Monday, December 8, 2014

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro Quick Review

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro: Portable theatre experience -

An Android tablet with a large 13-inch display is unusual enough. But Lenovo goes even further by building a projector into its new Yoga slate.

This large tablet packs an 854 x 480-pixel pico projector. It can project a 50-inch image onto a screen 2m away. But at 50 lumens, it is not as bright as a full-sized projector.

Yoga Family

With its "Home Theater Anywhere" tagline, Lenovo wants consumers to see the Yoga as an entertainment device. Reinforcing this argument are the JBL stereo speakers and a subwoofer, which sound good for a tablet.

This tablet holds much promise as a business companion due to the projector. The only stumbling block is that it runs Android instead of Windows. While you can still open and edit PowerPoint slides on Android, it is not as versatile as Windows for work.

The design is largely similar to previous Yoga slates, though with a 13-inch screen, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is the largest one yet. Its cylindrical spine holds a beefy 9,600mAh battery and the pico projector.

The integrated kickstand pops out when you press a button at the back. This stand now has a hole in the middle, so you can hang the tablet on a hook. Choose a sturdy hook - the Yoga tablet weighs a hefty 950g.

13-inch Yoga

Its 2,560 x 1,440-pixel screen looks lovely. Colours seem to pop and text is sharp. It is probably the tablet's best feature.

Lenovo has heavily skinned the default Android 4.4 system with an interface reminiscent of Apple's iOS. For instance: the Gallery icon is a doppleganger of the Photos app in iOS 8. The Yoga's default starry sky wallpaper also gave me an iOS flashback.

Unlike stock Android, you swipe from the bottom to bring up the settings. The icons remind me of the ones on iOS. But the interface looks polished and feels responsive.

Like Samsung, Lenovo has created its own multi-window feature to take advantage of the Yoga's expansive 13-inch screen. Up to three apps can run at the same time, each in its own floating and resizeable window.

Built-in Projector

Touch the multi-window icon on the lower-left corner of the interface to bring up a list of compatible apps. Currently, there are only six apps, including e-mail, video player and the Chrome browser. Overall, this feature feels clunky compared with Samsung's implementation on the Galaxy Note devices.

Using the projector to play a video, the Yoga lasted 6hr 35min. In our usual battery test, the Yoga clocked 8hr 11min.

With a $1,199 price tag for the LTE version, Lenovo should have included more than the measly 32GB of internal storage.

Lenovo's latest tablet is big and pricey. The screen is nice and the projector works surprisingly well. A Windows 8.1 option would be good.

Background story


Price: SGD $1,199

Processor: Intel Atom Z3745 (1.86GHz)


Display: 13.3 inches, 2,560 x 1,440 pixels

Camera: 8 megapixels (rear), 1.6 megapixels (front)

Storage: 32GB, microSD expandability up to 64GB

Battery: 9,600mAh


Features: 5/5

Design: 4/5

Performance: 4/5

Value for money: 3/5

Battery life: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

source :

Thursday, June 19, 2014

LG G3 Quick Review

LG G3 review

LG G3 Quick Review

LG G3 - The Best Android smartphone in the market

In crafting a new smartphone, the trick is not just to do it better than everyone else, but to do it better where it actually counts.

LG seems to have almost perfected it with its new G3 flagship.

There are no redundant features such as biometric sensors (Apple iPhone 5s), heart-rate monitors (Samsung Galaxy S5) or ultra-pixel cameras (HTC One), backed by some 64-bit architecture or octa-core extravagance.

Instead, users get improvements that most will appreciate and understand, including a Quad High Definition (QHD) screen displaying super sharp 2,560 x 1,440 pixels that also marks a first appearance on a globally available smartphone, a Laser Auto Focus that aids photo taking and other minor upgrades that show that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

The bright QHD screen instantly stands out. This provides more details in the image. The question is whether the human eye can appreciate such a high level of sharpness on a 5.5-inch display?

Probably not. This screen is likely to be even sharper than your PC or TV at home, but on such a small screen, any improvement in image quality is unlikely to be discernible.

Where the difference does matter is in reading text and this is important as your eyes are now staring at the phone screen for longer stretches. Sharper text puts less strain on your eyes. Being able to read without interference from a grainy black background does matter.

The same goes for video. A screen that supports such high-quality video provides a better viewing experience overall.

Users will definitely notice the Auto Laser Focus on the camera.

Autofocus has been a boon to shutterbugs, but the experience, especially on smartphones, is mixed.

Samsung is among the companies that use phase detection focus, which speeds up focusing time.

In LG's case, the laser bounces infrared pulses between the lens and the subject, and it is all done in 0.276 seconds, so LG says. The G3 boasts a one-touch shutter - tap an object on the screen and the phone focuses and snaps the picture.

This tap-and-snap option is also available on other smartphones, but LG's implementation is one of the most dynamic that I have used.

Many phone cams fail in low-light conditions because the autofocus has difficulty in discerning between individuals and the stranger moving behind them, which results in blurry photos.

The laser solves this problem by using infrared signals to determine focus depth, resulting in low-light images that are clearer and sharper.

LG has taken pains to improve this, so in low light, it fares better than the Samsung Galaxy S5. It is also much faster than the overall speed offered by the Sony Xperia Z2.

On well-lit shots, LG puts more importance on details and reduces emphasis on the colours.

Overall, it makes for an impressive 16-megapixel camera and the G3 possibly has the best camera of smartphones in the market today.

Design-wise, LG has managed to fit a 5.5-inch screen into a smaller form factor, with a thin bezel and a curved back that allows you to hold this relatively large phone with ease.

Though its removable rear panel is touted as having a "metallic skin", the rear panel is actually 80 per cent plastic and 20 per cent metal, putting the G3 somewhere between the metal HTC One (M8) and plastic Samsung Galaxy S5.

I did not try to snap the panel in half to test its durability, but I did feel that its use of plastic diminished its overall stature. The good news is that the ridged rear panel is not a magnet for fingerprints and the material did not heat up much despite prolonged use.

In terms of an interface, LG has taken the opposite approach to its competitors by placing Android front and centre, instead of insisting on putting its own resource-draining stamp on the operating system.

Such features as Knock On and Knock Code let users wake up the device with a tap on the screen. This is hardly bloatware. Content Lock stores files on the device behind a password. Careless users will appreciate the Kill Switch, which allows them to disable the device remotely if it has been stolen.

After several experiences with LG phones, the positioning of the power and the volume buttons at the back instead of the side edge now feels "normal" and makes the controls easier to access.

Despite the use of a leading processor, benchmark tests of 22,945 on Quadrant Standard and 31,528 on AnTuTu place the G3 as slightly slower than the leading competitors, even though I tested the 32GB version, which has 3GB of RAM.

To counter the excessive drain on the battery, LG has tweaked the system resources to make the most of it and this is where the battery life test was inconclusive.

Our test loops a 720p video on full brightness, but the G3 automatically dims the screen in video playback, so the almost nine hours of battery life is not reflective of actual use. Using the VLC player, which did not dim the brightness, the battery clocked less than four hours, which is below average battery performance.

- See more at:

LG G3 review

Hands on: LG G3 review

LG G3 review

LG G3 review

LG G3 review

LG G3 review

LG G3 review

LG G3 review

Monday, June 9, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5 Quick Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 Quick Review

Samsung Galaxy S5: Most power-packed Android device right now
By Sherwin Loh

A Samsung smartphone launch tends to be more exciting than launches of other brands.

On one hand, I know that the company will stuff loads of features into every dTECH SPECSevice, though not all of them may work perfectly and some are not even necessary. A few, like the motion and gesture features, have later been adopted by other brands.

On the other hand, I want to be there when it finally announces that it is junking plastic for more premium materials in its phones.

The latest, the Galaxy S5, still uses a plastic shell, but the added features are finally droolworthy enough to make me overlook the plastic.

It has stuck with the curved corners and the single front button design that is a hallmark of all its flagship Galaxy devices.

While many brands choose to seal their smartphones, making it hard to change your battery, both Samsung and LG have stuck with removable back covers.

On a recent trip to South Korea, I noticed that South Koreans prefer this to using external battery packs, so perhaps this design is more cultural than technological.

Samsung still uses TouchWiz, but it has made changes to this interface so that its presence is more subtle. For instance, its new customisable settings menu lets users create a list of favourites to appear on a drop-down menu, rather than forcing them to comb through the swelling list of features that Google and Samsung have shoehorned into the Android operating system.

Fast to focus

The biggest change is in the camera. The most obvious of the several remarkable changes is in the fast autofocus, which makes it less likely that you will lose any precious moments.

