'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Did Lady Gaga copy Madonna?
February 15th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

'Showbiz Tonight' Flashpoint: Did Lady Gaga copy Madonna?

Lady Gaga can’t seem to distance herself from all the speculation that her new single “Born This Way” sounds suspiciously similar to Madonna’s “Express Yourself." People are calling Gaga a copycat and questioning the originality of the song.

I think Gaga is gifted, and I believe she is an amalgamation of a number of different styles and artists. I do think she is heavily influenced by Madonna, and Gaga has said she admires her tremendously. I do detect a little Madonna in “Born This Way,” but then I also see and hear Michael Jackson in Usher’s and Justin Timberlake’s music. It doesn’t make any of them less talented! Remember, imitation can be the sincerest form of flattery.

But what do you think? Did Lady Gaga copy Madonna? Post your thoughts below.

And be sure to check out our EXCLUSIVE interview with Lady Gaga’s creative director – who is not shy about defending Gaga in this Madonna controversy.

There are more big bombshell stories breaking today on "Showbiz Tonight":

Billy Ray Cyrus says “Hannah Montana” destroyed his relationship with Miley, and we'll be talking about why Whoopi Goldberg's furious with The New York Times.

I’ll see you live at 5 p.m. ET on "Showbiz Tonight" and again at 11 p.m. ET/PT today on HLN.

Watch Showbiz Tonight Weekdays Exclusively at 11PM ET on HLN.

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Madonna is the original

    Gaga has nothing too offer the industry and will be another flash in the pants...Madonna will survive because she is a talent, her songs are still a hit all over the world and she still has appeal too men..Go Madonna..

    March 6, 2013 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Madonna looks much better then Gaga

    Madonna is older yet she's a better talent and men are still attracted too her....Gaga is not talent nor can she write a song. She is just another poker face in the world just like her dumb song-Gaga is also dirty looking unlike Madonna even when she's casual in hollywood she looks good...Lady Gaga is just a fly by night who will be gone...Madonna will remain in the industry.

    March 6, 2013 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gaga always looks like a slob

    she's not appealing to the eye at all...

    March 6, 2013 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Shower

    Try a bath girlfriend

    March 6, 2013 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Most Hope Gaga is out of the industry soon

    She is another non appealing person in the industry she can't sing, her dancing sucks and she calls her fans monsters....stoopid

    March 6, 2013 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Everyone hates her...

    total has been

    March 6, 2013 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. GaGa has no voice

    In the end Gaga is a no talent–her voices sucks.

    March 6, 2013 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Look at her picture

    she looks filthy

    March 6, 2013 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Archie Slayden

    i really do not understand this... because of one song, madonna fans are going absolutely crazy. i listen to them both time and time again, they sound nothing alike to the untrained ear, and gaga has a much stronger voice than madonna (this is definitely true – madonna is nothing special). if you made someone who had never listened to either song before listen to them one after the other, they would not tell the difference, trust me i did it with my parents, they didn't even bat an eyelash. to be honest though, madonna fans will die defending her and claiming BTW is a rip off of Express Yourself while Little Monsters will do the opposite with Lady G. FACT.

    March 6, 2013 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Guy

    Lady Gaga did not rip off Madonna. We all seem to forget how much Madonna ripped off Marilyn Monroe. You can look at any of her photo's from the 80s and early 90s and compare them to Marilyn Monroe's photos from the 40s, 50s, and the early 60s and they are almost exactly alike. Also, "Born This Way" and "Express Yourself" sound nothing alike. They do have the same lines of progression but that is the same that has been used in Disco since the 1970s. All of you people that are obsessed with Madonna just hate change and need to realize that Madonna is in her 50s and Gaga is in her 20s and its time for Madonna to pass the baton to someone else, which is Lady Gaga.

