By Danielle Genet
We all remember the infamous meat dress Lady Gaga showed off at the 2010 MTV VMAs (by now we also all know it was real…gross!). Though her multiple outfit changes throughout the evening may have obstructed your memory, if you rack your brains a little further you’ll remember Gaga was there for a very special reason – she received 13 MTV VMA nods at last year’s awards show and picked up a hefty 8 prizes, including Video of the Year for “Bad Romance.”
“Bad Romance” continued its critically acclaimed success by winning two Grammy Awards in February for Best Short Form Music Video and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, while her album The Fame Monster won for Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year. We could go on and on about Gaga’s nominations and awards but we’d rather devote our energy to understanding the discrepancy between “Bad Romance” and her earlier videos and Gaga’s more recent efforts.
“Bad Romance” has hit almost 400 million views online. We’re taking a look at Gaga’s other music videos and their current views (as of June 30) to try to grasp why they haven’t racked up as many hits on YouTube as “Bad Romance” despite being as successful, if not more so, on the singles charts.
Shockingly, “Born This Way,” a visually striking and creative video, has only 64 million hits. “Born This Way” was directed by prominent photographer Nick Knight and was the lead single off her newest album, also titled Born This Way. The song spent more weeks at No. 1 than any of her other songs (6 weeks), so it’s strange, given the amount of hype the video received, that it hasn’t produced the incredible numbers that Gaga’s clips have in the past.
“Judas,” her second BTW single, has only hit 70 million views, which is mind-boggling considering how much criticism and publicity the video provoked because of its religious themes. “The Edge of Glory,” Gaga’s most recent video, is also her least watched, with just under 12 million views to date. Of course, it is still pretty new to the fold, debuting just two weeks ago, but thanks to its homage to the 80s, the Clarence Clemons appearance and the fact that Gaga herself directed the video, conventional wisdom would dictate that the numbers should be higher at this point.
One point to make is Gaga releases her songs much earlier than her music videos, sometimes as much as a month in advance. We also may have to wait until the announcement of this year’s VMA nominations to see if Gaga’s view count gets a boost. Or, maybe Gaga has become so well known for being “shocking” that viewership is down because it’s just not as exciting or zeitgeisty anymore.
Can you help us figure out why Gaga’s recent videos are slow to rise to the top of the YouTube heap? How can she sell millions of albums and break records with her singles, but the thing that once got her the most notice (her videos) doesn’t seem to carry the weight it once did? Let us know what you think in the comments below!