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Lady Gaga: A Model For Success In The Digital Download Age

Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga -- who graduated from Manhattan's Convent of the Sacred Heart School, attended NYU for a bit and, in the past year or so, has captivated us with "outfits that make her look like a refugee from a sci-fi film" -- will open the Grammys Sunday doing a piano duet with elder rock statesman Elton John, John Jurgensen reports.

Perhaps our fascination with a performer who has framed her face in what looked like a bird's nest tells us more about us than about her -- "us" meaning the new audience of digital-savvy consumers used to downloading free streams of music. Gaga is a case study in how to succeed in the new environment, according to Jurgensen, having figured out how to balance digital giveaways with the clout of having a major label behind her.

"She is a product of a new kind of recording contract which goes beyond just selling records to encompass everything from touring, merchandise -- even her make-up deal," he writes. But, as Alice Cooper knowingly observes, Gaga's antics work only because "she can really sing."



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