It focuses quickly even at night, producing great-looking pictures. The overall image quality of its 16-megapixel camera is comparable to that of the Sony Xperia Z2's 20.7MP camera, but the Z2 has the edge, with better details.

In low-light images, the S5 matches the Z2 in brightness levels.

Then there is live HDR mode. It takes the same photo under different exposures in quick succession, then merges all of them into one photo to even out light and dark areas, for a more balanced image.

It lets you see the final HDR image on screen before you press the shutter button, so that you can, if you wish, reposition the camera to produce the best lighting results.

Like the competition, Samsung has also included the refocus feature, which takes a photo with varying depths of focus, allowing users to select the focus in the final photo.

Many handset makers have introduced different versions of this feature, but unfortunately, none stands out.

HTC's method turns the unfocused area into an aggressive tilt-shift effect, while LG's use is a one-time thing as users cannot revisit the original picture to change the point of focus later on.

Samsung's Selective Focus does not let you pick a specific focusing point in the photo. Instead, you get to pick a near focus for foreground objects, far focus for background objects, or pan focus for everything to be sharp.

This automatic breakdown of near and far means the software may not detect the objects in the background that are meant to be in focus while the photo is being taken, leading to the camera simply snapping regular photos instead.

While HTC has this refocus feature set by default, Samsung's feature needs to be turned on.

Live HDR and Selective Focus cannot be used at the same time.

Finger activation

A significant addition to the S5 is the biometric sensor. You activate it by swiping a finger (it will store the biometric information for three fingers) downwards over the lozenge-like sensor.

This has to be a two-handed action, whereas for the Apple iPhone 5s, this can be done with one hand as it requires just a finger to be placed over the sensor.

What makes the S5's sensor dangerously useful is that Samsung has tied up with e-payments provider PayPal to enable biometric authorisations. You will not even need a password to be a big spender.

The new heart-rate monitor may be useful to older folks and people who work out frequently, but for most people, it will simply be the garnish on a dish few will bite into.
Samsung has added two terrific new features that will appeal to compulsive downloaders and heavy users of smartphone features.

Download Booster, when enabled, lets users concurrently download files larger than 30MB over 4G and Wi-Fi networks to speed up overall download times. But this applies only to sites without secured download protocols. In other words, not for cloud services such as Dropbox.

It took 20min 10sec to download the latest 130MB Open Office file over 4G. On Wi-Fi, it took 37min 36sec to complete.

With the booster turned on, it took only 12min 4sec. So the time saved is significant.

The other new feature which I like is the Ultra Power Saving mode. Most smartphones, including the Galaxy S5, have a power saving feature that disables mobile data, dims the screen and limits push services.

In Ultra Power Saving mode, the S5 restricts background data and greyscales the display. Because the Super Amoled screen does not use a backlight, all black pixels on display, including text and images, do not draw power.

Ultra mode lowers the brightness to 87 nits, instead of 400 nits, and caps the processor speed at 1.5GHz.

This is supposed to keep the phone running for another 24 hours, and still leave a 10 per cent charge.

Having a greyed-out phone that can handle calls and send SMS messages sure trumps having a super-fast smartphone with a colourful screen - and a flat battery.

In benchmark tests, the S5 clocked an impressive 25,598 on the Quadrant Standard.

The S5 packs some fancy frills, but offers enough useful features to make it the most power-packed Android device in the market so far.

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on April 16, 2014. 



Price: $1,068 (Singapore)

Processor: 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801

Display: 5.1-inch Full HD Super Amoled 1,920 x 1,080 (432 pixels per inch)

Camera: 16 megapixels (rear), 2 megapixels (front)

Operating system: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)

Memory: 32GB, 2GB RAM

Battery: 2,800mAh


Features 5/5

Design 4/5

Performance 5/5

Battery life 5/5

Overall 5/5

- See more at:

Wolfenstein: New order, old rules

Wolfenstein: New order, old rules

Twenty-two years after its smashing debut, the godfather of first-person shooters is still piling up Nazi corpses.

Over this impressive span, the Wolfenstein franchise has experienced highs — namely Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Enemy Territory — and a few lows, like the hollow 2009 re-imagining.

To reinvigorate the brand, Bethesda tapped Machine Games, a new studio led by former members of Starbreeze Studios — the ­developer best known for its criminally under-celebrated The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay.

RAMPAGE: Only after his ­caretakers are shot and killed does Blazkowitz snap out of his vegetative state and start a new ­rampage against the totalitarian regime.

New Order is an amalgamated reimagination featuring a few familiar characters and a new central premise. After a failed attempt to assassinate General Deathshead in 1946, B.J. Blazkowitz suffers a head trauma and spends the next 14 years as a vegetable.

During his absence, the Nazi Wehrmacht conquers the world. Only after his ­caretakers are shot and killed does Blazkowitz snap out of his vegetative state and start a new ­rampage against the totalitarian regime.

Along the 20-hour campaign he joins a colourful resistance group hiding within Berlin, infiltrates a prison to save some old friends, steals some valuable vehicles, and even journeys to the moon to retrieve the nuclear launch codes necessary to wipe the Nazi regime off the map.

The varied environments do an effective job of keeping things fresh, and the varied cast is much more memorable than most first-person shooter campaigns.

Blast from the past

In building its own vision for the brand, Machine Games is hardly forgetting the series’ past. Many homages exist to New Order’s precursors, including the muscular character model for Blazkowitz, using Nazi helmets as icons for armour pickups, secret rooms hidden in each level, and even a “nightmare” dream sequence that lets you play the first level of Wolfenstein 3D.

Traces of Machine Games’ DNA are also evident throughout the game. From the surprisingly varied and satisfyingly ­brutal close-quarters melee takedowns to the quiet moments interspersed between action sequences, New Order shares many ­similarities with the Riddick title.

PAYING HOMAGE: New Order shares many ­similarities with the Riddick title.

The studio also endows Blazkowitz with an internal dialogue to give the character more depth, but these monotone ­philosophical ponderings feel at odds with the wanton brutality he projects through the rest of the game.

The combat is a mash-up of both lineages. You can dual-wield and decapitate enemies with headshots, or take a more measured approach to combat.

Most levels have Nazi commanders ­stationed throughout. Sneaking up and ­performing a stealth takedown prevents them from pulling the alarm once the bullets inevitably start flying, giving cautious players a tactical option. You can also fire from cover, but the cumbersome mechanic makes this the least valuable tool in your arsenal.

The RPG-lite perks system offers some incentive for experimenting with your approach.

Meeting certain requirements, like ­completing a certain amount of stealth ­takedowns or racking up a set body count from cover, unlocks useful upgrades that give you an edge in combat that isn’t necessarily needed thanks to the stunted AI.

Fish in a barrel

New Order offers a wide array of enemies, from traditional soldiers and panzer hounds to monstrous mechs and heavily armored super troops. None of them are very smart.

Their casual approach to patrols makes it easy to run through levels carelessly making stealth takedowns (including on the hounds, which seems highly implausible), and they have the unfortunate habit of running for the furthest cover away from them in the middle of live fire, giving you ample time to line up kill shots.

The final boss fight is the only exceptional challenge, but this battle essentially boils down to classic trial-and-error. If you’re ­looking for a challenge, I strongly suggest you up the difficulty.

FISH IN A BARREL: Scavenging for enigma codes unlocks new challenges to give seasoned players a run for their money.

With no multiplayer modes on offer, Machine Games adds replayability by littering levels with collectibles and introducing an early choice that changes the trajectory of the narrative.

Deciding which of two fellow soldiers lives changes who participates in the resistance, and gives you different alternate navigation routes in levels, but otherwise the game is essentially the same.

Scavenging for enigma codes and cracking them also unlocks new challenges to give seasoned players a run for their money.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a positive step forward for the series after the last dud.

Machine Games presents a competent shooter with more polish and a better array of characters, but ultimately the game feels more comfortable recompiling ­established conventions than it does striving for innovation. — Game Informer/ McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Wolfenstein: The New Order
(Machine Games/Bethesda Softworks)
First-person shooter for PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Price: US$59.99 

source :

Nikon’s DF-initely retro DSLR Review

Nikon’s DF-initely retro DSLR Review

Nikon Df

Nikon’s DF-initely retro DSLR

Nikon’s first retro DSLR has retro styling, but inside, it’s all modern. 

AS I’VE mentioned before numerous times, I’m a big fan of retro-styled cameras and while companies like Fuji and Olympus have been riding high on retro-styled cameras, neither Nikon nor Canon have produced a retro-styled digital camera. Until now. 

