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The Oprah Winfrey Show is an American syndicated talk show hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey. It ran nationally for 25 seasons beginning in 1986, before concluding in 2011. It is the highest-rated talk show in American television history.
The show was highly influential, and many of its topics penetrated into American pop-cultural consciousness. While early episodes of the show followed a Phil Donahue-style exploration of sensationalistic social issues, Oprah eventually transformed her series into a more positive, spiritually uplifting experience by featuring book clubs, celebrity interviews, self-improvement segments, and philanthropic forays into world events. The show gained credibility by not trying to profit off the products it endorsed; it had no licensing agreement with retailers when products were promoted, nor did the show make any money from endorsing books for its book club.
As of 2011, it was one of the longest-running daytime television talk shows in the United States and in television history, having run nationally since September 8, 1986 for 25 seasons and 4,561 episodes. The show entered its 25th and final season on September 13, 2010, and its final episode aired on May 25, 2011
Oprah Winfrey opened Lady Gaga's performance with a brief introduction which told of some of what Lady Gaga has accomplished. Lady Gaga came on stage, which was designed to look like a city, while wearing and spinning studded ball and chain that's attached to her microphone. She began performing "Monster" in a choreographed dance sequence with her dancers. The music then cuts to the breakdown of "Bad Romance, and they all begin performing the choreography to the song. Gaga then walks over to the car on the set, which has screens that show people acting normally in a car, and Gaga begins pounding the car with the ball and chain. The music stops, and Gaga walks over to the piano and beings to perform "Speechless" on a piano designed to look like a dumpster.
She is the hottest thing in music, right now! What Lady Gaga has accomplished in just 15 months is astounding! 8 million records sold, 6 Grammy nominations, and the first artist in history to have 4 #1 hits on a debut album. Welcome, Lady Gaga!
Lady Gaga appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and was interviewed about fame, her creative process, Haiti, and the message she wants to send out with her music and her work.
"Before she became an international phenomenon, before the over-the-top costumes, the controversial performances, Lady Gaga was the girl next door with the Catholic school upbringing. Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, she was raised in one of New York's wealthiest neighborhoods. Paris Hilton was her classmate. She studied classical piano from the time she was four-years-old. By the time she was in high school, she was writing songs and performing in the high school chorus. But she says she longed to breakaway from her Catholic school upbringing. She found that freedom, and her voice, onstage in local night clubs. Just a few years later, she said good bye to Stefani for good and hello to Lady Gaga."
Oprah: "Lady Gaga is here! So, what do you like to be called?"
Lady Gaga: "Gaga."
Lady Gaga: "Yeah."
Oprah: "So I don't have to say Lady Gaga."
Lady Gaga: "No, I don't like that, actually. I don't know why, but it feels so weird when people call me 'Lady.'"
Lady Gaga: "Yeah."
Lady Gaga: "So formal."
Oprah: "So Gaga, can you believe your life right now?"
Lady Gaga: "No."
Lady Gaga: "I real feel so blesses, and every day I can't believe the amazing fans I have. I feel so lucky."
Oprah: "Yeah. Do you wake and feel like... Obviously, when you were creating this in your own mind... It was fascinating, you and James Cameron, two visual artists, are on in your own separate fields, but when you were creating this, you were doing it in a way that you wanted to express a part of you that needed to be expressed, obviously."
Lady Gaga: "I've always been a very creative person and a very visual person and, something some people don't always know about me is, that I put a lot of thought behind all of my performances. It's actually funny that you bring up James Cameron, because I've been talking about how I wanted to paint myself blue for one of my performances for the longest time, and everyone was like, 'No, you can't paint yourself blue,' and I've been preparing to do it, and then Avatar came out."
Oprah: "And Avatar came out."
Lady Gaga: "I told you!"
Oprah: "Yes, yes."
Lady Gaga: "I know."
Oprah: "Great minds think alike. So, where does Gaga come from?"