    September 8, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gibson

    All music is influenced by earlier music. Nothing in any genre is new in any way. When it comes to this specific song, there is no doubt that it is a complete cut and paste of several Madonna songs. I can't stand either to be honest, but growing up hearing Madonna, and having to listen to Gaga due to co-workers, I swore it was Madonna the first time I heard it... But again rappers " sample " other songs, loop them and lay down lyrics over it. No reason to hate on gaga, just simply don't buy it, or listen to it.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ACE

    Gaga is certainly a tried and old act. Yes she copied Madonna and if I'm not mistaken, said so. I just don't understand the hating. She didn't copy Madonna's songs word for word did she? Did she copy even a single line of her music? There are thousands of songs that sound alike in melody. I hate Lady Gaga and hert whole persona...but I don't feel the need to write negative things or voice my opinion publically...that is even more low if you believe she is low fort "copying" Madonna. Just don't listen to her music or buy it. That's how artists that aren't worth the money fade away into oblivion.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chad Sway Morrison

    Total Rip. Absolutely. Flow and Melody are WAY too close to be called original. Madonna has a smoother and better voice as well. To the idiot who said Gaga was a better singer. Not even close. Not even in the same league. Madonna was shock pop before Gaga was a thought. Gaga also copies Marilyn Manson to a GREAT degree. She's incapable of being original and ultimately an amalgamation of recycled originality. She's pretty entertaining also.

    May 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lola

    "you're right lady gaga is a much better singer than madonna. madonna admitted she isn't the best singer or dancer, but she knows how to get attention."

    Madonna is a MUCH better dancer and performer, seeing that she is an actually trained dancer, and her songs are better.
    Gaga has a generic/standard voice a la Christina and all those "artists" and her songs are generic tripe.

    March 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. danielson

    you can saying thing u what but there is no one like lady gaga . she is the best thing to happen to this earth . she help so many that are hurting she is the best . love you mommy monster

    February 23, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  16. Bobby Fontaine

    Lady Gaga to launch candidacy for White House on 11/11/11??


    February 17, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  17. lynne

    You mean Lady Gaga is not just a less attractive, flat chested Madonna tribute artist??? i'm shocked..

    February 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Just

    Gaga does copy Madonna too much. I went to her concert and I was shocked as half everything she was doing was exactly the same thing Madonna did on past tours. Even the stage was almost equal to the Madonna last tour (but more poor, less screens, less special effects and less elevators). Even dance routines was like Madonna. Already on "Alejandro" video she did the vogue routine with the same kind of photografy and outfit. Now this is to much as GAGA is making money singing a song that was written by Madonna but from where Madonna won't get a single cent as on the writting credits only appears Lady Gaga – that's steal something that is protected by the law. That's a crime equal to make tillegal copies of CDs to sell.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  19. heather


    February 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      No. You need to get over your generic mainstream self, and get a clue where Gaga gets ideas from !

      March 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Bobby T.

    I didn't know anything about any controversy and hadn't heard or read anything about Gaga copying Madonna. First time I heard Born this way was when she performed it at the Grammy's. I immediately thought of Madonna's Express Yourself. First thing I thought. Second thing was I liked the song just like I liked Express Yourself. It is definitely a copy of Madonna but I don't care as Gaga has more or less indicated that she did copy Madonna. And that is why I LOVE Lady Gaga so much. She is so honest with her fans. I really do love her. She is such a gorgeous pantyhose queen. I have been a fan of hers way before she became famous. She is such a smart woman. First time I saw her performing on one of the talk shows years ago I knew right away that this girl was going to be a huge hit. She knew that wearing sheer nylon pantyhose was immeasurably important to attract fans as they make your legs, butt, and feet look beyond delicious and fantastic. And she had so much energy and her song was so catchy. And sure enough, years later and she is a mega international superstar and still to this day is a leggy pantyhose Goddess.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  21. LadyBoy Gaga

    LadyBoy Gaga may have copied Madonna yet I think Madonna doesnt have a penis dangling between her legs.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  22. Joe


    They sound THE SAME!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  23. Giovanni


    February 16, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  24. George


    February 16, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  25. Pubala

    Lady Gaga is just the Mcdonald's version of Madonna

    February 16, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  26. Al

    "Born This Way" is clearly mimicking "Express Yourself" in both rhythm and cadence, You can sing one song while the other is playing and the overlap is striking. However, the debate about whether this similarity is theft or homage doesn't really interest me - the bigger issue is that the song really demonstrates a potential "slipping point" in Gaga's rise to prominence. Lady Gaga puts forth a very vibrant, unique persona that makes a lot of statements about the world we live in. "Born This Way," with its didactic lyrics and preachy viewpoint, "discusses" issues that Gaga used to just embody, Every song she's put out has made this same statment in a more compelling, less thesis-driven manner. And as many artists before her have shown, when you start discussing your persona instead of just *being* it, your a few tiny steps from making yourself irrelevant.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  27. GAG


    February 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  28. The Daily Blab

    TODAYS HEADLINES "Lady Gaga charged with theft." "Michael Jackson's family files false impersonation charges." "Tonya Harding's unborn child speaks from the womb, wants to be adopted." FORGET TMZ GET THE LATEST NEWS HERE – STAY TUNED FOR THE LATEST BLAB.