With the Df (or Digital Fusion as it apparently stands for), Nikon is making its first foray into retro cameras and has produced a camera which brings to mind classic SLRs in the company’s proud history, namely the Nikon FE2 and Nikon FM2. 

Styling aside, the Nikon Df is actually a DSLR through and through, with a full-frame 16-megapixel image sensor taken right from the Nikon D4 professional DSLR, mixed with the innards of cameras like the Nikon D600 and D7000. 

Since so much of the Nikon Df is all about emotional response, this review will inevitably stray towards how it feels to use the Df as opposed to its performance (which is actually really good). 

Partial retro 

The Df is available in a choice of two colours — the basic black, and a silver and black version. 

Now while I generally like my retro cameras in silver and black leatherette, to my eyes, the Df actually looks better in black. Most users may find the silver version nicer. 

Anyway, the whole intent of the Nikon Df is bring back the classic control scheme found in film SLRs and in this camera, it’s successful — up to a point. 

In terms of weight, the Nikon Df is apparently lighter than most DSLRs in the company’s range and in size, it’s actually smaller than the D600. 
BIGGER: The Nikon Df (top) is quite a bit fatter than its ancestor, the Nikon FM2.
BIGGER: The Nikon Df (top) is quite a bit fatter than its ancestor, the Nikon FM2.

When compared to its film ancestor the Nikon FM2, however, the Df is a lot larger in every dimension — it’s taller, fatter and wider. 

On the top of the camera is where most of the retro controls go — you get a full shutter speed dial with all the speeds you’d expect in full stops as well as Bulb (shutter opens as long as shutter button is held down), Timed (shutter opens on first press and closes on second press of shutter release) and X-sync (flash sync) options. 

Additionally, if you’d prefer to have a modern control system, the shutter dial has a “1/3 increments” option — when set to this position, you can use the command dial on the back of the camera to adjust your shutter speeds, the same as a modern Nikon DSLR. 
SHOOTING MODES: The tiny MASP shooting mode dial on the Nikon Df has to be lifted up before you can change modes.

SHOOTING MODES: The tiny MASP shooting mode dial on the Nikon Df has to be lifted up before you can change modes.

On the other side of the top plate are two dials stacked on top of each other — the larger dial at the bottom is the ISO setting dial while the smaller one on top is an exposure compensation dial. 

Both dials have separate locks to prevent accidental switching, but I personally would have preferred the dials without locks — I feel they’re already stiff enough to prevent accidental switching. 

Presentation is key 

One rather weird concession to modern DSLR design is that the Df has a tiny LCD display on the top and a P,S,A,M mode dial. 

Now I feel that the tiny LCD — which shows shutter, aperture, battery life and exposure count — is completely unnecessary since you can get that same information in the viewfinder and on the back LCD.
ALL DIGITAL: The Nikon Df back plate should be familiar to most modern Nikon DSLR users.

As for the P,S,A,M mode dial, while I can understand why Nikon put it there, a more elegant solution would have been to simply put an “Auto” on the shutter dial and a switch near the lens bayonet mount with an “A” similar to how Fuji does it in the X100S. 

The way Fuji has set up the X100S is how old cameras used to work — with both switches set to “A” you get full Programmed auto, while moving the shutter dial out of A will give you shutter priority auto, while moving both switches out of A would give you full manual control. 

Nevertheless Nikon’s P,S,A,M mode dial on the Df works alright — you just have to lift it and twist the tiny dial to change modes. 

One interesting feature of the Df is that it’s compatible with modern as well as old manual focus Nikon lenses made before 1977, making it the first Nikon DSLR to support such a wide variety of lenses in the Nikon range. 

AWKWARD PLACEMENT: The front command dial of the Nikon Df is too awkwardly located for comfortable use.

Most modern Nikon DSLRs have some compatibility with older non-autofocus Nikon lenses but the Df goes further and offers compatibility with non-AIS lenses made between 1959 and 1977. 

However, using these non-AIS lenses — which have no aperture couplings to tell the camera what aperture is set on the lens — you get metering, but you need to manually set the aperture based on the camera’s recommendation obtained from the exposure meter.  

On the back of the Nikon Df, it’s all modern DSLR — you get a control scheme that should be familiar to any modern Nikon DSLR user, including a Live View button on the back and a 3.2in LCD screen. 

What you don’t get is video recording — that’s right, the Df doesn’t have a video recording option and does not have a built in microphone nor a port to add an external microphone. 

Oh yes, my one real gripe with the Nikon Df is that Nikon has relocated the front command dial to an area that actually makes it a little hard to use — I found the positioning of the front dial awkward and a little hard to spin with my forefinger.  

In use 

After a couple of weeks using the Nikon Df, I found that despite not being as retro as I would have liked it to be, it was still a joy to shoot with it. 

The camera feels good in the hands and is reasonably speedy. 

Some people may object to Nikon’s choice of integrating a 16-megapixel image sensor into the Df instead of the 24-megapixel one from the D600/610, but in use, the Df’s sensor performed very well — coupled with a good lens, images were pin sharp and ISO performance was simply amazing. 

If anything, the Df’s image sensor outperforms the professional D4 in terms of noise and produced perfectly usable results from ISO100 to ISO6400. 

Although there is obvious noise reduction at ISO12,800, the results were actually quite usable at a pinch. 

All in all, very impressive ISO performance from the Nikon Df. 

Also particularly notable is that the white balance on the Df is nearly perfect — producing correctly colour-balanced shots in almost every type of lighting condition that I could throw at it. 

Despite having a smaller 1,230 mAh lithium ion battery than professional and semi-professional siblings, the Df actually had very good battery life — I charged it once and went through many days of reasonably heavy shooting before I had to recharge again. 

Unfortunately the single SD card slot is also located inside the battery compartment — if you have the camera mounted on a larger tripod plate, the door may not be accessible while the camera is mounted on the tripod. 

That said, I personally didn’t have any problems with this as my tripod mounting plate is pretty small.  


All in all, I really liked the Nikon Df as a camera — where it matters most, i.e. in image quality, the camera produced consistently accurately exposed and sharp images. 

ISO performance is also top notch — this camera will really allow you to shoot handheld in lower lighting than ever before and still produce usable images. 

In terms of handling, while it doesn’t hold you back when shooting, I feel Nikon could have gone even more retro with the Df — the whole point of a retro camera is to minimise the number of buttons and yet retain the control that advanced users need. 

With the Df, there’s still a plethora of buttons and dials, some of which I could have done without.  

That being said, the Df is a nice camera to use — I really did enjoy shooting with it and certainly used my test unit long after I was done with the review. 

Pros: Relatively light for a Nikon DSLR; retro styling is quite nice, especially in black; excellent image quality and ISO performance. 

Cons: Nikon needs to go more retro with the design; front command dial a little hard to use. 

(Nikon Corp)
Sensor: 16-megapixel (4928 x 280-pixels) full-frame CMOS
Viewfinder: Optical and 3.2in 921k-dot LCD
Lens: None
Shutter speed: 30sec — 1/4000sec
ISO range: 100 — 25,600 (up to ISO 204,800 in ISO boost mode)
Shooting modes: P, S, A, M
Video format: None
Battery: EN-EL14a 1,230mAh lithium-ion
Storage: single SDXC card slot
Interface: USB 2.0
Other features: Compatible with Nikon SLR lenses made before 1977
Dimensions (W X H X D): 144 x 110 x 67 mm
Weight: 760g
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Quick Spec

Class : DSLR
Manufacturer : (Nikon Corp)
Other Features : Compatible with Nikon SLR lenses made before 1977
Dimensions : (W x H x D): 144 x 110 x 67 mm Weight
Weight : 760g
Sensor : 16-megapixel (4928 x 280-pixels) full-frame CMOS
Lens : None
Shutter Speed : 30sec — 1/4000sec
ISO range : 100 — 25,600 (up to ISO 204,800 in ISO boost mode)
Shooting Modes : P, S, A, M
Video Formats : None
View Finder : Optical and 3.2in 921k-dot LCD
Battery : EN-EL14a 1,230mAh lithium-ion
Storage : Single SDXC card slot
Interface : USB 2.0
  • source :

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lady Gaga Biography (Update June 2014)

Lady Gaga Biography (Update June 2014)

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (/ˈstɛfəniː dʒɜrməˈnɒtə/ ste-fə-nee jur-mə-not-ə; born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, LGBT activist, and actress. She was born, raised, and lives in New York City.[2] Gaga studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart before briefly attending Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21). She withdrew from CAP21 to focus on her musical career. She soon began performing in the rock music scene of Manhattan's Lower East Side. By the end of 2007, record executive and producer Vincent Herbert signed her to his label Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. Initially working as a songwriter at Interscope Records, her vocal abilities captured the attention of recording artist Akon, who also signed her to Kon Live Distribution, his own label under Interscope.

