Is Lady Gaga Losing Her Swagger?

Lady+Gaga in Radio 1's Big Weekend 2011 - Day 2
Lady Gaga likes pretending she's dead. But is this the pop star's way of foreshadowing the end of her career? (Getty Images)more pics » Lady Gaga (Getty Images) In a February 60 Minutes interview, Lady Gaga told CNN's Anderson Cooper that everyone "wants to see [her] fail." By May, Forbes had listed the pop sensation as the most powerful celebrity in the world. Yet after losing her title as the most "liked" living artist on Facebook and seeing a decrease in sales of her Born This Way album, has this self-proclaimed fame artist indirectly foretold her own fate?

Album Sales: The first noticeable chink in her armor coincided with the release of Gaga's much hyped second studio album, Born This Way, released on May 23. Despite selling an impressive 1.1 million copies in its first week, the album failed to find sustained growth. In just its second week, sales had sunk a staggering 85 percent.

Adele in The BRIT Awards 2011 - Inside ArrivalsTo better put that number in perspective, let's take a look at another hugely successful pop star that's had no problem selling millions of records without having to wear a lobster on her head. The artist: Adele.

The British singer's sophomore album, 21, sold 352,000 copies in its first week, back on February 22. Nearly five months later, its sales remain incredibly strong -- the album sold 121,000 units this past week, which was good enough for it to reach the No. 2 spot.

In comparison, Born This Way has already slipped to No. 8 in just seven weeks. This places Gaga's album exactly three spots lower than Hell: The Sequel, which as it turns out is not a slasher film, but actually the latest Eminem project.

Still, selling 1.1 million copies in one week is a feat in and of itself, right? Well... it is and it isn't. Born This Way was initially released on Amazon.com for the low low price of 99 cents. Anyone who has ever casually strolled through a Dollar Store can tell you how instantly attractive k.d. lang's Christmas album or some lead based candy becomes when priced at 99 cents.

Lady+Gaga in 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards - ShowIn other words, Gaga offering her album for pennies is akin to all the movie theaters in America showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 for a buck -- which for the record, didn't happen. But just imagine the chaos if it had! Needless to say, many in the industry felt Gaga's first week sales didn't paint an accurate picture.


Cash Flow
: If we're to believe what she said this past week on the Howard Stern Show, Gaga doesn't "give a f--- about money." But when you consider that Forbes estimated her 2010 earnings to be $90 million -- or more than enough to buy one hell of a hat collection -- it's hard to believe she doesn't have some sense or appreciation of her fortune.


Then again, it was barely two months ago that the singer admitted her 18-month-long Monster's Ball tour left her completely bankrupt. She's since recovered financially, but if Gaga doesn't better watch her cash flow, she could end up back in the $1,100 a month NYC apartment she used to call home.

Most "Liked" on Facebook
MEN
Eminem                     43 million
Michael Jackson        38 million
Justin Bieber              33 million

WOMEN

Rihanna                     41 million
Lady Gaga                 40 million
Shakira                      37 million

Fan Base: Gaga's "Little Monsters" are as dedicated and passionate as the most fervent Twihard, Gleek or Biebaholic you'll ever meet. In fact, they're so loyal that they helped catapult Gaga up the Twitter food chain, making her the first person in the world to reach 10 million followers.

And while the pop star still holds that crown, her Facebook status isn't as commanding. In February, Eminem overtook Gaga as the most "liked" living artist on the social network. Then, last week, her popularity took another hit, as Rihanna became the most "liked" woman on the site.

With all these numbers, it's important to keep them in perspective. What we perceive to be a decline in Gaga's fame and success is all relative when you consider the possibility that other artists are just growing in popularity faster. Still, when you're having eggs thrown at you, it becomes easier for skeptics to see your fame as nothing more than a fad.

Ultimately, it's up to you to chime in and tell us:

Is Lady Gaga losing her swagger?


I'm a former Associate Editor at Zimbio.
Comments