Applause (Lady Gaga song)

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"Applause"
Single by Lady Gaga
from the album Artpop
Released August 12, 2013 (2013-08-12)
Format
Recorded 2013
The Record Plant (Hollywood)
Platinum Sound Recording Studio (New York City)
Genre
Length 3:32
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair
  • Lady Gaga
  • Dino Zisis
  • Nick Monson
Lady Gaga singles chronology
"Marry the Night"
(2011)
"Applause"
(2013)
"Do What U Want"
(2013)

"Applause" is a song by American singer Lady Gaga from her third studio album, Artpop (2013). It was released as the album's lead single by Interscope Records on August 12, 2013. Written and produced by Gaga, DJ White Shadow, Dino Zisis and Nick Monson, additional songwriters included Martin Bresso, Nicolas Mercier, Julien Arias and William Grigahcine. "Applause" was inspired by the cheering of her fans, which kept her motivated during the months she toured with the Born This Way Ball in pain, before cancelling it due to a hip injury. It is an electropop and Eurodance song built around synthesizers and hi-NRG beats, with lyrics addressing how Gaga is dependent upon her fan's adoration and how she lives to perform.

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its catchy chorus and favorably compared it to the material featured on Gaga's debut album, The Fame (2008). "Applause" achieved worldwide commercial success in a variety of major music markets. In the United States, the song became Gaga's twelfth top-ten (and ninth top-five) single when it peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed in the top 10 of the Hot 100 for fourteen consecutive weeks and sold over 2,580,000 copies, as of April 2015. "Applause" has been certified three-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

An accompanying music video directed by fashion photographer duo Inez and Vinoodh was released on August 19, 2013 and broadcast on jumbo-screens across Times Square. The video received positive reviews from critics, who saw it as a profile of the artist herself and noted references to German Expressionist cinema and Andy Warhol. To promote the record, Gaga opened the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards with a performance of the song in which she dissected her career through several on-stage wardrobe changes. Many other notable live performances followed, including ones on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, as well as during Gaga's residency show at Roseland Ballroom and on the ArtRave: The Artpop Ball.

Background and writing[edit]

DJ White Shadow, one of the co-writers of "Applause"

Development of Artpop began shortly after the release of Born This Way (2011),[1] and by the following year, the album's concepts were "beginning to flourish" as Gaga collaborated with producers Fernando Garibay and DJ White Shadow.[2][3] Initial recording sessions for Artpop coincided with the Born This Way Ball: up to fifty songs were sketched out and considered for inclusion.[4][5] By May 2012, the project was taking definite form, with co-manager Vincent Herbert promising "insane, great records" within its craft.[6] Gaga herself admitted that she yearned to make audiences have "a really good time" with Artpop, engineering the album to mirror "a night at the club". "When you listen to it, it really flows nicely. It's really fun to pop in with your friends. I really wrote it for me and my friends to pop in from start to finish", she said in a 2013 interview for MTV.[7] Meanwhile, the singer began presenting tracks to her record company and hoped to reveal the album's working title by September,[8] a revelation that instead was announced one month in advance.[9] The artist later claimed that Artpop was her first "real" effort that emulated a "phoenix rising from the ashes", reflecting her heightened confidence in writing material for the album compared to her previous efforts.[10]

Following hip surgery in February 2013, the singer was forced into a six month hiatus, during which she studied literature and music with the Haus of Gaga in addition to sharing "creative gifts".[11] This stage allowed her to review and enhance her creative direction, which she admitted to be a meticulous "gazing process". "I have to gaze into the work for long periods of time for it to be good," adding that upon analyzing her ideas, she received "that wonderful feeling" which told her "that's the one".[11] "Applause" was written and produced by Lady Gaga and DJ White Shadow, along with Nick Monson and Dino Zisis while on the road for her Born This Way Ball tour in 2012. Other songwriters working on the track included Martin Bresso, Nicolas Mercier, Julien Arias and William Grigahcine.[11][12][13] It was speculated as a song by Gaga for her album Artpop in early 2013, when she tweeted lyrics from the song followed by, "The Applause".[14] Talking to Sirius XM Radio, Gaga further explained the inspiration behind the writing of the track:

