Lady Gaga held a ceremony in West Hollywood on Sunday to commemorate the tenth anniversary of “Born This Way,” at which Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath and Lady Gaga named it “Born This Way Day.” – via People Magazine
About the song Born This Way (from SongFacts.com) :
- Lady Gaga’s second album’s lead single and title track is a song about love and equality. With the help of Interscope producer/songwriter Fernando Garibay and Chicago producer and mixtape expert DJ White Shadow, Gaga wrote and co-produced the song.
“Gaga was listening to my mixtapes after someone she knew heard me DJ at a club in L.A.,” DJ White Shadow (real name Paul Blair) told Billboard magazine about how he came to work with the New York superstar. Gaga emailed me one day and asked whether I generated my own beats. I said sure and sent her some, and she contacted me again, this time over the phone, asking if I wanted to collaborate on any projects with her. “All right, I said.”
- “She made it,” Blair said of singing this underdog anthem with Gaga, according to Billboard magazine. She was the one who came up with the concept and wrote it down. She is a genius in every sense of the word. We recorded it all around the world, on the road, in whatever equipment we could find.”
- In 2011, Lady Gaga sang this song at the Grammy Awards. The Grammys don’t allow musicians to play new songs very often, but Gaga was the hottest thing on the scene at the time.
- Later in the show, her album The Fame Monster won the Best Pop Vocal Album award, and when she accepted it, she thanked Whitney Houston, saying that when she wrote “Born This Way,” she imagined Whitney Houston singing it “because I wasn’t secure enough in myself to imagine I was a superstar,” she said.
- In an interview with Vogue, Gaga talked about how she came up with the idea for this equality hymn. She explained, “I wrote [‘Born This Way’] in 10 f—-ing minutes.” “It’s also a truly magical message tune.” And as soon as I finished it, the floodgates opened, and the songs began to pour in. It was as though it had been conceived perfectly.”
The song “Born This Way” makes specific references to race and sexuality. Some Asian and Hispanic communities have criticized the song, stating that the songs’ use of unpleasant and disparaging terminology like “chola,” “Lebanese,” and “orient” to represent Latino and Asian communities is insulting and derogatory.
- Carl Bean’s 1977 gay disco ballad “I Was Born This Way” inspired the song’s title.
Both in subject matter and composition, this song and Madonna’s 1989 hit single “Express Yourself” have been compared. Gaga, though, asserted that the Queen of Pop has no problem with her song during an appearance with US talk show host Jay Leno. “There is no one who is a more adoring and loving Madonna fan than me,” she remarked. Personally and professionally, I am a tremendous fan. The good news is that I received an email from her people and her expressing their love and entire support for the single, and if the queen says it shall be, it shall be.”
- When the British magazine NME alleged that this song was a Madonna rip-off, Gaga grew visibly furious. She protested to the interviewer, “I am not stupid enough to put out an album and be that moronic.” “I’m a songwriter,” she says. I’ve composed a lot of music. Why would I believe I could get away with releasing a [copied] music and fool everyone? That’s inexcusable. What a ludicrous thing to even ask me about.”
- “If you place the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression,” a defensive Gaga said, comparing the two hits. It’s the same one that’s been around for 50 years in disco music. It doesn’t mean I’m a plagiarist because I’m the first f—-ing artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio; it just means I’m f—-ing smart.” Later, Gaga apologized for using the term “retarded.”
- So, how does Madonna feel about the songs’ similarities? “I thought, ‘What a beautiful way to remake my song,'” the Material Girl told Newsweek. I mean, I was able to recognize the chord progressions. “I found it… intriguing.”
- On February 26, 2011, the song debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the 1000th number-one song in the chart’s history, and its opening-week digital sales of 448,00 surpassed Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” to become the largest first-week digital sales total by a female artist.
- With the first-week audience of 78.5 million, the single shattered the overall airplay debut record, which had previously been established by Janet Jackson’s “All For You” in 2001.
Gaga performed the song live at the Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011, in a performance influenced by her performance art background. The singer arrived at the ceremony in a large egg carried by fashion models, then was ‘hatched’ on stage three hours later, signifying her rebirth,’ before performing the song. “The Grammy performance was about many things,” Gaga told Billboard magazine, “but ultimately the song ‘Born This Way’ is about birthing a new race, birthing a race within the race of already existent cultures of humanity – that bears no prejudice and no judgment.”