Gaga rose to prominence with her August 2008 debut album, The Fame, which was a critical and commercial success. The record included the international number-one tracks "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". In November 2009, her extended play, The Fame Monster, was released to a similar reception, and produced the hit singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro". Gaga's second studio album, Born This Way, was released in May 2011 and topped albums charts in most major markets. It was preceded by the chart-topping songs "Born This Way", "Judas", and "The Edge of Glory". After taking a sabbatical for a hip injury and the cancellation of the remaining dates of the Born This Way Ball Tour, Gaga's third album Artpop was released in November 2013, and became her second number one album in the US.

Influenced by David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Queen, Gaga is recognized for her flamboyant, diverse, and outré contributions to the music industry through her fashion, performances, and music videos. As of November 2013, she had sold an estimated 24 million albums and 125 million singles worldwide and her singles are some of the best-selling worldwide.[3][4] Her achievements include five Grammy Awards and 13 MTV Video Music Awards.

Gaga has consecutively appeared on Billboard magazine's Artists of the Year (scoring the definitive title in 2010), ranked fourth in VH1's list of 100 Greatest Women in Music, is the fourth best selling digital singles artist in US according to RIAA,[5] is regularly placed on lists composed by Forbes magazine, including their list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women from 2010 to 2013,[6] and was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine.[7][8]

1986–2004: Early life

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born in New York City to a Catholic family on March 28, 1986.[9] She is the elder daughter of internet entrepreneur Joseph Anthony "Joe" Germanotta, Jr. and Cynthia Louise "Cindy" Bissett (born c. 1955).[10][11][12] Gaga has Italian and French ancestry.[13][14] Her sister Natali (born c. 1992) is a fashion student.[15][16] Despite her affluent upbringing on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Gaga says that her parents "both came from lower-class families, so we've worked for everything—my mother worked eight to eight out of the house, in telecommunications, and so did my father."[17][18] From age eleven she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private all-girls Roman Catholic school on Manhattan's Upper East Side.[19][20][21] She described her academic life in high school as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure": "I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down. I didn't fit in, and I felt like a freak."[22] Gaga began playing the piano at the age of four, wrote her first piano ballad at thirteen, and started to perform at open mic nights by the age of fourteen.[23] She performed lead roles in high school productions, including Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.[24] She also appeared in a very small role as a mischievous classmate in the television drama series The Sopranos in a 2001 episode titled "The Telltale Moozadell" and auditioned for New York shows without success.[17][25]

After high school, her mother encouraged her to apply for the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21), a musical theater training conservatory at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[17] By age seventeen, after becoming one of twenty students to gain early admission, she lived in an NYU dorm on 11th Street.[24] In addition to sharpening her songwriting skills, she composed essays and analytical papers on art, religion, social issues, and politics, including a thesis on pop artists Spencer Tunick and Damien Hirst.[26][27] She also auditioned for various roles and won the part of an unsuspecting diner customer for MTV's Boiling Points, a prank reality television show.[17][28]

2005–07: Career beginnings

Gaga withdrew from CAP21 at 19, in the second semester of her sophomore year, deciding to focus on her musical career.[29] Her father agreed to pay her rent for a year, on the condition that she re-enroll at Tisch if unsuccessful. "I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate shit until somebody would listen," she remembers.[24] Settled in a small apartment on Rivington Street towards the summer of 2005, Gaga recorded a couple of songs with hip-hop singer Grandmaster Melle Mel, for an audio book accompanying the children's book The Portal in the Park, by Cricket Casey.[17][30] She also began a band called the Stefani Germanotta Band (SGBand) with some friends from NYU – guitarist Calvin Pia, bassist Eli Silverman, drummer Alex Beckham and booking manager Frank Fredericks – in September of that year.[17][24] The band played a mixture of songs: some self-penned alongside classic rock numbers like Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er". Playing in bars like the Greenwich Village's The Bitter End and the Lower East Side's the Mercury Lounge, the band developed a small fan base and caught the eye of music producer Joe Vulpis.[17] Soon after arranging time in Vulpis' studio in the months that followed, SGBand were selling their extended plays Words and Red and Blue (both 2005) at gigs around New York while becoming a local fixture of the downtown Lower East Side club scene.[24] SGBand reached their career peak at the 2006 Songwriters Hall of Fame New Songwriters Showcase at The Cutting Room in June where Wendy Starland, a musician, appeared as a talent scout for music producer Rob Fusari. Starland informed Fusari – who was searching for a female singer to front a new band – of Gaga's ability and contacted her. With SGBand disbanded, Gaga traveled daily to New Jersey to work on songs she had written and compose new material with the music producer.[17] While in collaboration, Fusari compared some of her vocal harmonies to those of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen.[31]

Fusari claims to have created the "Lady Gaga" moniker after the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga". Gaga was in the process of trying to come up with a stage name when she received a text message from Fusari that read "Lady Gaga." He explained, "Every day, when Stef came to the studio, instead of saying hello, I would start singing 'Radio Ga Ga'. That was her entrance song" and that the text message was the result of a predictive text glitch that changed "radio" to "lady". She texted back, "That's it," and declared, "Don't ever call me Stefani again."[32][33]

Although the musical relationship between Fusari and Gaga was unsuccessful at first, the pair soon set up a company titled Team Lovechild in which they recorded and produced electropop tracks and sent them to music industry bosses. Joshua Sarubin, the head of A&R at Def Jam Recordings, responded positively and vied for the record company to take a chance on her "unusual and provocative" performance. After having his boss Antonio "L.A." Reid in agreement, Gaga was signed to Def Jam in September 2006 with the intention of having an album ready in nine months.[17] However, she was dropped by the label after only three months – an unfortunate period of her life that would later inspire her treatment for the music video for her 2011 single "Marry the Night".[34] Devastated, Gaga returned to the solace of the family home for Christmas and the nightlife culture of the Lower East Side. 

She became increasingly experimental: fascinating herself with emerging neo-burlesque shows, go-go dancing at bars dressed in little more than a bikini in addition to experimenting with drugs.[17][20] She was a go-go dancer at St. Jerome’s, a Rivington Street dive in New York's lower East Side.[35] Her father Joe, however, did not understand the reason behind her drug intake and could not look at her for several months.[20][33] "I was onstage in a thong, with a fringe hanging over my ass thinking that had covered it, lighting hairsprays on fire, go-go dancing to Black Sabbath and singing songs about oral sex. The kids would scream and cheer and then we'd all go grab a beer. It represented freedom to me. I went to a Catholic school but it was on the New York underground that I found myself."[26] It was then when she became romantically involved with a heavy metal drummer in a relationship and break-up she likened to the musical film Grease: "I was his Sandy, and he was my Danny, and I just broke." He later became an inspiration behind some of her later songs.[36]

During this time, she met performance artist Lady Starlight, who helped mold her on-stage persona.[37] Starlight explained that, upon their first meeting, Gaga wanted to perform with her to songs she had recorded with Fusari. Like SGBand, the pair soon began performing at many of the downtown club venues like the Mercury Lounge, The Bitter End, and the Rockwood Music Hall. Their live performance art piece was known as "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue" and, billed as "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow", was a low-fi tribute to 1970s variety acts.[38][39] Soon after, the two were invited to play at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival in August that year.[40] The show was critically acclaimed, and their performance received positive reviews.[38] Having initially focused on avant-garde electronic dance music, Gaga had found her musical niche when she began to incorporate pop melodies and the glam rock of David Bowie and Queen into her music. While Gaga and Starlight were busy performing, producer Rob Fusari continued to work on the songs he had created with Gaga. Fusari sent these songs to his friend, producer and record executive Vincent Herbert.[41] Herbert was quick to sign her to his label Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, upon its establishment in 2007.[42] Gaga later credited Herbert as the man who discovered her, adding "I really feel like we made pop history, and we're gonna keep going."[41] Having served as an apprentice songwriter under an internship at Famous Music Publishing, which was later acquired by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Gaga subsequently struck a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV. As a result, she was hired to write songs for Britney Spears and labelmates New Kids on the Block, Fergie, and The Pussycat Dolls.[43] At Interscope, singer-songwriter Akon recognized her vocal abilities when she sang a reference vocal for one of his tracks in studio.[44] Akon then convinced Interscope-Geffen-A&M Chairman and CEO Jimmy Iovine to form a joint deal by having her also sign with his own label Kon Live, making her his "franchise player."[34][45]

