Lady Gaga has released an alternate studio version of the single “Do What U Want” with another lady, pop diva Christina Aguilera, taking over the vocals originally done by R&B singer R. Kelly.
While Lady Gaga performed the song with R. Kelly live when she hosted Saturday Night Live, Mother Monster picked a new partner for the duet when performing it on the season finale of The Voice (sadly, there was more hand-holding than dry humping in Lady Gaga’s Xtina version).
“This is the first time we’ve ever met and I have to say, when I heard she wanted to collaborate I said, ‘Of course! Lady Gaga!’ I’ve been waiting to meet her,” Aguilera said during the finale, via New York Daily News.
No explanation was given for Gaga kicking Kelly to the curb, and it never hurts to have two versions of the same single for sale, but TIME reminds the world that the switcheroo comes in the wake of an “extensive interview” in the Village Voice by Jessica Hopper with Jim DeRogatis, a former Chicago Sun-Times reporter who’d covered the allegations that R. Kelly had had sex with underage girls.
Lady Gaga announced the studio version of the song on Twitter, just shy of 30 minutes into the new year; Aguilera had actually beaten Gaga to the punch, tweeting the link to the new version of “Do What U Want” in the iTunes store at 11:36 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. In the often catty world of manufactured gossip with regards to pop divas, hopefully that 50-minute head start won’t lead to trouble in Lady Gaga and Xtina’s new collaborative relationship.
Comment’s on the R. Kelly version of the song on Lady Gaga’s VEVO account on YouTube alternate between clamoring for a video of the song and sparingly deriding the collaboration with R. Kelly because of his past alleged misdeeds. The video is promised to come out soon, directed by photographer Terry Richardson, who gave us the scandalous force of nature that is Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
What do you think of the Lady Gaga-Xtina collaboration? Do you like it better than the version featuring R. Kelly? Is it a smart move for Lady Gaga to distance herself from that collaboration?