While rehearsing for her upcoming MDNA world tour, which kicks off Thursday in Tel Aviv, Madonna, 53, was singing her 1989 chart-topping hit "Express Yourself" and, part way through the tune, transitioned to Gaga's "Born This Way" before switching back to her own song. While she didn't comment about her musical mash up, letting her artistic interpretation do the talking, a feud has long been brewing between the two iconic performers stemming from the comparisons of the two songs.
When Lady Gaga, 26, released "Born This Way" in February 2011, the song was immediately compared to Madonna's 1989 hit. When NME suggested that Gaga intentionally copied the Madonna song, she strongly denied it. "I swear to you. I am not stupid enough to put out a record and be that moronic," she told the British music magazine. "I'm a songwriter. I've written loads of music. Why would I try to put out a song and think I'm getting one over on everybody? That's retarded. What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about." She said that if you put the songs side by side, the only similarities are in the chord progression. "It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first f--king artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means that I'm f--king smart. Sorry." Lady Gaga later appeared on "The Tonight Show" and said that she received an email from Madonna's team "sending me their love and complete support," she told Jay Leno. "If the queen says it shall be, then it shall be."
But if Madonna supports Gaga, she has a funny way of showing it. Earlier this year, she addressed the similarities between the songs during an interview with ABC News. "When I heard it on the radio, I said that sounds very familiar," noted Madonna. "It feels reductive. I thought, 'This is a wonderful way to redo my song.' I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was ... interesting."
Talk of a feud between the two talented acts started even before the copycat allegations surfaced. Lady Gaga, who has said Madonna is one of her all-time favorite artists, has been called a younger version of the Material Girl. Not only does their music fall into the same genre, but they're both known for their elaborate stage shows and are experts at getting noticed during appearances. In 2010, the duo even had fun with the comparisons, teaming up for a skit on "Saturday Night Live" during which they had a catfight. It seemed to be all in good fun back then. Now, perhaps not so much.
Whose side are you on? Declare yourself "Team Madonna" or "Team Gaga" below.
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