“Weird Al” Yankovic has paid homage to some of the biggest names in the game, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Nirvana, R. Kelly and (when it was 1996 and he was considered a big deal) Coolio. While many of his parodies through the years have poked fun at celebrities in lighthearted ways, much of the songs have focused on silly things in pop culture and not the celeb themselves.
So when Al leaked his latest parody, of Lady Gaga’s chart-topping “Born This Way,” the tone was a bit more, well, scathing. Instead of making fun of silly things, like going to drive-throughs (R. Kelly) or being like a surgeon (Madge), he instead only talks about the star herself.
In a blog post, Yankovic wrote that he had reservations about recording the track, due to its feel-good message, but later decided that proceeds from the sale would go to the Human Rights Campaign, trying to find a balance between the two songs’ very different tones. Gaga was initially open to the idea, he wrote, asking to see what he had in mind. After hearing Al’s final version of the track, she declined to give him the rights.
On it, he sings, “I’m sure my critics will say/ It’s a grotesque display/ Well they can bite me, baby/ I perform this way/ I might be wearin’ Swiss cheese/ Or maybe covered in bees/ It doesn’t mean I’m crazy/ I perform this way.”
While Weird Al claimed that Gaga denied him the chance to release the track, sources close to Gaga told TMZ that the star had no idea the song was ready for her approval. (Reps for both stars had not responded to MTV News’ request for comment by press time.)
“There must of been a misunderstanding because [Gaga] is in no way trying to block the release of the parody,” TMZ’s source said. “She’s busy touring and hasn’t heard the song yet. Her manager hasn’t had chance to play it for her yet,” adding, “She’s a huge Weird Al fan.”