more excitingly, will soon be filmed as his album’s debut music video. All proceeds from both will go to the Human Rights Campaign.
“I truly respect and admire Gaga as an artist and it pained me to think of her as having less than a great sense of humor,” he wrote. “Thank you, Gaga. And thanks to everybody who had my back.”
Here is Weird Al’s song:
Against my better judgment this time, here is Lady Gaga’s song in case you want to compare. But you may like this if you just listen to the song, and pretend that it is a late ’80s Madonna song.