Published Apr 20, 2011Over the years, beloved musical satirist "Weird Al" Yankovic has poked fun at some of the pop world's biggest stars through song. Madonna, R. Kelly and Nirvana are but a few of the countless acts he's zinged since beginning back in the late '70s. Not everyone is in on the joke though and, apparently, a proposed parody of pop queen Lady Gaga's single "Born This Way" was no laughing matter. Though purported to be the first single on Yankovic's new album, Gaga shot his proposal down.
A lengthy blog post from Yankovic explains that he hoped to roast Gaga's adventurous image and fashion sense in a comedic rewrite called "Perform This Way." After making the initial contact with her management, Yankovic learned that he had to submit his lyrics to her first, which he thought was fair enough.
"Okay, I thought, she wants to know exactly what the lyrics are going to be before she signs off on the parody. Some artists just are a bit more protective of their material and don't want to take any chances. Fair enough," he wrote. "Because it was such an earnest human rights anthem, I thought some people might consider a parody to be in poor taste."
Following his submission though, Gaga's camp informed him that he would now have to record the song before it was officially approved.
"This was mystifying to me," Yankovic wrote. "At this point she has the lyrics... and hopefully she is familiar with her own song... and the parody is basically her music... with my lyrics. It really shouldn't be that hard to decide -- based on having the lyrics right in front of you -- whether or not you'd be 'okay' with a parody. But, alas, we'd been given an ultimatum. If she didn't hear it, she wouldn't approve it."
"Weird Al" went ahead and recorded the song for approval, which he states is highly irregular for him, and submitted the track on April 11. He was dumbfounded when, after getting him to do all the work, Gaga ended up rejecting the number.
"As of this posting, I still don't know specifically what kind of problem she has with the song (obviously I take a few jabs at her, but y'know, it's satire -- that's how it's supposed to work). And I'm especially confused as to why she waited until I actually recorded the song (at her insistence!) before saying no. It's not like there were any surprises in the finished song that she couldn't have foreseen by, you know, READING THE LYRICS."
While "Perform This Way" will not be available commercially on his as-of-yet unannounced new album, you can see the song on YouTube below. Yankovic also has plans to release the song as a free download on his website.
From our point of view, it's bizarre that Lady Gaga doesn't have a sense of humour about herself. Like, have you seen the cover to her new album?
UPDATE: Following the onslaught media attention, Gaga has now "personally approved of" Weird Al's cover, the AV Club reports. Apparently, she never heard the song and denies rejecting the parody. Her manager reportedly did not give her Weird Al's parody.