Lady Gaga shocked the world yet again at the Oscars with her stunning performance of Sound of Music. It was so beautiful that Julie Andrews, the one who made those songs famous, came out to congratulate the classically trained singer and audiences around the world took to Twitter to express their utter amazement.
With all of this excitement and buzz surrounding the performance, one might ask why exactly is everyone so shocked? Anyone who has been following her career should have seen this coming. While it is surely a career boost for Gaga, this is nothing new for Gaga. one might think by the reaction that she had never sang a note before this, however,in recent years, she has been steadily pulling away from her shock-and-awe pop music routine and expanding her music catalog to include Jazz and roots music.
In all fairness, the astonishment is partly due to Lady Gaga’s own reputation. From meat dresses and cyber-punk accessories to her LGBT activism, Lady Gaga became known for her outlandish and shocking visual imagery and music videos as well as her public stance on controversial issues. Perhaps all of this has overshadowed the talent that has been consistently fueling her fame.
Lady Gaga has been pushing her own musical envelope since her early days as a music theater nerd when she was known as Stefani Germanotta. She began acting and singing in high school musicals like Guysand Dolls, and A Funny Thing Happenedon the Way to the Forum. where she began to hone her theatrics and singing voice.
After her stint in art school, she began performing live with the Stefani Germanotta Band, where she belted out original rock songs and Led Zeppelin Covers. Eventually she combined her talent with her visual art and became the artist we all know as Lady Gaga.
While her visually striking appearance can be both artistic and offensive, she had the ability to push any number of buttons. Even as she began to don oblong dresses, her music was provocative and she went on to become one of the top-selling musical artists of the 21 century.
In the past few years, she has toned down her attire to a more classic Hollywood aesthetic. She has also returned to her roots a bit with her renditions of John Lennon’s Imagine, and Jazz renditions of her own pop songs like ‘You and I’. She even recorded a Jazz Album with music legend Tony Bennett, who recognized her talent right away.
“She’s actually a very wonderful singer and we’re going to go with a lot of big, swinging jazz songs…to show everybody she really knows how to sing beautifully.”
Her return to musical theater numbers like those from The Sound of Music is not at all out of character for the artist. If the critics are shocked its only because they haven’t been paying attention.