Lady Gaga at President Biden’s inauguration in January.
Lady Gaga’s fans, known as Little Monsters, are monstrously loyal and dedicated — so much so that they can send an 8-year-old album soaring up the charts. And they have another musical goal in mind: To convince the musician to release a second volume of music from that album. Here’s a guide to what’s going on.
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Back in 2013, Lady Gaga released Artpop, which debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart, and which became the ninth global best-selling album of the year, selling 2.3 million copies. Critical reaction was mixed, but fans took it to their hearts.
And now, in April 2021, eight years after its release, the 2013 album is back climbing the charts. It’s buoyed by a fan petition calling for Lady Gaga to release more music she’d made for Artpop but never released. More than 45,000 people had signed the online petition as of early evening on April 14. Artpop Volume II? It could happen.
Going gaga for Lady Gaga
Who’s at the center of this? Lady Gaga. real name Stefani Germanotta, 35, is one of the world’s best-selling musical artists. She sang at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January, as well as at the 2017 Super Bowl. She also made headlines for a frightening reason in February when Ryan Fischer was shot in Los Angeles while walking two of Gaga’s dogs, who were stolen in the attack. Fischer is recovering, and the dogs were returned, but no one has yet been charged in the case.
Gaga’s talents have expanded to acting, too. She won a 2015 Golden Globe award for her role in American Horror Story: Hotel, and then moved on to star alongside Bradley Cooper in the remake of A Star is Born in 2018. The two partnered on the hit song Shallow, and that tune won an Academy Award, Golden Globe award, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA award and a Critics’ Choice Movie award.
Artpop: The original album
When Artpop came out back in 2013, Lady Gaga said she wanted to pull a “reverse Warhol.” Artist Andy Warhol took ordinary things like soup cans and painted them, becoming a leading figure in the pop art movement. Gaga said she wanted to “put art culture into pop music,” adding, “instead of putting pop onto the canvas, we wanted to put the art onto the soup can.”
Reviewers seemed unable to define the album. Rolling Stone critic Caryn Ganz wrote, “It’s a bizarre album of squelchy disco (plus a handful of forays into R&B) that aspires to link gallery culture and radio heaven, preferring concepts to choruses.” But Gaga’s fans didn’t care what reviewers thought.
Artpop II? Maybe!
The fans didn’t come up with the idea of an Artpop sequel completely on their own.
“Sort of thinking that Volume One should have all the commercial songs and save the experimental material for Volume Two,” Lady Gaga said back in 2012. There’s extra music aplenty, apparently: Lady Gaga told Rolling Stone at the time she had written 50 songs for the album.
Fans even know about some of them, including Brooklyn Nights, Tea, Princess Die and Onion Girl.
But years went by with no follow-up. Until this April Fool’s Day, when Artpop producer DJ White Shadow joked on Instagram about releasing Tea. Fans were not laughing, and an old candle may have been relit.
The petition’s creator wrote, “In remembrance of (the) album’s 10 year anniversary, let’s band together to show our support for ARTPOP and the unreleased volume by collecting as many signatures as we can in order to show the Haus of Gaga that we still care about the experimental album and that chart success does not matter.”
Lady Gaga is in Italy filming House of Gucci with Adam Driver, but she knows about the petition.
On April 12, the singer tweeted that she was touched her fans were sending the album up the charts once again.
“The petition to #buyARTPOPoniTunes for a volume II has inspired such a tremendous warmth in my heart. Making this album was like heart surgery, I was desperate, in pain, and poured my heart into electronic music that slammed harder than any drug I could find.”
The petition to #buyARTPOPoniTunes for a volume II has inspired such a tremendous warmth in my heart. Making this album was like heart surgery, I was desperate, in pain, and poured my heart into electronic music that slammed harder than any drug I could find.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)
April 13, 2021
She followed up with, “I fell apart after I released this album. Thank you for celebrating something that once felt like destruction. We always believed it was ahead of its time. Years later turns out, sometimes, artists know. And so do little monsters. Paws up.”
I fell apart after I released this album. Thank you for celebrating something that once felt like destruction. We always believed it was ahead of its time. Years later turns out, sometimes, artists know. And so do little monsters. Paws up ️️️
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)
April 13, 2021
DJ White Shadow posted on Instagram that the two will discuss future plans after she gets back to the U.S.
“You were heard,” his post reads in part. “I talked to LG last night and she shared my incredible joy. We made a plan to get together after Italy and discuss your wishes. No promises made, but kindness and love are strong as steel.”
Stay tuned — there may be more music to come.