Madonna & Lady Gaga: Are they alike?

Christina Pomoni By Christina Pomoni, 31st Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Music

Madonna and Lady Gaga, although with nearly 20 years of difference, are provocative, eccentric and innovative. Moreover, they seem to like each other a lot.


They are both acknowledged as the “Queen of Pop”; they are provocative, eccentric and innovative in their stage performances; they are both fashion icons; and they are both confident women who don’t really care what the media think of them. Madonna and Lady Gaga, although with nearly 20 years of difference, seem to share many common features and they certainly like each other a lot.

Common start in New York City

In a recent interview to Rolling Stone magazine, Madonna has admitted that she sees in Lady Gaga a lot of herself in her early steps in pop music. Like Lady Gaga got her start in the late ‘00s performing with Lady Starlight in the hottest New York clubs, Madonna entered the pop scene in the early ‘80s by performing in New York City venues and launching a brand new performing style. Similarly, Lady Gaga adores Madonna to the extent of imitating her in her video clips and in dance moves.

Smash hits in debut albums

Both Madonna and Lady Gaga made momentous success with their debut albums.

When Madonna firstly appeared as a “Material Girl” in 1985 she launched a totally unique style that no other female artist had launched until then. Her voice, her moves, and her songs captured the audiences immediately and her debut album “Like a Virgin” (1985) peaked at #1 of the U.S. Billboard 200 and went 10x Platinum in the United States. “Material Girl”, “Like a Virgin”, “Dress You Up”, “Into the Groove”, “Angel” and “Love Don’t Leave Here Anymore”, all became smash hits that still enjoy airplay on radio shows around the globe as well as on MTV.

Lady Gaga’s debut album ‘The Fame’ (2008) peaked at #1 of US Dance/Electronic Albums and #2 of the U.S. Billboard 200 and went 3x Platinum in the United States. “Just Dance”, “Poker Face” and “Paparazzi” became smash hits that peaked top places of the Hot Dance Airplay and Hot Dance Club Play, the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, but also the UK Singles Chart. “Just Dance” was also nominated for Grammy Award in the Best Dance Recording category, while “Poker Face” was nominated and awarded the Grammy Award for the Best Dance Recording of 2010.

Provocative Video Clips

Recently Lady Gaga released the video clip of “Alejandro”, the third single of her second album “The Fame Monster” (2009). “Alejandro” has direct connotations to Madonna’s “Vogue” and “Justify My Love” by bringing into play androgyny models on a black and white setting. Gaga is bleach-blonde and, for the first time, abandons the extravagant outfits wearing a female pantsuit and a cone-bra. Another common point is the use of super athletic dancers dressed in underwear and high heels that evokes Madonna’s “Vogue” dancers - perhaps the most shocking, but at the same time progressive pop video clip of the 1990s.

Other similarities are to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”, “Erotica” and “America Life”. “Alejandro” uses heavily religious symbolism and imagery to the extent that Lady Gaga is accused of provoking the Catholic Church by being dressed as a nun, holding and swallowing a rosary, dancing in a flaming setting, getting unified with God and endorsing to extreme sexualization. Moreover, the military marching, the leather uniforms, the mind-controlled slaves, all refer to Third Reich.


Overall, both Madonna and Lady Gaga are controversial. They both got that extra edge that took them way above any other performer of their era. Fearless, innovative and intelligent, Madonna and Lady Gaga have their way with the audience, but are also heavily criticized by their opponents. When Madonna started her career many critics questioned her musical value. Over the years Madonna, being more a smart professional and less a multi-octave voice singer, managed to climb up the pop scene and become the indisputable “Queen of Pop”. Within two years, Lady Gaga has endured heavy criticism for her extravagant appearances and her manipulative way of intriguing audiences, but there is little doubt that this tiny 24-year old girl s talented and ready to go higher and further in her music career.



Lady Gaga, Madonna, Madonna Lady Gaga, Pop, Pop Music, Pop Star, Queen Of Pop

Meet the author

author avatar Christina Pomoni
As part of my long journey, I have served as an Equity Research Associate, a Marketing Research Analyst and a Financial & Investment Advisor. Besides, having lived at Chicago, IL, Boca Raton, FL and Paris, France has helped me, not only to be a succe...(more)

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author avatar Retired
31st Jul 2010 (#)

The similarities with these two are; they both have a great voice and are both shocking. I've only seen Lady Gaga performance once and was shocked as I was with Madonna's in the eighties. this is a great article Christina:)

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author avatar Christina Pomoni
31st Jul 2010 (#)

Thank you Petra. I totally agree with you.

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author avatar MaryAnneSimpson
31st Jul 2010 (#)


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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
7th Nov 2010 (#)

I am not a big fan of either...but i think Madonna is in different league.

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