Towards the end of 2007, her former management company introduced her to songwriter and producer RedOne, whom they also managed.[46] The first song she produced with RedOne was "Boys Boys Boys", a mash-up inspired by Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls" and AC/DC's "T.N.T.".[33] Gaga continued her collaboration with RedOne in the recording studio for a week on her debut album and also joined the roster of Cherrytree Records, an Interscope imprint established by producer and songwriter Martin Kierszenbaum, after co-writing four songs with Kierszenbaum including the singles "Christmas Tree" and "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)".[43] Despite her secure record deal, she admitted that there was fear about her being too "racy", "dance-orientated" and "underground" for the mainstream market. Her response: "My name is Lady Gaga, I've been on the music scene for years, and I'm telling you, this is what's next."[21]

2008–10: The Fame and The Fame Monster

By 2008, Gaga relocated to Los Angeles in order to work extensively with her record label to complete her debut album and set up her own creative team called the Haus of Gaga, modeled on Andy Warhol's Factory.[33][47] The Fame was first released on August 19, 2008 to slow radio play. Gaga supported it by performing around Europe and in small gay clubs around the US in addition to being billed as a supporting artist on the North American leg of New Kids on the Block's reunion concert tour.[48][49] A sleeper hit, lead single "Just Dance", had preceded the album's release by four months but only hit the summit of the international charts in January 2009, provoking the instant success of the album, earning her first Grammy Award nomination (for Best Dance Recording) and becoming one of the best-selling singles worldwide.[48][50] Gaga achieved a greater unexpected success when "Poker Face", another sleeper hit, reached number one in most major music markets worldwide in early 2009, selling 9.8 million singles worldwide.[51][52] It won the award for Best Dance Recording at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, with nominations for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

The Fame itself was nominated for Album of the Year while winning Best Dance/Electronica Album at the same ceremony.[53] Contemporary critics lauded the album, describing it as an exploration of her obsession with fame and the intricacies of a rich and famous lifestyle, noting its combination of genres "from Def Leppard drums and hand claps to metal drums on urban tracks", the inspiration drawn from 1980s synthpop and incorporation of dance music with clear hooks.[34] The Fame went to number one in Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK and appeared in the top five in Australia, the US and 15 other countries.[54][55] It also stayed atop the Dance/Electronic Albums chart for 106 non-consecutive weeks and, since its release, has sold over 12 million copies worldwide.[56] The album's success spawned many 2009 honors including Billboard magazine's Rising Star award and the accumulation of 3 of 9 MTV Video Music Awards nominations, winning Best New Artist with the video for her single "Paparazzi" gaining Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects.[57][58] In addition to being an opening act on the Pussycat Dolls' Doll Domination Tour during the first half of 2009 in Europe and Oceania, she also embarked on her own six-month critically appreciated worldwide concert tour The Fame Ball Tour which ran from March to September 2009.[59][60]

While she traveled the globe, she wrote The Fame Monster, an EP of eight songs released in November 2009. Each song, dealing with the darker side of fame from personal experience, is expressed through a monster metaphor. Making Gaga the first artist in digital history to have three singles (alongside "Just Dance" and "Poker Face") to pass the four million mark in digital sales, its lead single "Bad Romance" topped the charts in eighteen countries and reached the top two in the US, Australia and New Zealand while accruing the Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video.[61] The second single "Telephone", which features Beyoncé, was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and became Gaga's fourth UK number one single; its accompanying music video, although controversial, received positive reception from contemporary critics who praised her for "the musicality and showmanship of Michael Jackson and the powerful sexuality and provocative instincts of Madonna."[62][63] Her following single "Alejandro" paired Gaga with fashion photographer Steven Klein for a music video similarly as controversial – critics complimented its ideas and dark nature but the Catholic League attacked Gaga for her alleged use of blasphemy.[64] 

Despite the controversy surrounding her music videos, they made Gaga the first artist to gain over one billion viral views on video-sharing website YouTube.[65] At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga won 8 of her 13 nominations, including Video of the Year for "Bad Romance" (with "Telephone" also nominated), which made her the first female artist to be nominated twice for the award.[66][67] In addition, The Fame Monster garnered a total of six nominations at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards – equating to the amount of Grammy nominations her debut received – winning Best Pop Vocal Album and earning her a second-consecutive nomination for Album of the Year.[68][69] The Fame Monster and the 2010 compilation The Remix were Gaga's final releases under Cherrytree Records. While her reasons for departing the label are unknown, her manager Troy Carter stated in 2011 that they still collaborate with label head Martin Kierszenbaum on strategies for marketing Gaga overseas.[70]

The success of The Fame Monster allowed Gaga to start her second worldwide concert tour, The Monster Ball Tour, just weeks after the release of the album and months after having finished The Fame Ball Tour.[71] Upon finishing in May 2011, the critically acclaimed and commercially accomplished tour ran for over one and a half years and grossed $227.4 million, making it the highest-grossing for a debut headlining artist.[72] Concerts performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City were filmed for a HBO television special titled Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. The special accrued one of its five Emmy Award nominations and has since been released on DVD and Blu-ray.[73] Gaga also performed songs from the album at international events such as the 2009 Royal Variety Performance where she sang "Speechless", a power ballad, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II; the 52nd Grammy Awards where her opening performance consisted of the song "Poker Face" and a piano duet of "Speechless" in a medley of "Your Song" with Elton John; and the 2010 BRIT Awards where a performance of an acoustic rendition of "Telephone" followed by "Dance in the Dark" dedicated to the late fashion designer and close friend, Alexander McQueen, supplemented her hat-trick win at the awards ceremony.[74] Other performances might have included her participation in Michael Jackson's This Is It concert series at London's O2 Arena. "I was actually asked to open for Michael on his tour," she stated. "We were going to open for him at the O2 and we were working on making it happen. I believe there was some talk about us, lots of the openers, doing duets with Michael on stage."[75]

In 2009, she collaborated with consumer electronic company Monster Cable Products to create a pair of in-ear jewel-encrusted headphones titled Heartbeats. "They are designed to be the first ever fashion accessories that double as the absolute best sonically sounding headphones in the world," she commented.[76] Gaga also partnered with Polaroid in January 2010 as their Creative Director.[77] Excited about "blending the iconic history of Polaroid and instant film with the digital era," Gaga unveiled the first trio of new products called Grey Label: a pair of picture-taking sunglasses, a paperback-sized mobile printing unit and an updated version of the traditional Polaroid camera at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.[78] But her collaboration with past producer Rob Fusari led to her production team, Mermaid Music LLC, being sued in March 2010 when he claimed that he was entitled to a 20% share of the company's earnings. Gaga's lawyer, Charles Ortner, described the agreement with Fusari as "unlawful" and declined to comment, but five months later, the New York Supreme Court dismissed both the lawsuit and a countersuit by Gaga.[79][80] In addition to such strife, Gaga was tested borderline positive for lupus, but claimed not to be affected by the symptoms. The revelations caused considerable dismay among fans, leading to Gaga addressing the matter in an interview with Larry King, saying she hopes to avoid symptoms by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.[81][82]

2011–12: Born This Way

Gaga released her second studio album, Born This Way, on May 23, 2011. Described as a marriage of electronic music with metal, rock 'n' roll, pop and anthemic style melodies with sledge-hammering dance beats and referred to as an album "about what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid," Gaga characterized it as "something so much deeper than a wig or lipstick or a fucking meat dress" and, upon hearing it, Akon remarked that she is taking music to the "next level."[83][84] Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its range of different styles and her vocals.[85][86] Born This Way sold 1.108 million copies in its first week in the US, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in more than 20 other countries.[87] In addition to exceeding 8 million copies in worldwide sales, Born This Way received three Grammy Award nominations, including her third consecutive for Album of the Year.[88] In March 2012, Gaga was ranked fourth on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, grossing $25,353,039, which included sales from Born This Way and her Monster Ball Tour.[89]

Born This Way was preceded by singles "Born This Way", "Judas", and "The Edge of Glory", and the promotional single "Hair". The lead single and title track, first sung live at the 53rd Grammy Awards in a performance that saw Gaga emerge from an egg-like vessel, deals with self-acceptance regardless of race or sexual orientation. The single debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 19th number-one debut and the 1,000th number-one single in the history of the charts.[90] It sold 3,918,000 digital copies in the US by August 2013, becoming her eighth consecutive single to exceed sales of 2 million and, with worldwide sales of 8.2 million copies by November 2011, one of her five best-selling singles worldwide.[91][92] Critics noted artistic and cultural references and praised the concept of the song's accompanying music video, in which Gaga gives birth to a new race amidst surrealistic images.[93][94] 

