Well, really Adelle is kicking both of their butts, but that’s an entirely different article (believe me). The fact is, since both Perry and GaGa have released their second major label releases (Perry’s Teenage Dream , and GaGa’s Born This Way), Perry has had more success, and even impacted the internet (once GaGa’s impenetrable kingdom) harder than GaGa. True, Born This Way was released in May of this year, and Perry’s sophomore album has been out for almost a full year. But, listening to the pulse of pop culture tells you it beats harder and faster from Girl from California, Perry.
Both albums from each singer have sold around the same number of copies. Perry’s album is at 1.6 million copies sold. Gaga’s sales are at 1,540,000 copies. But, as all real music fans know, today’s music game is singles driven. And it’s the singles where Perry has really dominated. The biggest selling song of 2011 so far is Perry’s “E.T.”. The third biggest selling song is GaGa’s “Born This Way”. And let’s not forget the incredible run Perry has had with her singles. “California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, and “Firework” have all either topped the charts or sat near the top. According to Ew.com, ” No artist has ever spent an entire year in the top 10—not Mariah Carey, not Elvis Presley, not Madonna, not even the Beatles.” As for Lady GaGa’s singles, there was the second single, “Judas”, which peaked at number 10 on Billboard’s Top 40 chart. Her current single, “Edge Of Glory”, debuted at number three on the same chart, and is now the number seven song on the charts (Perry’s “Last Friday Night” (T.G.I.F) is the number three song on the same chart.
Looking back a few years ago, it would have been hard to say that Perry would be arguably the biggest star of the last few years, and GaGa would be as polarizing as she has become. When Perry released “I Kissed A Girl” in the summer of 2008, it was thought by many to be a novelty hit, at best. Another cute song by another cute girl. Perry released several singles from her first album One Of The Boys, and had sales success. But she wasn’t seen as a superstar in the making.
Not like Lady GaGa. When GaGa dropped her debut single, “Just Dance” late in 2008, it was the kind of smash that most music fans didn’t think the industry could make anymore. It was a stadium shaker, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Prince/Michael Jackson heyday. The song topped the charts in six countries, and turned GaGa into a megastar. Her debut album (for Interscope Records), The Fame, became a huge seller as well, selling 4.4 million copies in the U.S. alone. GaGa became a star not only for her music, but outrageous persona that was, at first, fun, irreverent, and thrilling.
But since 2008, when both women dropped thier debut singles, things have changed for both women. For GaGa, somewhere along the way, she stopped taking just little bits out of Madonna’s play book , instead opting to take the entire thing. GaGa began to infuse some of her videos (namely “Alejandro”) with sacrilegious imagery, angering even some her biggest fans. Perry kept her own zany persona, but even gained more charm and never lost the ablility to wink at the audience every so often.
And we all have heard/seen just how much the two have really changed from 2010 to now. When Perry dropped “California Gurls”, it may have been the best prepared Summer-themed pop song in decades (with help from genius producer Dr. Luke). The singles (and videos) that followed have shown that Perry is a real pop star with considerable hit making skill. And, she’s got internet music videos on lock. Watch this if you don’t believe me.
As for GaGa, she’s no slouch. She’s still a star. But…she’s had a bumpy road as of late. When her single “Born This Way” dropped this spring, it was supposed to be not only a hit, but a newsmaker. Mainly because of it’s nods to gay pride. But, the single got a ton of notice for sounding too much like Madonna’s “Express Yourself”. And, on GaGa’s recent HBO televised concert, she displayed more Madonna-esque touches with her visuals and even dance numbers (So much so that my sixty something Dad said out loud, “Didn’t Madonna do all of that?”). Her singles from her current album are doing well, but the GaGa train seems to be moving a bit slower these days.
Right now, it looks like Katy Perry is the pop star/internet/video queen of the moment. Could GaGa reclaim her spot as the top dog ? Hard to say.
Because Perry and GaGa should be very afraid of Adele.