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LADY GAGA DELIVERS

Heading into her fifth solo studio album, Lady Gaga had overcome just about every challenge a pop icon can endure. Just a few months ago, the story going into Chromatica was set to be, "How will the veteran superstar be received by a new generation in the streaming landscape?" And while that question is still valid, it's no longer as important as other challenges resulting from a radically changed landscape. 

Judging by her most recent project, the A Star Is Born soundtrack (2.5m in activity to date), which spawned smash single “Shallow” (5m+ ATD), Gaga hasn’t lost touch with her hitmaking ability. The soundtrack has already outpaced her previous two solo albums, 2016’s Joanne (1.3m) and 2013’s Artpop (1.5m), giving Gaga her most successful album since 2011’s Born This Way (4m).

The Interscope icon tapped Ariana Grande for the second single, “Rain on Me,” which delivered the pre-release hit and momentum needed going into Chromatica’s debut week. Gaga and Ari’s collaboration debuted #1 on nearly every chart in its first week and is on pace for the second-biggest pop debut of the year.

Opting to release a veteran superstar project—especially a pop act—amid a handicapped economy and industry was a risk Interscope and Gaga were willing to take. With the coronavirus upending humanity, the biz and artists, like society in general, have had no choice but to adjust. Interscope and Gaga have shifted the entire rollout for a monster release—the drop date was moved from early April to the end of May, a surprise Coachella appearance was negated, all events were canceled and most retail shops were forced to close.

For a seasoned star like Gaga, physical sales still comprise a sizable piece of the consumption pie. Among the creative items bundled with her album are “Rain on Me” umbrellas, rain boots and ponchos; Chromatica underwear (including thongs and jockstraps), coffee mugs, pillows, bandanas and more.

The digital campaign consisted of an extravagant video and dance number, a clever weather-forecast sketch starring Gaga and Grande and even a photo shoot of Gaga driving a delivery truck with Chromatica goods.

From the Super Bowl Halftime Show to Las Vegas, the Oscars to a broadcast charity special, Lady Gaga has shown—as she's done throughout her career—that she's capable of commanding any and every stage. While many stages are temporarily closed, who else besides Gaga is capable of standing firm and delivering a blockbuster album during a pandemic?

 

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