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Lady Gaga says 'I refuse to compromise' during SXSW keynote



By CHRIS TALBOTT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Lady Gaga vowed to quit pop music rather than compromise, detailing a difficult year that included an underperforming new album during her much-anticipated keynote session at South By Southwest on Friday.

Dressed in a gown made of plastic sheeting and wearing blond dreadlocks, Gaga spent an hour in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session that shed some light on obstacles that included hip surgery, a split from manager Troy Carter and widespread questions about her popularity.

"I refuse to compromise and allow my talents to be monetized to the point that I don't want to be here anymore," she said. "I will stop, I will quit, I will retire from the commercial market if I have to do something other than be myself because if I can't be myself in this moment than everything I have said to my friends since the beginning will be a total lie. Then what? I'll be myself until I have to make money to sustain a luxurious lifestyle, and then I change, right? No, I'll be myself till they (expletive) close the coffin so that you can all be yourselves."

The 27-year-old singer briefly discussed her 2013 tour-canceling hip surgery - she was in a wheelchair for four months and has three screws in her hip - and her messages to fans regarding difficulties she's had with the release of "ARTPOP," which has only sold 673,773 units since its November release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (In 2011, Gaga's "Born This Way" sold 1.1 million copies in its first week; 660,000 copies were sold regularly, and the rest through a 99 cents deal with Amazon).

She reached a low point, she said, when those around her began to encourage her to abandon her instincts and go for a less polarizing image.

"That's the thing that poisoned me ... (people saying) 'We want you to be beautiful' over and over and over in my head until I just wanted to look ugly all the time because I'm rebellious," Lady Gaga said. "Don't tell me not to do anything because it's going to happen. That really crushed me. I've won Grammys now. I've written albums. I've toured the world four times. You're telling me to be beautiful? That's what this is all about? Is it all about tits and a--? That's so sad."

While Gaga is known for her odd looks - including dressing in drag and wearing false teeth - she's also been known to shed her clothing onstage; at the MTV Video Music Awards last year, she stripped down to a seashell bra top and a thong during her performance.

Gaga's rebellious inclination was on display Thursday night during a corporate-sponsored concert at Stubb's BBQ where she invited friend and performance artist Millie Brown to vomit paint on her during the song "Swine."

"It was just exciting to see people talk about performance art on the Internet and debating whether it's art or not," she said.

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buckeye3118 March 15 2014 at 10:23 AM

With the money spent hyping her techno disco drivel, a box of rocks could be a 'pop star'.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
web940 March 15 2014 at 10:37 PM

Lady Gaga started out with talent but she got caught up with the how far will I go for my fans which is no different from the porn you see out there with Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna and I notice they are straying Shakira to go that way to ruin her image. Out of all I think Shakira has the most talent and I hope she goes back to who she really is and not what they want to make her. Lady Gaga had an Image that everyone liked. You can say she went on the dark side where I expect her to be wearing clothes with skulls on it and her music went downhill. Something that happens when you spend more time on your getup and performance than you do in your singing and music.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Racoon March 15 2014 at 10:34 AM

Another NON-TALENT heard from.Go join Justin and all the other autotone singers.Bring back the real singers,Sinatra,Elvis,Cash,Diamond ect who DO NOT depend on electronics.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
raidrmik67 March 15 2014 at 10:34 AM

When you have no music talent and resort to shocking the audience it can only last so long. Her first album sold 1.1 million copies with half of those being sold for .99 on Amazon? LMAO That's a pittance! AC DC sold 2 million albums from their catalog in a 5 year span with no new releases.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
telurico March 15 2014 at 4:54 PM

Lady, please, quit, quit, please, quit. I beg you, please, quit.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
hello stes5 March 15 2014 at 4:06 PM

since she displayed some acting ability on snl. maybe she should try acting, and hang up on singing, or dress normal.. and have a new songwriter..

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Gary March 15 2014 at 10:34 AM

She'll be doing us all a favor by retiring, and she should take Justin Bieber with her!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Droopy March 15 2014 at 10:35 AM

Oh THANK YOU, Lady Gag Me... please please QUIT right now. Save the world from many more INSIPID performances .

Flag Reply +3 rate up
keedyk87 March 15 2014 at 10:35 AM

Why should she humiliate herself any longer for characterless animals when she has made enough money? Made enough money to finally be able to isolate herself from ethically devolving Characterless Americans?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
phhardi8 March 15 2014 at 10:37 AM

It part of the Dumbing of America. Its gets worse every day.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
mikco99 phhardi8 March 15 2014 at 10:47 AM

You should talk. "It" part of the dumbing of America.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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