"I realized it was the applause of the fans that really kept me going. Because I would be ready to go onstage and just be crying hysterically not understanding even how I was feeling. I was feeling very dizzy, I had a lot of vertigo, I had pain but it's like fuck if I know what hurts the most because I'd been on tour for a year. But I didn't want to let them down and I just couldn't cancel because the thought of leaving 50,000 kids in the arena just broke my heart. So I went out every night and I played and I played and I played until I couldn't walk one night."[15]

Recording and composition[edit]

"Applause" was recorded at Record Plant Studios, Hollywood, California, and Platinum Sound Recording Studio, New York City by Dave Russell, with Benjamin Rice and Andrew Robertson working as assistants. Russell also did the mixing of the track at Record Plant and at Heard It! Studios. Additional mixing was done by Bill Malina, with assistance from Rice and Ghazi Hourani. Rick Pearl performed the additional programming and Gene Grimaldi completed the audio mastering at Oasis Mastering Studios in Burbank, California.[16]

A 21-second sample of "Applause", featuring the chorus where Gaga sings, "Give me the thing that I love (I'll turn the lights on) / Put your hands up make 'em touch (Make it real loud)" backed by an electropop production.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, "Applause" is set in the time signature of common time and has a tempo of 140 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of G minor, following the chord progression of Gm–F–E–Cm–F–Gm, with Gaga's vocals spanning from F3 to D5.[17] The record has been pinned to the electropop and Eurodance music genres,[18][19] and has been cited as returning Gaga to her career roots by mirroring the sounds of her debut album.[19][20] Evan Sawdey of PopMatters described it as "closer to 'Just Dance' in style over any of her Born This Way-era hits, but in a much more aggressive fashion, catering to the gradual EDM-stranglehold of pop radio."[21] Erin Coulehan of Rolling Stone concurred, calling it "a throwback to 'LoveGame'-era Gaga."[22]

The song's production is primarily centered around hi-NRG beats, stuttering synthesizers, and hard snares.[23] Robbie Daw from Idolator noted that the "opening, pulsating synths are a straight-up throwback to the 'Poker Face' intro — albeit slightly sped up — while the handclap-laden chorus swells and soars with the same pop frenzy that made 'Paparazzi' such a delight."[24] Michael Cragg of The Guardian described the song's composition as "brilliantly camp – all squelchy synths and juddering beats" and likened it to a "ridiculous glam-rock song given a techno makeover".[25] The chorus has been noted to contain "a solid mixture of EDM-influenced pop, glitchy k-pop-lite euphoria and just a twinkle of that original joy of The Fame"[26] and features Gaga singing the lines, "Give me the thing that I love (I'll turn the lights on) / Put your hands up make 'em touch (Make it real loud)".[27] Her vocal acrobatics during the song's verses have been compared to those of David Bowie, Annie Lennox, and Grace Jones.[18][26]

Lyrically, "Applause" is about how Gaga is dependent upon her fan's adoration, while also serving as "a kiss-off to critics".[20][22] Bradley Stern of MuuMuse opined that "Unlike 'Born This Way', 'Applause' is about celebrating no one but Mother Monster herself".[26] According to Gaga, the song's lyrics highlight the difference between an artist and a celebrity.[28] She elaborated, "I live for the applause but I don't live for the attention in the way that people just love you because you're famous. I live for actually performing for people and then them applauding because they've been entertained."[15]

Artwork and release[edit]

During the process of picking the lead single for Artpop, Gaga played numerous songs for Jimmy Iovine, an executive at Interscope Records. Of the 40 songs she played for Iovine, he selected "Applause", the last song played, saying: "Every record that you played me is better than the one that you played before it, so the last one should be your first single."[29] Gaga revealed that "Applause" was almost excluded from the final cut of Artpop, due to an abundance of recorded material, until the meeting with Iovine.[30] On July 28, 2013, Gaga confirmed "Applause" as the title of her upcoming single, much to fan speculation, and announced that it would be released on August 19, 2013.[31][32] The official artwork for "Applause" was debuted on Women's Wear Daily's website on July 29, 2013.[33] The cover features Gaga's face smeared with multi-colored paint and surrounded by a white sheet.[34] Gaga explained that she chose the smeared makeup look for the cover to symbolize the moment at the end of a show when the performer is vulnerable and longing for the audience's approval.[35] The artwork was compared to the cover of David Bowie's 1980 album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).[36]

