In these trying economic times, everyone is facing tough decisions, including executives at record companies. Just imagine being one of said bigwigs and trying to decide which of the many worthy acts you would support with the necessary cash to promote their latest release. You'd want to build the type of loyal following that not only makes their latest release a hit, but establishes a long-term career.
Now, for the sake of this blog, we bring you the case of two Who's Next artists--Katy Perry and Lady GaGa--and we're asking you, would you rather (mind out of the gutter, kids)… support Perry or GaGa? Let's just pretend that both artists are signed to the same label, you ran it, and you were forced to put all your resources behind only one of the two starlets.
Before someone starts raising a ruckus, we're fairly certain that our friends at Capitol and Interscope, respectively, want nothing more than to make both of the singers the new Madonna--i.e. career artists that are seemingly immune to trends and continue to sell a quarter-century into their career.
No matter how much you like either artist, the possibility of Perry or GaGa obtaining such long-term success is a long shot, especially in today's ADD-addled society that chews up its new stars and spits 'em out just as fast as it embraces them.
Still, we wish nothing but success to Katy and Lady, but we're wondering which one has a better shot at long-term success. Perry, a one-time Christian artist, is the veteran of the two, having already scored two chart-topping singles ("I Kissed A Girl" and "Hot N Cold") and a top 10 album (One Of The Boys). Lady GaGa, born Stefani Joanne Germanotta, sprung out of the New York underground and wrote songs for acts like the Pussycat Dolls before emerging as a potential star in her own right. Her single "Just Dance" also recently topped the charts and she seems destined for bigger things.
Strangely, both have a connection to Queen, a band whose legacy continues to influence current music-makers more than 17 years after the death of singer Freddie Mercury. Perry has called Mercury her biggest music influence, while GaGa's moniker was inspired by the title of that band's 1984 hit, "Radio Ga-Ga."
Since Perry has been on the scene, she's received plenty of TV time, including spots on New Year's Eve With Carson Daily, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and the MTV Music Video Awards and its European equivalent. She's also set to receive plenty of exposure on the upcoming 51st Grammy Awards telecast. She's nominated for best female pop vocal performance for "I Kissed A Girl," and the song is being used in "My Grammy Moment" promotion in which fans are being asked to upload their own videos of their performance of the song, with the winning clip showcased on the awards show. All that exposure is great--but you have to wonder if Perry isn't being a little over-exposed, which could turn some fans off.
GaGa's also received plenty of TV time, appearing on The Tonight Show, Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and even So You Think You Can Dance. She also received a Grammy nod, but in the much lower-profile best dance recording category. For some reason, possibly because she's newer to the scene, she seems the fresher of the two.
Then again, Lady GaGa's mostly dance-floor banging album, The Fame, shows less diversity than Perry's One Of The Boys. Perry even upped the ante in terms of versatility by performing a recent acoustic set at the intimate Hotel Café in Hollywood.
Finally, our final bit of evidence that we'll present you is both artists' Who's Next performances. Watch Perry get up close and personal in an acoustic performance of "I Kissed A Girl" and take a hard look at Lady GaGa get her freak on in her performance of "Just Dance."
So there you have it, dear readers, now it's time decide. If you were a record executive, would you rather get behind Kerry Perry or Lady GaGa? The choice is yours.