Madonna Throws Stones at Lady Gaga from Glass House
After years of laying relatively low, The Material Girl has returned to the publicity circuit to promote her new film and album. Madonna is a talented artist and a marketing genius, both of which have earned her many well-deserved accolades, but she won’t be receiving any Miss Congeniality awards anytime soon.
Despite staying quiet about the never-ending “Born This Way” versus “Express Yourself” drama for nearly a year, Madge has finally decided to speak out on the issue. So, what does Madonna think about “Born This Way?” In short, it would appear that she agrees with Gaga’s critics that the song is far too similar to “Express Yourself.” Madonna summed up her opinion of “Born This Way” in a cleverly backhanded way by stating, “What a wonderful way to redo my song.” But not so fast Madonna!
What Madonna seems to have conveniently forgotten is that “Express Yourself” received a fair bit of criticism itself for borrowing from the chorus to the Staples Singers’ 1971 hit “Respect Yourself.” Many of us have fond memories of listening to Madonna exclaim, “Express yourself! Hey hey hey hey!” over the radio. However, it turns out the Staples Singers were exclaiming “Respect yourself! Dee dee dee dee!” in an awfully similar way over 40 years ago.
To be fair, no court has ever ruled that Madonna plagiarized “Respect yourself” (just as no court has ever ruled that Gaga ripped-off Madonna), but she already has a couple of strikes against her when it comes to copyright. In 2003, Madonna settled a lawsuit filed by famed photographer Guy Bourdin’s estate, alleging that her “Hollywood” video plagiarized his work. (Click here to see side-by-side comparisons of the two artists’ work.) Then in 2005, a Belgian court ruled that Madonna’s “Frozen” violated the copyright of Salvatore Acquaviva’s “Ma Vie Fout L'camp,” forcing Belgian radio stations to stop playing Madge’s hit and even banning the sale of the song and its parent album in some instances.Continued on the next page