On August 10, two small snippets of the song leaked online.[37] Gaga urged fans to "please take these down as much as possible" and provided instructions on how to report information regarding the unauthorised distribution of her song to her label's parent company, Universal Music Group.[38][39] In response, fans reported sites seen distributing or linking to the snippets of the single, with nearly 2,500 individuals sending a singular link to Universal's takedown page.[40] However, despite such efforts, Gaga, in the midst of a potential full leak, released the song a week early onto various radio stations across America.[41] The single was made available in most countries just before midnight (EST) on the iTunes Store, coupled with a pre-order of Artpop.[42] Seen in goth costume on the day of the single's release, Gaga wore clown-like face paint similar to what is displayed on the "Applause" artwork to various promotional events for the single. The Huffington Post compared the style-shift to Marilyn Manson, saying: "With her black hair slicked back, a face full of white powder and her black blazer and shirt combo, Gaga could have easily been mistaken for Manson if it wasn't for her towering heels."[19] Gaga also premiered a short clip for "Applause" that quoted harsh journalism that attacked her credibility as an artist. In the video, Gaga is seen sitting naked in a white room and wearing a transparent visor. The sound of an audience booing and jeering can be heard in the background.[43] Direct quotations from critics and detractors appear at the bottom of the video, which included: "Lady Gaga is over"and "Do not buy Lady Gaga's new single 'Applause'". The clip was construed as an attempt at reverse psychology.[44][45][46]

Due to the proximity of the single's leak to fellow pop singer Katy Perry's "Roar", "Applause" was fervently compared to it.[47][48][49] Gaga received negative press after reports of her attempting to artificially increase the single's placement on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, which some sources reported as an attempt to beat the sales of "Roar".[50][51][52] She was criticized for tweeting fans and encouraging them to purchase numerous copies of the single, with the chance to meet the singer in London offered as an incentive.[53][54][55][56] The tweet provoked criticism from Billboard's Editorial Director Bill Werde, who said that "An artist tweeting out and Facebooking a link that enables a fan to hit play and leave their computer is not in the spirit of what we chart".[57] Following this, Gaga stated that she would be rewarding the fans with the most creative ideas, and not those who purchased the most copies of the single.[58]

Critical reception[edit]

Gaga performing "Applause" during her residency shows at Roseland Ballroom

"Applause" received generally positive reviews from music critics.[59] Popjustice gave the song a 9/10 rating and published a review that consisted of: "And this is why Lady Gaga is the best popstar in the world."[60] Chris Richards of The Washington Post wrote, "It's good. Maybe even slow clap good. Because while so many (too many!) of Gaga's songs have been designed to boost the esteem of her flock, this song finds her openly pining for the mass-adulation that all superstars need to survive."[18] Jason Lipshutz of Billboard lauded the song's hook and remarked, "As always, Gaga has turned a lofty idea into a jingle for the masses."[61] Lewis Corner from Digital Spy gave the song four out of five stars, stating that "Lady Gaga makes no secret that she's after mass adoration, and as far as lead singles go, her next grand spectacle is off to a strong start."[23] Carl Williot of Idolator praised the track, saying that it "ticks all the right boxes when it comes to being a balls-to-the-wall pop delight ... this is pop doing what good pop songs should do, which is grab you by the collar from the first listen and make you fall in love on the spot."[59] The Huffington Post described it as "pop at its best: instant, euphoric, joyful and impossible to get out of your head".[62]