    February 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  29. tara

    She has stolen from Dale Bozzio as well.

    February 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Karen

    The songs are similar.

    February 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  31. what goes around.....

    I don't understand why everyone is so "shocked" by Lady Gaga, she's no different than the rock shockers of the 70s (Alice Cooper, Ozzie Osborne, Kiss, Madonna, etc.). Being "shocking" made money then and it will make money now. She, too, will get old and fade, such is fame. Go for it and let the audience decide whether she has talent or not. Personally, I'm not impressed 🙂

    February 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Stephen

    You can call GaGa what you will, cause she ain't gonna call ya back. She is amazing. I am Madonna's age and followed her career, she should be honored someone wants to take the torch. GaGa will be around for a good long time, don't be such haters. I am happy to call myself a MONSTER, and old one, but a monster none the less. Let's not forget the charity work and activism she does...do YOU?
    Go GAGA you are loved.

    February 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Tripp

    I thought it was FREAKIN AWESOME!!!! Lady Gaga is a true talent, i know both songs, and through out history a lot of songs sounds similar but aren't the same, Lady Gaga has always said how much she loves Madonna and everything she does, and for Madonna she should take that as the ultimate complement

    February 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • xjdavid

      I agree. And Lady Gaga can sing and play, and write her own songs and songs for other people as well. Everybody I work with says they can't stand her, yet she's the only one they've talked about since the Grammies. Mission accomplished. People said the exact same thing about Madonna when she was crawling around on the floor in a wedding dress.
      Besides, I'll take freaky and weird over boring any day. I'm so tired of pretty people in designer clothes who just look good. And the article makes a good point...Timberlake and Usher are blantant copies of Michael Jackson.
      And people..."Express Yourself" was well over 20 years ago.

      February 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  34. brittneey

    Theree Bothh Weirdd Ahha (:

    February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Gaga GAG

    Freak of a girl. Frieken weird-o.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  36. eae5

    Actually, I kinda thought she channeling a little Willow Smith with that hair whip thing she was doing.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  37. shell517nj

    that genie look is also madonna. what is left for an artist to do that hasn't already been done by another artist. give her credit no one has yet to be hatched from an egg. lol, anyway, very little music today is different from yesterdays. they all sound alike. lol. why should she be any different?

    February 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  38. JR

    GAGA may have ripped off Madonna but if you think Madonna didn't rip someone off your crazy. GAGA was a little girl when Madonna was a big star....some stuff is going to rub off. GAGA isn't much to look at but I think she's a better singer then Madonna. I'm creeping myself out....can't beleive I just commented about Madonna and GAGA.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • shell517nj

      you're right lady gaga is a much better singer than madonna. madonna admitted she isn't the best singer or dancer, but she knows how to get attention. i'll never forget she had little girls singing "like a version". lmao.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • shell517nj

      you're right lady gaga is a much better singer than madonna. madonna admitted she isn't the best singer or dancer, but she knows how to get attention. i'll never forget she had little girls singing "like a virgin, touched for the very first time". lmao.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ronster

      Dont forget that the song like a virgin is a big rip of MJacksons Billy, Jean and it wasnt just a chord progression. She basically stole the bass line! Oh and Billie Jean didnt come out 20 years before Like a Virgin!

      June 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  39. cheefsfury



    February 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Superhiro

    Lol not sure about all the Jew hating there, but I do agree she's just plain awful. The fact that she's the most popular artist proves that humanity is a failing species.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Humanity is not failing, but with the norm being so boring we seek crazy, out of the normal things.

      Lady Gaga sucks, that is my personal opinion; she is weird, and overdoing it like crazy, but she is not normal and so people are attracted to that.

      April 24, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  41. Superhiro

    Never heard the Madonna song they're referencing but if it's really that similar to Gaga's song all it means is that both songs are awful.

    February 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |

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