Lady Gaga: "The Queen song, 'Radio Gaga.'It was just a nickname my friends had for me in New York and my producer and it just kinda stuck with me. It was nice having a space for myself where I felt safe and not feel like such a freak all the time."
Oprah: "So tell me this, I heard when you first performed, your father had thought you lost your mind, right?"
Lady Gaga: "Yeah."
Oprah: "Cause you had on... What were you wearing?"
Lady Gaga: "I was wearing a leather G-string."
Oprah: "A leather G-string."
Lady Gaga: "At a nightclub with Lady Starlight and we were wearing Indian headdresses and dancing to 'Run to the Hills' by Iron Maiden."
Oprah: "And your father said?"
Lady Gaga: "He just thought I was completely nuts. He didn't get it, you know. And I don't know if I really got it, I just know I really wanted to do it and I believed in it and I think it was the nature of doing these kinda shock art, pop cultural, commentary pieces that, like the VMA performance, for me, that was a commentary on Princess Diana and about being a martyr to fame, and how she touched my life and my mothers life when I was so young. So, in my own way..., I don't even think people made that connection for that performance. But for me..."
Oprah: "And then Paparazzi, when you do Paparazzi, that's some of the same thing."
Lady Gaga: "Yeah."
Oprah: "Yes. So, i just said to James Cameron that I would like to be in his head for 10 minutes. I would like to be in yours for about 3."
Lady Gaga: "Okay, lets see if she has some minutes. I love it. I'd like to be in your mind for about fifty, but I'm sure we all would."
Oprah: "Thank you. So lets look at some of your headline making, outrageous outfits that you designed. Tell us about this one.
Lady Gaga: "Oh yeah. Well, that's Alexander McQueen. I added the hat to it. It's an archive, the oldest archive in the McQueen collection.And it was meant to be a continuation of the VMA performance. So after I, the princess, had been murdered by the Paparazzi, the red lace was meant to to symbolize my eternal martyrdom."
Oprah: "And this?"
Lady Gaga: "Oh. Well that's Jean le Castelbajac outfit. And I don't like to wear fur, so it was my way of making a comment about fur, cause it looks like a bunch of dead muppets."
Oprah: "Like a bunch of dead muppets."
Lady Gaga: "Yeah."
Lady Gaga: "Well that's the Queen. Well, I kinda wanted to do an homage to the Queen. So that was my Queen Elizabeth the First outfit, but it was made out of leather so it's still Gaga."
Oprah: "Still Gaga. So, do you spend a lot of time thinking bout it or does it just come: the outfits, the creative expressions."
Lady Gaga: "The inspiration comes naturally, but I put a lot of time and effort into everything I do, to the point where I do nothing else. I wake up in the morning and I work, creatively, all day and on future things that I'm doing..."
Oprah: "So what's the day like. You're thinking about?"
Lady Gaga: "I wake up in the morning and I get on my computer and I have files, lists of references and I have reference boards with all of my materials on it. And I basically call the Haus of Gaga all day and argue with them about what I want to do. When they te;; 'You can't do that!,'then I say 'I can bleed to death on directed television if I want to. For me, it's all about, being provocative is not just about getting people's attention. It's about really saying something that affects people in a real way, in a positive way. So all the things that I do in terms of The Fame and in terms of The Fame Monster, its meant to make it easier to swallow this horrific media world that we live in."
Oprah: "We'll have more with Lady Gaga, Gaga, when we come back."
"I'm Lady Gaga. This is your first ever behind-the-scenes look at my mind and my artistic vision. So would you like to come see the clothes? All of the songs have specific outfits that go with them. This is meant to be bone inspired. This is my full animal outfit. I really love shoulder pads so I made myself into a hunchback. Here is the infamous disco bra which I wore in the Just Dance video. I actually made this myself. I'm watching my bra size. I was a Go Go dancer so I like to wear stripper shoes. So we buy very inexpensive shoes and we reinforce them. I don't dress any differently offstage than I do onstage so sometimes I get excited and steel my own costumes. The hardest part of my job is that I'm bossy. I spend hours and hours and hours calling everybody on my team to put together the show of my dreams, cause really this is my only opportunity to live my dream. I keep a really strong relationship with my superfans, because their so full of life and energy. I'm all ready for the show, and so, right now, we're going to do the prayer we always do before the show. We always, at the end of the prayer, say Joanne, all together, because that was my father's sister who died when she was really young, and I believe she's onstage with us every night."