Bradley Stern of MuuMuse gave the song a positive review and concluded, "Is it a solid start? I’d say so. On par with "Bad Romance"? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves."[26] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine believed the song lacked "the bigness" of Gaga's previous lead singles but noted that "it proves she can still craft a catchy hook".[63] Mof Gimmers from The Quietus noted that the song was "a bit sticky in places" but explained "if you stop expecting too much of Gaga, you'll realise it has a furiously irresistible chorus."[64] Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast was critical of the song's "disjointed verses" but noted that they were "increasingly forgivable every time the song’s unshakable chorus blasts" and praised it as a fitting climax to the album.[65] Melinda Newman of Hitfix gave the song a B+ rating and labelled it "a layered, dance twirler".[66] Positive comment also came from Mike Driver from Clash who highlighted "Applause" as one of the tracks on Artpop that ticks "all of the prerequisite Gaga boxes – dazzling production, a clutch of clever couplets, choruses you can demolish a tower block with", but found that it did not represent a notable musical progression for the singer.[67] Hilary Hughes from Esquire offered similar commentary, feeling that Gaga was playing it safe and that "the song doesn't break new ground for the reigning Queen of Pop".[68]

In a mixed review, Evan Sawdey of PopMatters called the song generic and that "were it not for her heady lyrics and warped lead-in synth line, "Applause" wouldn’t stand out all that much in radio, which makes it an even more curious choice as a lead single."[21] Spin criticized the song's "bland dance-bot foundations" as "a bit behind the times at a pop moment where the biggest song-of-the-summer candidates have moved back toward '70s-inflected guitars."[69] Another mixed review came from Harry Hawcroft of Contactmusic.com, who wrote "I can't give it more than a polite clap."[70]

Chart performance[edit]

Gaga performing "Applause" on the ArtRave: The Artpop Ball tour

In the United States, Nielsen SoundScan forecasted "Applause" to sell upwards of 400,000 units in their first week.[49][71] By the end of the week, Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard had lowered the estimated amount of "Applause"'s first week sales from 400,000 to between 200,000 and 225,000.[72][73] "Applause" did not enter the Billboard's Hot 100 on its first week.[71] "Applause" also ranked below the top 75 threshold of the US Radio Songs chart, with 16 million audience impressions across 210 stations, with the track officially impacting radio stations on August 19. While the song fell short of the Hot 100, "Applause" did peak at number one on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart,[71] and entered the U.S. Pop Songs Chart at number 20; the highest debut on that chart, by a solo female artist, in 2013. The following week, "Applause" debuted at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Following its radio and retail release on August 19, the track charted on Digital Songs at number three, Streaming Songs at number nine and Radio Songs at number forty.[74] On its second week on the charts, the song climbed to number four on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at number three on Streaming Songs (due the release of the music video), and thirty-five on Radio Songs, despite falling to number five on Digital Songs with sales of 163,000.[75] In its sixth week, the song sold 160,000 copies and reached 1 million copies sold, becoming her eleventh song to do so.[76] In the same week, it rose to number nine on the Radio Songs chart, becoming her tenth single to reach the Top 10 on the airplay chart.[77] It managed to stay in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 consecutive weeks. As of April 2015, the song has sold 2,580,000 copies in the United States,[78] and has been certified 3 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[79]

According to the Official Charts Company, "Applause" sold over 10,000 copies within a few hours in the UK.[42] It debuted and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart, making it her highest charting single since "Born This Way" (2011). "Applause" sold 38,042 copies by the end of the first week, and dropped to number nine on its second week.[80] It was present for a total of 20 weeks within the top-100 of the chart.[81] The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified it Silver, and as of November 2013, it has sold 234,979 copies.[82] "Applause" was certified Gold in other international markets including Italy, New Zealand, and Sweden for selling 15,000 copies, 7,500 copies, and 20,000 copies respectively.[83][84][85]

Music video[edit]

Development[edit]

