At an Oscars ceremony whose high points were almost entirely musical, Lady Gaga stole the show. The “Bad Romance” singer ditched her usual elaborate theatrics for a pared-down, beautiful 50th anniversary tribute to The Sound of Music, for which she hit Julie Andrews’s high notes; the Oscar-winning actress thanked Gaga by name, proving that the establishment has accepted a pop star who was once the oddest girl in any room. What was shocking about it all was how un-shocking it was.
After all, this isn’t just any pop star we’re talking about. Lady Gaga practically invented the current era of pop music as spectacle, one that’s become an escalating arms race of self-conscious oddity. Katy Perry’s palling around with Left Shark and Miley Cyrus’s every aesthetic choice both owe som...
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