Lady Gaga: Madonna Flap, "Judas" Fuss, Falls Flat

Gaga falls at concert, angers Catholics with Easter release.

ByLuchina Fisher
April 20, 2011, 1:01 PM

April 21, 2011— -- Lady Gaga is once again following in the footsteps of pop icon Madonna -- this time, she's courting controversy from the Catholic Church over her latest single, "Judas."

Gaga has reportedly scheduled the release of the single's video for Easter, much to the dismay of many Catholics. The eccentric star is having a tough week. For the second time this month she fell down during a live concert. Last night she slipped and fell during her concert in Atlanta according to TMZ.

She is already getting her share of criticism for "Judas." "It's all intentional," Catholic League President Bill Donohue told "It's done to take a few shots at Catholics."

"We've been down this road before," Donohue said, referring to Madonna and singer Sinead O'Connor. He called them and Gaga "the bad girls who went to Catholic school" and have something to work out.

"She mimics Madonna," Donohue said. "Madonna has admitted to loathing the Catholic Church. I don't see the same degree of vitriol on the part of Lady Gaga. But she's clearly not content to simply make an artistic statement. She has to make a quasi-political statement by releasing the video on Easter and tweaking Catholic sensibilities."

Gaga's creative director, Laurieann Gibson, defended the video, which she agreed was shocking, but for different reasons.

"I think it's just shocking because it's inspiring, you know?" Gibson told ABC News Radio. "And I mean shocked like, 'Wake up! There's lots around you to be hopeful about.'"

The song and video are told from Mary Magdalene's perspective, with lyrics such as, "When he comes to me, I am ready/ I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs/ Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain/ Even after three times, he betrays me/ I'll bring him down, a king with no crown..."

Gaga, who plays Mary Magdalene in the video, released the single early after parts of it and the video were leaked on the Internet. She compared the leaks to a "slow death."

It's not the only controversy surrounding Gaga -- late Wednesday, the star apologized for calling the comparisons between her hit "Born This Way" and Madonna's "Express Yourself" "retarded." The same night, she fell down on stage in Atlanta, Ga.

These days, fans can't get enough Gaga, and there is more of her to come. On May 7, HBO will air her Madison Square Garden concert from her Monster Ball tour. And her rep told ABC News Radio on Wednesday that she will perform for the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" on May 21, just two days before her "Born This Way" album is released.

Gibson, who co-directed the Judas video with Gaga, has said the pair worked hard not to offend people of faith. Gibson said she considers herself religious.

"It went through several changes and late-night debates because at one point, there were two completely different views and I was like, 'Listen, I don't want lightning to strike me! I believe in the Gospel and I'm not going there,'" she told The Hollywood Reporter about the song and video. "And it was amazing because to have that conversation about salvation, peace and the search for the truth in a room of non-believers and believers, to me, that was saying God is active in a big way."

Lady Gaga on 'Judas': God Sent Lyrics

Gaga, a former Catholic schoolgirl raised in New York, also said God was at work when she wrote the song.

"I feel like honestly that God sent me those lyrics and that melody," Gaga told the music magazine NME. "When you feel a message to give to the world and people are shooting arrows through it ... there's no way for something that pure to be wrong."

Gaga's latest controversy is ground well tread by her idol Madonna, who has long been a lightning rod for Christians, starting with her early hit, "Like a Virgin."

But it was Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video, with its symbolic Catholic images such as burning crosses and the stigmata, that caused a media storm. It includes a dream in which she makes love to a saint. The Vatican condemned the video. Family and religious groups protested it. Pepsi, which featured the song in a commercial, promptly dropped it and the singer.

In Gaga's video for her hit song "Alejandro," she swallows rosary beads while dressed as a nun in red latex, and simulates a sexual act while a crucifix stands nearby.

Some have called it homage to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and "Vogue" videos; others say it's a rip-off.

Gaga has lashed out at those who accuse her of ripping off Madonna, most recently for her single "Born This Way," which has been compared to Madonna's "Express Yourself."

"That's retarded," she told NME. "If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first f***ing artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means I'm f***ing smart. Sorry."

Don't expect Gaga to apologize for being controversial.

"Everything that we're doing, the collaboration that I have with Lady Gaga, is shocking an inspirational and insightful and dynamic and electric!" Gibson told ABC News radio. "So we're not gonna stop anytime soon."

Gaga Approves Parody

While Lady Gaga deals with the backlash on the "Judas" single, Weird Al Yankovic pays homage to Gaga in his parody, "Perform This Way."

Initially, the pop culture parodist was not going to put the parody song on his album without Gaga's approval.

But according to his blog post on Wednesday, it turns out Lady Gaga didn't know about the request.

"Gaga's manager has now admitted that he never forwarded my parody to Gaga – she had no idea at all. Even though we assumed that Gaga herself was the one making the decision (because, well, that's what we were TOLD), he apparently made the decision completely on his own. He's sorry. And Gaga loves the song," Yankovic wrote.

ABC News Radio's Andrea Dresdale contributed to this report.

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