The music video for "Applause" was directed by fashion photographer duo Inez and Vinoodh, who had previously collaborated with Gaga on a series of fashion films in 2011 and a photoshoot for V magazine.[86] The video was filmed at the Paramount Pictures studio lot in Hollywood, California on two different sets over the course of a three day period.[87] Gaga was heavily inspired by silent film and early horror films and explained that the concept behind the video is that of her passion for shape-shifting and transforming. She described it as "Iconography in motion, as magic."[88][89] Gaga and her team decided to use several different looks for the video, with each being representative of different facets of her as a performer.[90] Fashion worn in the video included designs by Gareth Pugh, vintage John Galliano, as well as outfits crafted by Gaga's own personal creative team, the Haus of Gaga.[88][91]

Inez and Vinoodh explained that the video symbolizes "this idea that she goes through this struggle to go back onstage, which is in that pink laser tower. And she’s sort of dragging that leg as a trophy and making it back on stage as a fully-realized, complete new person".[88] Jo Ratcliffe, a London-based illustrator known for her hand-drawn graphic design, was hired to provide animation effects for the video. She described Gaga as "really tough" during filming and added that she had "never seen anyone push themselves so hard."[92] Gaga spoke of this intensity during an interview with the radio station Z100 New York, explaining:

"I cried a lot during that video. A lot. It was just very intense for me to go from personality to personality. When I change, I fully change. I'm not just changing my wig. I'm changing the way that I'm moving, I'm changing the way that I'm looking at the camera, I'm changing the way that I'm moving my mouth. It's something I studied in the mirror a lot. I'm a student of the legends. I've been studying legends since I was four to become one. It's so much more intense than its been in a long time."[93]

Release and synopsis[edit]

A scene from the music video of "Applause", showing Gaga's head superimposed on a swan neck. Chris Rovzar of Vanity Fair compared such scenes to a photo shoot for Interview.

Prior to the release of the music video, Gaga debuted a lyric video for the song. The lyrics were splayed over footage filmed by Gaga herself at the drag nightclub Micky's in Los Angeles.[94][95] On August 19, 2013, in the early hours of the morning, Gaga revealed that she would be debuting the music video for "Applause" and filming a live interview on ABC's morning television show Good Morning America later that day. The singer tweeted, "I can't believe I'm gonna be on TV today for an interview! It's been so long, I can't wait to see your smiles!"[96] Gaga arrived at the Times Square Studios in New York City, where the show is filmed, in a black Cadillac Eldorado and wearing a dress made entirely out of paper.[97][98] The video itself premiered on the show after Gaga's live interview and was broadcast on jumbo-screens across Times Square in Midtown Manhattan simultaneously.[31][99]

The video itself includes shots taken in both color and black-and-white. It drew heavy inspiration from the arts and featured references to Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Andy Warhol's depiction of Marilyn Monroe.[100] The video included artistic and complex scenes such as Gaga's head on a swan, a scene in a bird cage, and the singer seated in a large top hat, as well as more simplistic scenes including Gaga walking in a black outfit wearing a headscarf, and the singer dancing with a white cloth in bright make-up, in a scene similar to the cover art of the single. Throughout the video bursts of color are shown theatrically. As Gaga sings the line "One second I'm a Koons then suddenly the Koons is me", she is transformed into a black swan/human hybrid.[101] Gaga also wears hand-shaped lingerie and a seashell bra with matching shell decoration. Near the climax, the singer features in a violet, crystal-like scene, and at the end, the name of her album Artpop is spelled using hand gestures.

Reception and analysis[edit]

The video received generally positive reviews. Glenn Gamboa from Newsday described it as a barrage of artistic images that continued the song's theme of combining art with pop culture.[99] Erin Coulehan of Rolling Stone magazine noted that the video was in "typical Gaga fashion", further calling it a spectacle of flashing lights, vivid colors and intricate choreography.[102] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly also echoed Coulehan's statements about the video being in Gaga fashion, adding that it "makes the song sound infinitely better... It doesn't quite hit the high notes of "Paparazzi" or "Bad Romance," but it's definitely a step up from the middling clips from the Born This Way era."[103] A writer from Billboard magazine described the video as "a collection of arty postures and scenarios" and compared the black-glove bra look to Janet Jackson's 1993 Rolling Stone magazine cover.[101] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times saw the video as "basically like 20 different Vogue shoots documented and spliced. There is no plot other than the basic lyrical premise, "I need you to pay more attention to me," given heft by a syllabically rocky first-person observation about pop culture, fame and art that Andy Warhol noted 50 years ago."[104] Chiderah Monde from New York Daily News described the video as "a straight-forward profile of the artist herself."[105]