Oprah: "Woo! That looks like the most fun in the world."
Lady Gaga: "Thank you. It was."
Oprah: "It looks like the most fun in the world, but you're saying to me, these are your friends, you don't have a lot of celebrity friends, sometimes you feel very isolated."
Lady Gaga: "Yeah, I don't really have a tremendous connection to the celebrity world in that way. So my friendships are really with my fans, and that's how i really communicate my vision. It's through them and through the music. I just really want to say, also, Oprah, you're the most amazing woman and we were talking earlier how there's Gandhi and then there's Oprah. So, we really love you."
Oprah: "Thank you."
Lady Gaga: "I just really wanted to say that."
Oprah: "Thank you."
Lady Gaga: "It's why we let you backstage at the Monster Ball."
Oprah: "We were just talking, during the commercial break, that life goes on for us and everybody will go out and get your groceries and do all the things you do on a Friday. And i do this show. And Gaga will leave and do her work and be in her head. But we were saying there's nothing more important than what's going on in Haiti."
Lady Gaga: Haiti's still suffering. And I was thinking earlier, too, cause I was in New York during 9/11 cause that's where I grew up and I felt, the level of disaster is not even close to what is happening in Haiti, but I remember feeling that nobody really understood what we were going through in New York, and I worry about that for young people. That they don't know enough about what's really going on there and I just wanted to say today that on the 24th, the Monster Ball in New York City, all of the money that I make in ticket sales and merchandise that day will go to Haiti. so every but counts."
Oprah: "That's wonderful. Well can I say, that is so great because that's what you can do. I can do something different.Everybody who is watching can do something different. And so, I was saying to Gaga, the most important thing for me, cause I know all the attention is on Haiti now, the most important thing for me, having this platform, is weeks from now, still continuing because when it's out of our consciousness, the will still be suffering."
Lady Gaga: "That's right. And on the 24th, you can also go onto LadyGaga.com, if you're not going to the Monster Ball, and any merch that you buy on the website. not a dollar is going to anybody else, but to Haiti. So, anything you buy on the 24th is going to Haiti."
Oprah: "So tell me, what would people be most surprised to know about you? What would people be most surprised to know?"
Lady Gaga: "About me. Oh, okay. I can tell you. So Oprah, as a surprise for me, she had Art Smith, a chef, come to cook for me, today, this morning, and I'm the hugest fan and secretly I want to be a wannabe foodee. And I love to cook. So that's something people don't know. And I'm such a huge fan, and he made me chicken and waffles this morning."
Oprah: "Chicken and waffles. I came into the kitchen this morning, there is fried chicken everywhere. And I said, 'you are eating fried chicken, already, this morning?'"
Lady Gaga: "Yes. I always have very trying weeks, in terms of my physical schedule."
Lady Gaga: "And sometimes I wake up in the morning and I'm like, 'Oh gosh, I need to find my soul.' And he just gave me some soul in the morning. I said, 'I have soul for Oprah today!'"
Oprah: "Thank you Art. Art Smith who made the breakfast for Lady Gaga. So, i love what you said earlier about you're not being provocative just to be provocative. The you want your music to inspire people and to say something and to mean something. What do you think you have most of? You have all of these people who are, I don't know, Little Monsters."
Lady Gaga: "My Little Monsters."
Oprah: "We have all the little monsters who are dressing up like you. My friend Gayle tried to get me to dress up like a Little Monster and I go ' I would look like a little fool."
Lady Gaga: "I made you a hair bow, though."