The video for "Judas", in which Gaga portrays Mary Magdalene, and Biblical figures such as Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot are also featured, was criticized for its religious references but received acclaim for its overall delivery and praise from others who claimed that there was nothing offensive about it.[95] "Judas" also peaked within the top ten in several major musical markets, while "The Edge of Glory", first a commercial success in digital outlets, was later released as a single to rave reviews from critics, accompanied by a video which was notably stripped down from her usually "extravagant" efforts.[96][97] She released "You and I" and "Marry the Night" as the following singles from Born This Way. Although their "crazy and ambitious" videos were praised for their audacity, both songs failed to match the international success that their predecessors achieved.[98] Gaga was later ranked as the second most-played artist of 2011 in the UK by the PPL.[99]

Gaga released her second studio album, Born This Way, on May 23, 2011. Described as a marriage of electronic music with metal, rock 'n' roll, pop and anthemic style melodies with sledge-hammering dance beats and referred to as an album "about what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid," Gaga characterized it as "something so much deeper than a wig or lipstick or a fucking meat dress" and, upon hearing it, Akon remarked that she is taking music to the "next level."[83][84] Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its range of different styles and her vocals.[85][86] Born This Way sold 1.108 million copies in its first week in the US, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in more than 20 other countries.[87] In addition to exceeding 8 million copies in worldwide sales, Born This Way received three Grammy Award nominations, including her third consecutive for Album of the Year.[88] In March 2012, Gaga was ranked fourth on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, grossing $25,353,039, which included sales from Born This Way and her Monster Ball Tour.[89]

Born This Way was preceded by singles "Born This Way", "Judas", and "The Edge of Glory", and the promotional single "Hair". The lead single and title track, first sung live at the 53rd Grammy Awards in a performance that saw Gaga emerge from an egg-like vessel, deals with self-acceptance regardless of race or sexual orientation. The single debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 19th number-one debut and the 1,000th number-one single in the history of the charts.[90] It sold 3,918,000 digital copies in the US by August 2013, becoming her eighth consecutive single to exceed sales of 2 million and, with worldwide sales of 8.2 million copies by November 2011, one of her five best-selling singles worldwide.[91][92] Critics noted artistic and cultural references and praised the concept of the song's accompanying music video, in which Gaga gives birth to a new race amidst surrealistic images.[93][94] 

The video for "Judas", in which Gaga portrays Mary Magdalene, and Biblical figures such as Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot are also featured, was criticized for its religious references but received acclaim for its overall delivery and praise from others who claimed that there was nothing offensive about it.[95] "Judas" also peaked within the top ten in several major musical markets, while "The Edge of Glory", first a commercial success in digital outlets, was later released as a single to rave reviews from critics, accompanied by a video which was notably stripped down from her usually "extravagant" efforts.[96][97] She released "You and I" and "Marry the Night" as the following singles from Born This Way. Although their "crazy and ambitious" videos were praised for their audacity, both songs failed to match the international success that their predecessors achieved.[98] Gaga was later ranked as the second most-played artist of 2011 in the UK by the PPL.[99]

New songs for Gaga's third studio album, Artpop, were "beginning to flourish" as she worked with producer Fernando Garibay in early 2012.[113][114][115] Gaga's manager, Vincent Herbert, said the singer began working on the project during the Born This Way Ball tour and promised new material consisted of "insane, great records".[116] Gaga herself explained that she yearned to make audiences have "a really good time" with Artpop, crafting the album to mirror "a night at the club".[117] "When you listen to it, it really flows nicely. It's really fun to pop in with your friends. I really wrote it for me and my friends to pop in from start to finish."[117] At the same time, Gaga began collaborating with Terry Richardson on a documentary detailing her life, the Haus of Gaga and the evolution of Artpop.[118] The album was released on November 11, 2013 in the United States through legal music downloading outlets as well as through an app developed by the Haus of Gaga.[119] It eventually became her second number-one album in the United States with first week sales of 258,000 copies.[120] Music critics were divided in their assessments of Artpop.[121] The album has thus far spawned successful singles in "Applause" and "Do What U Want", the latter featuring R&B singer R. Kelly.[122][123][124] Gaga had split from her longtime manager, Troy Carter, shortly thereafter citing "creative differences".[125] On March 28, 2014, Gaga's 28th birthday, "G.U.Y." was released as the third single from Artpop.[126]

Gaga starred in Robert Rodriguez's project Machete Kills as La Chameleón. The picture, released on October 11, 2013, was poorly received critically and commercially.[127][128][129] Her performance earned her a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.[130] The singer also hosted the November 16, 2013 episode of Saturday Night Live, closing out the program with a performance of "Do What U Want" with Kelly.[131] Later that month, she held her second Thanksgiving Day television special on ABC, Lady Gaga and the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular, where she played a selection of songs with The Muppets, Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and RuPaul.[132] Future film projects for Gaga includes a cameo in another Robert Rodriguez film, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, scheduled for release on August 22, 2014.[133]

Besides her film endeavors, Gaga would also be involved in other musical ventures. Cheek to Cheek, a jazz album with Tony Bennett, was supposed to be released on January 1, 2014, but it was later announced that the release has been delayed tentatively until the fourth quarter of 2014.[134][135] In early 2015, Gaga will perform the first ever concert in space as part of Zero G Colony, a three-day music festival. She will travel via Spaceport America, the world's first commercial spaceport, in New Mexico, and the event will feature a mix of entertainment and cutting-edge technology. Gaga will be the grand finale.[136]

Musical style

Continually experimenting with new musical ideas and images, Gaga's musical and performance style is the subject of much analysis and scrutiny from critics. She professes that she is "liberating" herself by constantly reinventing her sound and image, insisting that she has been drawn to such a practice since her childhood.[137] Vocally, Gaga possesses the range of a contralto and exhibits "overwhelming expression, instinctive vocal phrasing, '80s rock reminiscent chest belts and animalistic vocal ticks" while being able to move through 2.7 octaves.[138][139] Refusing to lip sync, Gaga – whose range is frequently compared to those of Madonna and Gwen Stefani – has manipulated her vocal style over the course of her career yet considers Born This Way (2011) "much more vocally up to par with what I've always been capable of."[140][141] In summation of her voice, Entertainment Weekly wrote, "There's an immense emotional intelligence behind the way she uses her voice. Almost never does she overwhelm a song with her vocal ability, recognizing instead that artistry is to be found in nuance rather than lung power."[142]

Although her early lyrics have been criticized for lacking intellectual stimulation, "[Gaga] does manage to get you moving and grooving at an almost effortless pace."[143] Gaga believes that "all good music can be played at a piano and still sound like a hit."[144] She has covered a wide variety of topics in her songs: while The Fame (2008) meditates on the lust for stardom, The Fame Monster (2009) expresses fame's dark side through monster metaphors. Born This Way (2011) is sung in English, French, German, and Spanish and includes common themes in Gaga's controversial songwriting such as sex, love, religion, money, drugs, identity, liberation, sexuality, freedom, and individualism.[145][146]

The structure of her music is said to echo classic 1980s pop and 1990s Europop.[147] Her debut album The Fame (2008) provoked The Sunday Times to assert "in combining music, fashion, art and technology, [Gaga] evokes Madonna, Gwen Stefani circa 'Hollaback Girl', Kylie Minogue 2001 or Grace Jones right now" and a critic from The Boston Globe to comment that she draws "obvious inspirations from Madonna to Gwen Stefani... in [her] girlish but sturdy pipes and bubbly beats."[148][149] Music critic Simon Reynolds wrote that "Everything about Gaga came from electroclash, except the music, which wasn't particularly 1980s, just ruthlessly catchy naughties pop glazed with Auto-Tune and undergirded with R&B-ish beats."[150] The follow-up The Fame Monster (2009), saw Gaga's taste for pastiche, drawing on "Seventies arena glam, perky ABBA disco and sugary throwbacks like Stacey Q" while Born This Way (2011) also draws on the records of her childhood and still has the "electro-sleaze beats and Eurodisco chorus chants" of its predecessor but includes genres as diverse as opera, heavy metal, disco, and rock and roll.[145] "There isn't a subtle moment on the album, but even at its nuttiest, the music is full of wide-awake emotional details," wrote Rolling Stone, who concluded: "The more excessive Gaga gets, the more honest she sounds."[146]


Gaga grew up listening to artists such as The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Whitney Houston, and Elton John, who all significantly influenced her.[151][152] She also cited heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath as her favorite musicians.[153]