A writer of Rolling Stone compared the black-and-white look of the video with Madonna's "Vogue", 1920s German Expressionist cinema and Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. He further noted influences from the Liza Minnelli, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Don't Come Around Here No More", and Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.[106] A writer for The Independent wrote, "Showing Gaga in a number of guises (as a Beatnik performance artist, her face smeared with clown make-up, sporting David Bowie-esque androgyny while wearing a bra made of black, leather gloves and as various winged creatures), the high energy accompaniment to her new track is a hotchpotch of imagery that seems to highlight the pop princess' ever changing appearance."[107] Chris Rovzar of Vanity Fair described the video as a moving photo shoot for Interview magazine "except with more sanity". Rovzar concluded that it also featured "the standard Gaga nonsense" and praised Gaga's smile during several scenes of the video as a highlight.[108] James Montgomery from MTV News saw the video as Gaga "pulling the curtain back on her creative process, showing the viewer how she’s willing to do anything to please the public."[109] Melinda Newman of Hitfix felt Gaga "continues her one-woman performance art with the very theatrical video" and interpreted it as showing that "there is nothing Lady Gaga won’t do to get your attention".[110]

Conversely, Spin wrote, "'Some of us just like to read,' she sings, and hey, that includes us. But it's easier to clap for something that moves or touches you, rather than serves as an advertisement for Gaga as incomprehensible high-end brand."[111] Consequence of Sound wrote in their review "Gaga's head appears on a black swan and she boogies down in a clam bikini. If this doesn't bump up her sales, I no longer believe in art."[112] Hilary Hughes of Esquire said that the video "hits all the marks of Gaga-esque eccentricity: glitter, boob grabs, weird animals, space, severed limbs, devotional imagery, nudity, neon, etc. It just doesn't redefine those marks, as previous music videos of Gaga's — namely "Bad Romance," "Paparazzi" and "Judas" — have".[68] Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic believed that Gaga was parodying herself with the video and suggested that her aim was "to make a video both celebrating and poking fun at her career thus far." However, he considered it forgettable when compared to Gaga's previous efforts.[113]

Live performances[edit]

Lady Gaga in a short dress singing with a microphone in left hand
Lady Gaga in a big shouldered purple jacket and sunglasses, singing
The performance of "Applause" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards saw the singer portraying looks from her previous eras, such as The Fame and The Fame Monster (pictured).

The song was performed live for the first time at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.[114] Gaga began the performance wearing a square-shaped head piece and an all-white cape as pre-recorded boos were quickly replaced by cheers and applause. Gaga then glided across the stage and was assisted by her dancers as she changed into a black sequin leotard and performed the intricate choreography seen in the song's corresponding music video. Throughout the performance she cycled through costumes and wigs she had previously employed throughout her career.[115] After dancing with a Jeff Koons blue gazing ball, she concluded the performance by emerging from behind jungle-like scenery dressed in a seashell bikini ensemble and taking a bow.[116] Gaga collaborated with experimental theater director Robert Wilson on the performance. The set, which Wilson designed, featured a shimmering white jungle background with letters spelling "Applause" suspended from tree branches.[117] Gaga characterized the performance as: "So beautiful, it is so indicative of me as an artist. I feel in many ways that the performance is like a giant metaphor for me." She also commented that the production was "the most physically challenging performance I've done, ever."[118]