Oprah: "You did?"
Lady Gaga: "Yeah. You'll see it a little later."
Lady Gaga: "Yes."
Oprah: "A little later. Okay. So what is the message you most want people to receive?"
Lady Gaga: "I want them to free themselves. And I want them to be proud of who they are. And I want them to celebrate all the thing the don't like about themselves the way that I did. And to be so truly happy on the inside. I say that so, so, genuinely to you because I perform every night and I look into your beautiful eyes and I love you so much."
Oprah: "You sure do. That's true love."
Lady Gaga: "'Cause I know, I know how you feel."
Oprah: "So the message of Gaga is to be, to be who you are."
Lady Gaga: "Yourself. And I, you know, I never gave up on my dream. And I, be good with your parents too. Keep good, solid relationships with you parents, 'cause I have a wonderful mother and father and they always believed in me, and I worked so hard and never give up on yourself."
Oprah: "Wow, we'll be right back."
Oprah: "I love you."
Lady Gaga: "Careful with the spiked hair in your face."
Oprah: "No, it's okay. But you were saying that spiked means so much more. It's not just a hair accessory."
Lady Gaga: "It's about whatever makes me feel good."
Oprah: "It's about what makes you feel good and being able to express that and being comfortable with yourself. Lady Gaga's album is The Fame Monster. I don't have to tell you all. You Little Monsters. The Fame Monster, it's in stores now, and she added her signature style to these very cool, listen, I was on the treadmill this morning with these headphones, hoping somebody would ask me what were they, so I can say 'Gaga gave them to me.' They're called Lady Gaga's, and they're Heartbeat headphones, and everybody in the audience is going home with them. Lady Gaga, Heartbeat headphones.
Lady Gaga appeared on one of the last episodes of the show, and the last segment of "Harpo Hookup." Gaga introduced her own performance using a prerecorded video of herself. She performed an acoustic intro of "Born This Way" and the album version of "Yoü and I" for the first time on television, on a piano that was constructed to be an enlarged version of a wire high-heel art project that Gaga's sister, Natali, had created. The performance also changed some lyrics in Yoü and I to specifically reference Oprah and the show. After the performance, Oprah briefly interviewed Gaga.
"Hello Oprah and everyone, this is Lady Gaga. Congratulations on the last Harpo Hookup show. I feel so privileged and honored that I ever got invited to perform on your show. And I only wish that I could be there today, except, sadly, I could not find the right pair of shoes to wear. Unless, of course...
Oprah: "There you are, the Gaga Lady! Oh, the usual. Love you dear."
Lady Gaga: "Congratulations. Thanks for the show. Thank you so much."
Oprah: "Thank you. It's the Gaga Lady! Wow. You are truly a phenomenon. You are a phenomenon, you are."
Lady Gaga: "You are truly a phenomenon."
Oprah: "Well, lets be phenomenons together. You're 25 and already you've accomplished so much. And I think the greatest thing you've accomplished is exactly what you're new CD says. You encourage people to be comfortable being born the way they are, being born that way."
Lady Gaga: That's right."
Oprah: "Yes, yes."
Lady Gaga: "That's right. And I appreciate that we've all had someone like Oprah, such a strong woman, to lead us for so long, to continue to lead us. Thank you for inspiring me and thank you for inspiring the world."
Oprah: "Thank you. Thank you. This is what I want to know. This is what I want to know, Gaga. Who dreams of all of this?"
Lady Gaga: "We designed the outfit, but my sister, who is 19-years-old, she's a fashion student, and she created a sculpture of a high heel, and this was her first piece in college, and I made it into a piano to surprise her. So surprise, Natali."
Oprah: "Oh, that is so wonderful. Lady Gaga's new album, Born This Way, is out May 23rd. Thanks for helping us go out with a bang. Audience, you get to say what no one ese gets to say. You're spending the afternoon with Johnny Depp. 14 more shows to go, see you tomorrow everyone."