"I am a real family girl. When it comes to love and loyalty, I am very old-fashioned. And I am quite down-to-earth for such an eccentric person", she insists.[154] "I'm quite traditional in the family sense. I've always been that way."[151] According to Gaga, Joanne Germanotta – her aunt who died of lupus, aged 19 – lives on through her and inspires all of her music and art.[155] Joanne's date of death is tattooed on Gaga's body and, despite dying 12 years before her birth, Gaga commented, "I really believe I have two hearts. I think I actually carry two souls in my body, and that I'm living out the rest of her life and her goodness – she died a virgin, she died never having experienced all these things that we all get to love and experience in our lives."[156]

Another spiritual influence on Gaga has been the Indian physician, public speaker, and writer Deepak Chopra. Labeling him a "true inspiration", she stated that "he's always reminded me to work in a life of service to my fans and to fulfill my vision and my destiny" in addition to thinking about Chopra when it comes to her work as a musician: "I want so much for it to go beyond the music for my fans."[157] Gaga also lifted a quote from Osho's book Creativity on Twitter.[158][159] When asked about her connection to him, Gaga said she was influenced by his work and that, for her, "the creativity is the greatest way of rebellion": "Equality", she concluded, "is one of the most important things in my life."[160]

Musically, Gaga takes influence from numerous musicians from dance-pop singers like Madonna and Michael Jackson to glam rock artists like David Bowie and Queen whilst employing the theatrics of artists like Andy Warhol and of her musical theater roots in performance.[34][161][162] "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again" by Andy Warhol has been noted for shaping Gaga's approach to celebrity. Warhol advised that enigmatic blankness generates an allure that could serve as the basis of fame. Some identify the mystery surrounding the "Gaga" identity as such a strategy.[163]

The Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" inspired her stage name: "I adored Freddie Mercury and Queen had a hit called 'Radio Gaga'. That's why I love the name [.....] Freddie was unique—one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music," she commented.[164] Gaga has often been compared to recording artist Madonna who admits that she sees herself reflected in Gaga.[165] In response to the comparisons, Gaga stated, "I don't want to sound presumptuous, but I've made it my goal to revolutionize pop music. The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago" in addition to commenting that "there is really no one that is a more adoring and loving Madonna fan than me. I am the hugest fan personally and professionally."[166]

Like Madonna, Gaga has continued to reinvent herself and, over the years of her career, has drawn musical inspiration from a diverse mix of artists including Whitney Houston, Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie singer Debbie Harry, Scissor Sisters, Prince, Marilyn Manson, Yoko Ono, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera.[167] Gaga has mentioned Spears in several interviews, and revealed, "Britney certainly doesn’t need any freakin' tips from me! Britney Spears is the queen of pop. I was learning from her."[168] Gaga also paid tribute to Spears during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards with the MTV Video Vanguard Award, adding that the pop singer "taught us all how to be fearless, and the industry wouldn't be the same without her."[169]

Gaga has identified fashion as a major influence and has been stylistically compared to Leigh Bowery, Isabella Blow, and Cher.[20][29][154][170] She commented that "as a child, she somehow absorbed Cher's out-there fashion sense and made it her own."[170] She has considered Donatella Versace her muse and the late English fashion designer and close friend Alexander McQueen as an inspiration, admitting that "I miss Lee every time I get dressed" while channeling him in some of her work.[20][81] Modeled on Andy Warhol's Factory, Gaga has her own creative production team, which she handles personally, called the Haus of Gaga, who create many of her clothes, stage props, and hairdos.[171] Her adoration of fashion came from her mother, who she stated was "always very well kept and beautiful."[172] In an interview with Larry King, she stated that after her own mother and grandmother, the most important woman to her was 20th century fashion icon Princess Diana; "I love Princess Diana so much. She was an enormous influence on me when I was younger because my mother worshipped her so much. When she died, I'll never forget, my mother was crying. It was this very powerful moment in my childhood watching my mother so connected to someone".[173]

"When I'm writing music, I'm thinking about the clothes I want to wear on stage. It's all about everything altogether—performance art, pop performance art, fashion. For me, it's everything coming together and being a real story that will bring back the super-fan. I want to bring that back. I want the imagery to be so strong that fans will want to eat and taste and lick every part of us."[29] Gaga made her runway debut at Thierry Mugler's Paris fashion show in March 2011 where she wore items from Nicola Formichetti's debut women's wear collection. She has since devoted her time as a fashion columnist for V magazine, where she has written about her creative process, her studying of the world of pop culture, and her ability to tune into the evolution of pop-culture meme.[174]

The Global Language Monitor named "Lady Gaga" as the Top Fashion Buzzword with her trademark "no pants" a close third.[175] Entertainment Weekly put her outfits on its end of the decade "best-of" list, saying, "Whether it's a dress made of Muppets or strategically placed bubbles, Gaga's outré ensembles brought performance art into the mainstream."[176] Time Magazine placed Gaga on their "All-Time 100 Fashion Icons List" amongst some of Gaga's inspirations such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the The Beatles, stating: "Lady Gaga is just as notorious for her outrageous style as she is for her pop hits. After all, Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, has sported outfits made from plastic bubbles, Kermit the Frog dolls, and raw meat."[177]

Videos and stage

With constant costume changes, backup dancers, and provocative visuals, Gaga's music videos are often described as short films.[178] "Being provocative is not just about getting people's attention. It's about saying something that really affects people in a real way, in a positive way," she professes.[178] Exploring bondage and sadomasochism in addition to highlighting prevalent feminist themes, "the three central themes that shape Lady Gaga's music videos are sex, violence, and power."[179] "Vaudevillian and carnal, Lady Gaga has got the knack of sending rape-like fantasies—in songs and videos that double as catch club hits—to the top of the charts," wrote one critic.[180] "Whether it is physical violence or sexual exploitation, these videos offer vivid depictions of male power over women's bodies," wrote another.[179] While she labels herself "a little bit of a feminist" and asserts that she is "sexually empowering women,"[180] Gaga strives to empower young women to stand up for what they believe in.[179] She also attempts to liberate her fans so they can feel "less alone."[181] "She not only reiterates her assertion of total originality," professed pop critic Ann Powers, "but also finesses it until it's both a philosophical stance about how constructing a persona from pop-cultural sources can be an expression of a person's truth—a la those drag queens Gaga sincerely admires—and a bit of a feminist act."[182] In summation of her videos, Rolling Stone used the rhetoric: "does anyone look to a Lady Gaga video for restraint?"[98]

Her performances are described as "highly entertaining and innovative"; the blood-spurting performance of "Paparazzi" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was described as "eye-popping" by MTV.[183] She continued the "blood soaked" theme during The Monster Ball Tour, in which she wore a revealing leather corset and was "attacked" by a performer dressed in black who gnaws on her throat, causing "blood" to spurt down her chest, after which she lies "dying" in a pool of blood. Her performances of that scene in England triggered protests from family groups and fans in the aftermath of a local tragedy, in which a taxi driver had murdered 12 people.[184] "What happened in Bradford is very fresh in people's minds and given all the violence which happened in Cumbria just hours earlier, it was insensitive," said Lynn Costello of Mothers Against Violence.[185] Her unconventionality continued at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards: performing in drag as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone, and delivering a lovesick monologue before a performance of her song "You and I".[186] Some have defended her flamboyant and provocative behavior. "Well, she's Lady Gaga," Chris Rock said. "She's not 'Lady Behave Yourself.' Do you want great behavior from a person named Gaga? Is this what you were expecting?"[187] As Gaga's choreographer and creative director, Laurieann Gibson provided material for her shows and videos for four years. However, the pair parted in November 2011; Gaga replacing her with Gibson's assistant Richard Jackson.[188] Gaga admits to being a perfectionist when it comes to her elaborate shows. "I'm very bossy. I can scream my head off if I see one light fixture out. I'm very detailed – every minute of the show has got to be perfect."[178]

