Her sixth album, Chromatica, will be out in three days. Let’s take a look back at how she got here!

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Lady Gaga at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Photo by the Glambot.

Lady Gaga first stepped onto the world stage over a decade ago, and it’s hard to fathom everything that she has accomplished since then. Though she struggled as a young musician in her early 20’s, the release of her first album skyrocketed her to superstardom in a fairly short amount of time. Her delight in the bizarre, coupled with an incredible intuition as a performer, made her the ultimate pop powerhouse.

With her early albums celebrating their 10th anniversaries, her debut as a lead actress in the Bradley Cooper-directed remake of A Star is Born, and her new Las Vegas residency, Gaga has had a busy couple of years. Now, as we prepare for the release of LG6 — Chromatica, expected May 29th — I wanted to revisit her catalog. …

It’s not that politics has no place in Christmas music. The problem is that the politics included in Christmas music is vague, bland — and sometimes, quite literally disastrous.

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

From the “Happy Holidays” greeting that infuriates the conservatives of today, all the way back to the story of a carpenter and his pregnant wife being refused a room at an inn, Christmas has sparked political debates between people for centuries. Christmas music in particular has been at the center of several of them. In the past few decades alone, there have been ongoing national conversations on whether or not carols should be allowed in schools and other public spaces, and about the ethics of performing a well-known Christmas standard with wildly outdated lyrics. …

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Ella Fitzgerald performing in Amsterdam in 1961. Photo by Ben van Meerendonk.

Typically, when a singer forgets the lyrics to a song during a live show, they try to downplay the mistake and continue on as best they can. When Ella Fitzgerald forgets the lyrics to a song during a live show, she turns it into a Grammy-winning album. But then again, Ella never was just typical.

Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife is easily one of the singer’s most well known albums, and arguably one of her best. It was recorded live in Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle in February of 1960, while she and her jazz combo were on tour in Europe.

At this point in her career, Ella was on fire. She had been performing for nearly three decades, and had improved immensely since her rocky beginning in the industry. She was no longer the shy teenager looking for her big break in a talent contest — being discovered by the Chick Webb orchestra had allowed her to polish her appearance and stage presence. By the time Ella in Berlin was recorded, she had been working long enough to reach the point of equilibrium that professional musicians strive for in their careers: experienced enough to be collected and confident in front of an audience, but not so overworked that exhaustion or age could take a toll on any musical capabilities. …


Lisa Utzig

Recent college grad. Sometimes an artist, sometimes a writer, always a musician. Hire me! utzig.lisa@gmail.com

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