"Applause" was the final song Gaga performed at London's Roundhouse as part of a show that was broadcast live online on September 1, 2013 for the month-long iTunes Festival.[119] Gaga completed her last look of the show with "a green ringmaster jacket, top hat and sparkly silver boots" and performed the song alongside "an endless supply of supple dancers in gothy fetish wear" who danced behind her on chairs.[120][121] On September 9, 2013, Gaga performed the song on Good Morning America and appeared dressed as multiple characters from The Wizard of Oz.[122] "Applause" served as the encore during the singer's "Artpop" launch party event, dubbed the ArtRave, held in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York during the early hours of November 11, 2013.[123] The singer went on to host the November 16, 2013 episode of Saturday Night Live, where she opened the program with a Chicago-style performance of "Applause", which subsequently morphed into a rendition of "New York, New York".[124] Later that month, Gaga also performed the song on the television special Lady Gaga and the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular as both a solo and a reprise with The Muppets.[125] Another performance took place at the Jingle Bell Ball on December 8, 2013, where she sang "Applause" along with other songs from her discography.[126]

Gaga next performed "Applause" at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas in March 2014, where she was joined onstage by her opening acts and friends, the Dirty Pearls, Semi Precious Weapons and Lady Starlight.[127] "Applause" was later included in the setlist of Gaga's Manhattan residency show at Roseland Ballroom.[128] Gaga appeared in a purple sequin studded two-piece with a matching face-mask and green colored wig during the performance.[129] The song was also included in the set list of her ArtRave: The Artpop Ball tour. Following "Bad Romance", Gaga joined her dancers on the catwalks, where she performed a highly choreographed dance routine in a rave inspired outfit.[130][131] Brad Wheeler of The Globe and Mail described Gaga's performance as "unstoppable and enthralling" but criticized the show's production for drowning out Gaga's vocals and said: "She’s not like Jennifer Lopez or Britney Spears or even Madonna, who were raised as dancers and limelighters, not musicians. And yet, she prefers to perform spectacles that, by design, fail to showcase all of her abilities."[132]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was performed by the members of glee club in the Glee episode "A Katy or a Gaga"[133] The track was also featured on the fictional radio station Non-Stop-Pop FM in the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto V.[134]

Track listings and formats[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Management
  • Recorded at Record Plant Studios, Hollywood, California and Platinum Sound Recording Studio, New York City, New York
  • Mastered at Oasis Mastering Studios, Burbank, California
  • Stefani Germanotta P/K/A Lady Gaga (BMI) Sony ATV Songs LLC/House of Gaga Publishing, LLC/GloJoe Music Inc. (BMI), Maxwell and Carter Publishing, LLC (ASCAP), administered by Universal Music Publishing Group and Maxwell and Carter Publishing, LLC (BMI) administered by Universal Music Publishing Group, Etrange Fruit (SACEM), Mercer Music (SACEM), Guess Publishing (SACEM), Fuzion (SACEM) Administered by Get Familiar Music (ASCAP)
Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Artpop.[16]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[205] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[206] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[207] Platinum 30,000^
Italy (FIMI)[83] Platinum 30,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[208] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[209] Platinum 60,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[84] Gold 7,500*
[[Category:Certification Table Entry usages for South Korea (Gaon Chart)]]South Korea (Gaon Chart) 106,385[210]
Sweden (GLF)[85] 2× Platinum 80,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[211] Silver 234,979[82]
United States (RIAA)[79] 3× Platinum 2,580,000[78]
[[Category:Certification Table Entry usages for Venezuela (APFV)]]Venezuela (APFV)[212] 2× Platinum 20,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Canada[213] August 12, 2013 Digital download Interscope
United States[214]
Austria[215] August 13, 2013 Universal Music
Belgium[216]
Finland[217]
France[218]
Germany[219]
Ireland[220]
Italy[221]
Luxembourg[222]
Netherlands[223]
New Zealand[224]
Norway[225]
Portugal[226]
Singapore[227]
Spain[228]
Sweden[229]
Switzerland[230]
United Kingdom[231]
Italy[232] August 19, 2013 Mainstream radio
United States[233] August 20, 2013 Interscope
Japan[234] September 11, 2013 CD Universal Music
Germany[235] September 13, 2013
Singapore[236] September 16, 2013
United Kingdom[237]
France[238] Cardsleeve
United States[239] November 29, 2013 Vinyl Interscope

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]