Public image

While Chris Molanphy from Rolling Stone named Gaga the "Queen of Pop" in a ranking published by the magazine in 2011 (between 15 artists, such as Adele and Britney Spears), public reception of Gaga's music, fashion sense and persona are mixed.[189] Her status as a role model, self-esteem booster for her fans, trailblazer and fashion icon who breathes new life into the industry is by turns affirmed and denied.[190] Gaga's albums have received mostly positive reviews and critics have pointed out her unique place in pop music, the need for new movements in popular culture, the attention Gaga brings to modern social issues, and the inherently subjective nature of her art.[191] Gaga wore a dress made of raw beef to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards which was supplemented by boots, a purse, and a hat that were also all made out of raw beef.[192] Partly awarded in recognition of the dress, UK named her one of the Best Dressed people of 2010 while Time magazine's named the dress the Fashion Statement of 2010. However, it received divided opinions, attracting the attention of worldwide media but also invoking the fury of animal rights organization PETA.[193][194][195] In view of her influence on modern culture and her rise to global fame, sociologist Mathieu Deflem of the University of South Carolina has organized a course titled "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame" since spring 2011 with the objective of unravelling "some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga."[196] When Gaga briefly met with US president Barack Obama at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser, he described the interaction as "intimidating" as she was dressed in 16-inch heels making her undoubtedly the tallest woman in the room.[197]

Towards the end of 2008, comparisons were made between the fashions of Gaga and recording artist Christina Aguilera that noted similarities in their styling, hair, and make-up.[20] Aguilera stated that she was "completely unaware of [Gaga]" and "didn't know if it [was] a man or a woman."[20] When interviewed by Barbara Walters for her annual ABC News special 10 Most Fascinating People in 2009, Gaga dismissed the claim that she is intersex as an urban legend. Responding to a question on this issue, she stated, "At first it was very strange and everyone sorta said, 'That's really quite a story!' But in a sense, I portray myself in a very androgynous way, and I love androgyny."[198] In addition to Aguilera's statement, comparisons continued into 2010, when Aguilera released the music video of her single "Not Myself Tonight". Critics noted similarities between the song and its accompanying music video with Gaga's video for "Bad Romance".[199] There have also been similar comparisons made between Gaga's style and that of fashion icon Dale Bozzio from the band Missing Persons. Some have considered their respective images to be strikingly parallel although fans of Missing Persons note that Bozzio had pioneered the look more than thirty years earlier.[200]

While devout followers call Gaga "Mother Monster", Gaga often refers to her fans as "Little Monsters" which has been tattooed on "the arm that holds my mic" in dedication.[201][202] To some, this dichotomy contravenes the concept of outsider culture. Camille Paglia in her 2010 cover story "Lady Gaga and the death of sex" in The Sunday Times asserts that Gaga "is more an identity thief than an erotic taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product who claims to be singing for the freaks, the rebellious and the dispossessed when she is none of those."[203][204] Writing for The Guardian, Kitty Empire opined that the dichotomy "...allows the viewer to have a 'transgressive' experience without being required to think. At [her performance's] core, though, is the idea that Gaga is at one with the freaks and outcasts. The Monster Ball is where we can all be free. This is arrant nonsense, as the scads of people buying Gaga's cunningly commercial music are not limited to the niche worlds of drag queens and hip night creatures from which she draws her inspiration. But Gaga seems sincere."[205] Gaga has also launched "", the first official social network devoted to fans of an artist that went online in July 2012.[206]

In 2012, Gaga become a feature of a temporary exhibition The Elevated. From the Pharaoh to Lady Gaga marking the 150th anniversary of the National Museum in Warsaw.[207] An exhibition devoted to the mechanisms and the iconography of power was co-financed from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage funds.[207] Its purpose was to show the ubiquity of hierarchy from antiquity to the present.[207] The central showpiece of the exhibition was the effigy of two women who had achieved a high status in the society of its time.[208] Gaga was presented in a dress of raw meat, described by Polish weekly Wprost as "an icon of modernity elevated by the power which she exercises over mass media, a prominent specialist in creating her own image".[208] The meat dress was later displayed at the National Museum of Women in the Arts located in Washington, D.C. with an explanation of her political message.[209]

A new genus of ferns, Gaga, and two new species, G. germanotta and G. monstraparva have been named in her honor. "The epithet "monstraparva" honors Gaga's fervent and loyal fans, her "little monsters." The official little monster greeting is the outstretched "monster claw" hand, which bears a striking resemblance to a tightly inrolled young fern leaf prior to unfurling."[210]


Besides her career in music, Gaga has also contributed to various charities. For natural disasters, Gaga has helped various relief efforts. Although declining an invitation to appear on the single "We Are the World 25" to benefit victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she donated the proceeds of her January 24, 2010 concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall to the country's reconstruction relief fund.[211] All profits from her official online store on that day were also donated. Gaga announced that an estimated total of US$500,000 was collected for the fund.[212] Hours after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, Gaga tweeted a message and a link to Japan Prayer Bracelets. All revenue from a bracelet she designed in conjunction with the company was donated to relief efforts.[213] As of March 29, 2011, the bracelets raised $1.5 million.[214] However, attorney Alyson Oliver filed a lawsuit against Gaga in Detroit in June 2011, noting that the bracelet was subject to a sales tax and an extra $3.99 shipping charge was added to the price. She also believed that not all proceeds from the bracelets would go to the relief efforts, demanding a public accounting of the campaign and refunds for people who had bought the bracelet. Gaga's spokesperson called the lawsuit "meritless" and "misleading".[215] On June 25, 2011, Gaga performed at MTV Japan's charity show in Makuhari Messe, which benefited the Japanese Red Cross.[216]

In October 2012, Gaga was reported to have met the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.[217] On October 9, 2012, Yoko Ono gave Gaga and four other activists the LennonOno Grant for Peace in Reykjavík, Iceland.[218] On November 6, 2012, Gaga pledged to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Gaga also contributes in the fight against HIV and AIDS, focusing on educating young women about the risks of the disease. In collaboration with Cyndi Lauper, Gaga joined forces with MAC Cosmetics to launch a line of lipstick under their supplementary cosmetic line, Viva Glam. In a press release, Gaga declared, "I don't want Viva Glam to be just a lipstick you buy to help a cause. I want it to be a reminder when you go out at night to put a condom in your purse right next to your lipstick."[219] The sales of Gaga-endorsed Viva Glam lipstick and lipgloss have raised more than $202 million to fight HIV and AIDS.[8]

Born This Way Foundation

In 2012 she launched the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), a non-profit organization that focuses on youth empowerment and issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development. It takes its name from the 2011 single and album. The foundation plans to work with a number of partners, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.[220][221][222][223] Media proprietor Oprah Winfrey, writer Deepak Chopra, and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the inauguration at Harvard University.[224][225] The foundation's original funding included $1.2 million from Gaga, $500,000 from the MacArthur Foundation, and $850,000 from Barneys New York.[226] The foundation works in partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the MacArthur Foundation, the California Endowment,[227] and, as lead media partner, Viacom.[228][229] In July 2012, the BTWF partnered with Office Depot, which will donate 25% of the sales-a minimum of $1million-of a series of limited edition back-to-school products that promote the foundation's message[230][231] The foundation's initiatives have included, in March–April 2012, a poster competition that asked participants to submit images that answer the question "What does bravery mean to you?";[232] the "Born Brave Bus" that would follow her on tour as a youth drop-in center as an initiative against bullying;[233][234] and the "Born Brave" community and school groups.[235]

LGBT advocacy

Gaga is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights worldwide.[236] She attributes much of her early success as a mainstream artist to her gay fans and is considered a gay icon.[237] Early in her career she had difficulty getting radio airplay, and stated, "The turning point for me was the gay community."[238] She thanked FlyLife, a Manhattan-based LGBT marketing company with whom her label Interscope works, in the liner notes of The Fame.[239] One of her first televised performances was in May 2008 at the NewNowNext Awards, an awards show aired by the LGBT television network Logo.[240] In June of the same year, she performed at the San Francisco Pride event.[241] After The Fame was released, she revealed that the song "Poker Face" was about her bisexuality. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she spoke about how her boyfriends tended to react to her bisexuality, saying "The fact that I'm into women, they're all intimidated by it. It makes them uncomfortable. They're like, 'I don't need to have a threesome. I'm happy with just you'."[36] When she appeared as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May 2009, she praised DeGeneres for being "an inspiration for women and for the gay community".[242]

She called the October 11, 2009, National Equality March rally on the National Mall "the single most important event of her career."[243][244][245] Gaga attended the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards accompanied by four gay and lesbian former members of the United States Armed Forces who had been unable to serve openly under the U.S. military's "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy.[246] Gaga released three videos on YouTube urging her fans to contact their Senators in an effort to overturn DADT. In September 2010 she spoke at a Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's rally in Portland, Maine. Following this event, editors of The Advocate commented that she had become "the real fierce advocate" for gays and lesbians, one that Barack Obama had promised to be.[247][248] Gaga appeared at Europride, a pan-European international event dedicated to LGBT pride, held in Rome in June 2011. She criticized the intolerant state of gay rights in many European countries and described homosexuals as "revolutionaries of love".[249]


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