Just a few years ago it would’ve been impossible for Lady Gaga to win top Grammys in the General Field. Risque divas always got snubbed. But then, amazingly, Amy Winehouse pulled off unconventional wins for best record and song (“Rehab”) in 2007, which may have signaled a sea change in voters’ attitudes.
When Madonna burts onto the music scene in 1983, she was completely snubbed by the Grammys. She was not nominated for Best New Artist. Neither of her first two discs — “Madonna” and “Like A Virgin” — merited any Grammy attention. She had to wait three years for her first Grammy nomination — Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Crazy For You” from the film “Vision Quest.”
Madonna’s seventh studio album — “Ray of Light” in 1998 — proved to be the lucky one with Grammy voters. For the first time she contended in the General Field with bids for Album of the Year and Record of the Year for the title track. She lost both those races. While she has yet to win any of the top three races, she has collected seven Grammys in various categories.
In her debut year of 2008, Lady Gaga was nominated for Best Dance Recording for “Just Dance.” Her first album — “The Fame” contended for five Grammys including Album, Record and Song of the Year. She won two Grammys in the Dance field.
While Lady Gaga had a good year in 2009, this year was even BIGGER for her. she had an even BIGGER year in 2010. In 2009 Lady Gaga was nominated for eight MTV Video Music Awards and won three. In 2010 she was nominated for 14 MTV VMAs and won eight.
Gaga has become the biggest artist of digital music and media in the 21st century. She is the most followed person on Twitter — over 6 million — the first living person to have more than 10 million fans on Facebook — more than President Obama. Lady Gaga is the first artist to have one billion views for her music videos (“Just Dance,” “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance”) on YouTube/Vevo. “Bad Romance” has become the most-watched video in YouTube history. She is also the first artist in download history to hit the four million sales mark for those same three songs. Her debut album “The Fame” is the best-selling digital album of all time (783,000 sold).
She ranked on Forbes Magazine’s “Top Earning Musicians of 2010” at No. 7 and at No. 4 on their “Celebrity 100: The World’s Most Powerful Celebrity” list. Gaga has appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair and on the cover of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People in 2010” with President Clinton and professional footballer Didier Drogba.
According the the Associated Press, “Lady Gaga’s exclusion from the best new artist category at this year’s Grammys (2009) has caused the Recording Academy to change eligibility requirements for the next ceremony. Although Lady Gaga was the most popular new artist of 2009, she was ineligible for a best new artist nomination. Her hit ‘Just Dance’ had been nominated in 2008, before she was a platinum-selling act, and previous Grammy nominees can’t be nominated for best new artist. The rule change allows previous Grammy nominees to be eligible, as long as the artist hasn’t released an entire album and doesn’t win.”
“The Fame Monster” is the only album in history to have seven Top 10 hits on the United World Chart, surpassing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which had six Top Ten hits. All of these accolades should make Lady Gaga too big to ignore at this year’s Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Photo: Lady Gaga (Interscope)