Photo: Annie Lennox (1984) and Lady Gaga (2011)
In what’s become something of a trend this year, the proverbial finger has once again been pointed at Lady Gaga over claims that her innovative and inspired VMA performance art was, well, neither, and instead a blatant rip-off of another artist’s shtick.
The victim of her supposed imitation this time around? Believe it or not, Madonna Bette Midler Annie Lennox.
Just as interesting, however, is her main accuser: none other than our own Kelly Osbourne.
The Fashion Policer was watching and live tweeting her way through the MTV show Sunday night, and, as one would, felt the need to comment on Lady Gaga’s gender-bending Jo Calderone act.
She started off complimentary enough, tweeting at the start of the show, “The reactions to @ladygaga is one of the best things I have ever seen in my life what a brave lady!”
However, later that night after the show, which Kelly called “the best VMAs I have seen in years”â€”and perhaps after a bit of Googlingâ€”she returned to the subject of Gaga’s performance.
“I love lady gaga but i wish she would start giving credit where credit is due! Exampleâ€¦” she tweeted, linking to a video of a nearly three-decade-old clip of Annie Lennox performing “Sweet Dreams”â€”and looking basically identical to Jo Calderone.
“1984 PEOPLE!” Osbourne added.
The criticism was matched equally with those agreeing with Kelly’s assessment and, of course, with Little Monster pouring out of the Twitter woodwork to slam Kelly for daring to float such an accusation against Mother Monster‘s alter ego.
Kelly, however, let the criticism roll off her backâ€”that is, after pointing out another of Gaga’s alleged influencersâ€¦Kelly herself!
When someone hit out at Osbourne for not giving her Ladyship the proper due for her own flirtation with lavender hair (a bandwagon, incidentally, that Katy Perry just jumped onboard), Kelly clarified exactly what the chain of events was on the follicular hue.
“Oh sweetie pie i did it firstâ€¦but thats ok I consider it a compliment it means we have similar taste :)”
Not on this topic, we’re guessing.
For her part, Gaga hasn’t yet commented on this latest round of identity theft accusations, but yesterday did send out a tweet thanking her Monsters “for supporting @jocalderone attending instead of myself. He came over last night with 2 moonmen, whiskey + we watched VMAs.”
Of course, being accused of, shall we say, liberally borrowing from stars of the past is nothing new in Gaga’s world.
Earlier this year, the newly-hatched superstar had egg all over her face over widespread claims that “Born This Way” was more or less Madonna’s “Express Yourself” for a new generation. Then came her mermaid (what? Like you don’t have one?) alter ego Yuki, who appeared onstage in a wheelchair (in fairness, how else was she supposed to move around onstage with that fin), and back came cries of rip-offs from Bette Midler, who, believe it or not, had gone the mermaid-in-a-wheelchair route years ago onstage.
And just this month, Gaga was sued by an unknown Chicago songwriter, who claims she used bits of their song in “Judas” without properly crediting (or, more to the point, paying).
But it’s not just a one-way street. The Little Monsters were up in arms last month, when Katy Perry posted a picture of herself in a mermaid outfit, planking, drawing cries that she had ripped off Gaga.
Eh, what goes around comes around?