- In its first five days, Apple claimed to have sold over one million tracks. As a result, the song became the fastest-selling single in iTunes history, charting at #1 in 23 countries.
“It’s really literal,” Gaga said in an interview with Billboard magazine about the song. ‘I want to create my freedom record,’ I said. I want to compose my “this is who the f—k I am” anthem, but I don’t want it to be obscured by metaphors and literary wizardry. I want it to be an attack, an assault on the topic, because I believe that often, especially in today’s music, everything gets a little washy and the message gets lost in the lyrical play.
- The lyrics and melodies were very poignant and very gospel and very spiritual, and I said, ‘That’s the kind of record I need to make,’ harkening back to the early ’90s, when Madonna, En Vogue, Whitney Houston, and TLC were making very empowering music for women and the gay community and all kinds of disenfranchised communities.’ That’s the album that’s going to cause a stir in the music industry. It has nothing to do with the music. It has nothing to do with the production. It has to do with the song. ‘Born This Way’ is a song that anyone can sing. “Anyone could have done it.”
- This was the first song to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with the word “born” in the title. Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild,” which reached at #2 on the charts in 1968, was the previous best ‘born’ song.
- Fashion photographer Nick Knight collaborated with the Haus of Gaga creative team and choreographer Laurieann Gibson to create the sci-fi inspired film. It repeats the singer’s rebirth concept from previous performances of the song. Gaga told BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James, “It’s the story about the birth of a new race.” “A race that is devoid of prejudice, and whose major goal in life is to promote unity and cooperation.”
- She went on to say that the clip was inspired by some of the greatest artists of all time. “It’s extremely inspired by surrealist painters Salvador Dal and Francis Bacon, especially towards the beginning,” the pop diva added.
- Throughout the video, Gaga can be seen dancing and flirting with Rick Genest, commonly known as Zombie Boy, a Canadian model who works for Thierry Mugler in France. His body and face are covered in skeleton tattoos.
- In Malaysia, radio stations broadcast altered versions of this song that replace the lyrics “No matter gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the correct track, darling” with indecipherable garble. This is due to the fact that the government prohibits objectionable information, and the issue of homosexuality remains taboo in the Muslim-majority country.
- While on tour, Lady Gaga created a country version with new vocals, guitar, and harmonica. Gaga chose to formally release “Born This Way – Country Road Version” for sale after it became such a viral sensation after she published it through her Twitter page. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network charity.
Gaga was good friends with Alexander McQueen, the late British fashion designer who committed suicide by hanging. Gaga told Harper’s Bazaar magazine that she believes McQueen helped her write the song from beyond the dead, rather than penning it herself. “I planned the whole thing: right after he died, I composed ‘Born This Way,'” the New York hitmaker stated. I believe he’s up in heaven, marionette-ing away and plotting the whole thing.’
- In her Telephone video, Gaga previously paid respect to her late buddy by setting the date on the prison surveillance cameras (February 11, 2010) to the same day that McQueen’s body was discovered in his London home.
- The satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic made a satirical rendition of this song titled “Perform This Way” after going through some controversy to secure Lady Gaga’s agreement.
The song became the fastest single in history to sell one million copies around the world, doing it in just five days.
- Since Elton John’s 1997 version of “Candle in the Wind,” this was the first song to debut at #1 on the Hot 100 and stay there for more than a month.
- Born This Way sold 1,108,000 copies in its first week in the United States, making it the best-selling debut since 50 Cent’s In the first seven days of 2005, the Massacre killed 1,141,000 people.
- Born This Way opened at #1 in the United States and the United Kingdom, with first-week sales exceeding the rest of the Top 10 combined. It also charted at number one in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan in its debut week.
- “I started writing Born This Way in Manchester + Liverpool,” Gaga wrote on her Facebook page shortly after the album’s release. It had to be the first single, I knew. It still manages to catch me off guard.”
- Gaga is morphed into a motorcycle on the album cover. In an interview with London’s Metro newspaper, she explained why: “I’m half motorbike on the album cover because I now feel like I’m in a place where I can convey artistically that I’m eternally transforming and I’m now the vehicle,” she says.