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Fame Kills: Starring Kanye West and Lady Gaga

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Fame Kills: Starring Kanye West and Lady Gaga
Tour by Kanye West and Lady Gaga
A black background with the text "West + Gaga" written in uppercase white letters and centered
Title card of the tour
Associated albums808s & Heartbreak
The Fame Monster
Start dateNovember 10, 2009 (2009-11-10)
End dateJanuary 24, 2010 (2010-01-24)
No. of shows34 scheduled
Kanye West tour chronology
  • Fame Kills
  • (2009–2010; canceled)
Lady Gaga tour chronology
  • Fame Kills
  • (2009–2010; canceled)

Fame Kills: Starring Kanye West and Lady Gaga was a planned co-headlining concert tour by American record producer and vocalist Kanye West, and singer Lady Gaga. For the tour, which would have supported West's fourth album 808s & Heartbreak (2008) and Gaga's The Fame Monster EP (2009), the pair conceived a production that would unite their different musical audiences. The tour was scheduled to run from November 2009 to January 2010, but was canceled after public controversy regarding West's interruption of Taylor Swift's Best Female Video speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Shortly after the cancellation, Gaga embarked on her own tour, The Monster Ball Tour, while West took a break from his career to produce My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Background and development[edit]

Gaga only agreed to tour with West under the condition that everything "remain gay".[1]

In June 2009, West announced on The View he would be touring with Gaga, but she would not perform as an opening act. "She's talented and so incredible that she's not an opening act", he said. "We're doing it together, with no opening act."[2] In August, Gaga expressed her belief that the tour would be "one of the most groundbreaking moments in touring history."[3] Before the singer agreed to collaborate with West, she demanded that the tour would remain accessible to her gay fans. "I'm gay", she recalled telling West in an interview with Out magazine, "my music is gay. My show is gay. And I love that it's gay. And I love my gay fans and they're all going to be coming to our show. And it's going to remain gay."[1]

The tour's stage was designed by Gaga and West as a traverse; "Instead of being on just one end of the arena, the stage traverses the entire arena", Gaga noted. "It's not really in-the-round; it's more of a runway." The concept of the tour was to feature the performers on opposite ends of the stage, with Gaga's end representing "home and humble beginnings" and West's end representing "the fame", with the two fighting for each other's positions throughout the show. West would perform his singles, Gaga would perform hers, and then the duo would perform several duets.[4]

Gaga said she enjoyed designing Fame Kills with West, calling themselves "creative kindreds."[3] She explained that they did not plan to tour for themselves, but rather for "everybody else"; the goal of the tour would have been to bring two different groups of fans and music enthusiasts together. "I make pop music and Kanye's fans love pop music because he has changed what hip-hop means", she said. "For me, the tour is more about just bringing people together and having a big dance party. The show is a celebration of creativity, art, fashion and choreography." She also noted that West showed her a lot during the creative planning of the show, such as one instance where Gaga wanted to put side panels on the stage that would have obstructed the view for some fans. "He was like, 'I'm not selling a ticket to a fan who can't see the show,' and he's right", she said.[4]

A promotional video for the tour was released in September 2009. West posted the video on his blog accompanied by the text, "What happened to all the rock stars? The fame killed them!" The 30-second clip features slow-motion footage of a topless Gaga being carried by a man presumed to be West. Daniel Kreps from Rolling Stone described it as "soft 70s porn", while adding that he had "no idea what [the text in the video] has to do with the 30-second clip, but we're sure it'll start to make more sense as more promos roll out as we approach the tour's launch."[5][6]


West (pictured) was criticized for his interruption of Taylor Swift's VMA speech. The incident reportedly put the fate of the Fame Kills tour in question.

Following singer Taylor Swift's win for the music video "You Belong with Me" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video, West stormed the stage, grabbed Swift's microphone, and declared that singer Beyoncé deserved the award for her "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" video. He declared, "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm going to let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time." West was profusely criticized by celebrities and fans alike over the incident.[7][8] Following the interruption, the status of Fame Kills was rumored to be in question. A representative from a US urban radio station commented: "I think this could potentially affect his upcoming tour with Lady Gaga. This isn't an urban tour — urban audiences can be a bit more forgiving than mainstream audiences are. I can see him going on stage and people booing him. It's unfortunate."[9] Less than a week after the ticket sales began, the tour was canceled but no reason was given.[10]

Various rumors circulated as to why the tour was canceled. It was suspected that it was canceled due to poor ticket sales, feuding between Gaga and West's management teams, and Gaga's desire to play in smaller venues. Gaga's choreographer, Laurieann Gibson, said the tour was terminated due to "creative differences" between the singers.[11] Gaga claimed that the cancellation was a mutual decision, and added that she would soon embark on her own headlining tour The Monster Ball Tour in the coming weeks, while West would be taking a break from his career.[5][12] In 2016, West claimed that Gaga had been solely responsible for canceling the tour following the MTV incident.[13]

Gaga was scheduled to begin The Monster Ball Tour in March 2010,[4] but following the cancellation of Fame Kills, The Monster Ball Tour began in November 2009.[14] Gaga said that while she was inspired by what she and West had planned to do with the Fame Kills tour, she decided not to use any of the ideas and concepts they created together, citing integrity.[15]

Scheduled tour dates[edit]

All tour dates were canceled.

List of concerts, showing date, city, country and venue
Date City Country Venue
November 10, 2009 Phoenix United States US Airways Center
November 11, 2009 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
November 13, 2009 Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Events Center
November 15, 2009 Anaheim Honda Center
November 16, 2009 Los Angeles Staples Center
November 18, 2009 Sacramento ARCO Arena
November 19, 2009 San Jose HP Pavilion at San Jose
November 24, 2009 Vancouver Canada General Motors Place
November 26, 2009 Calgary Pengrowth Saddledome
November 28, 2009 Edmonton Rexall Place
November 29, 2009 Saskatoon Credit Union Centre
December 2, 2009 Denver United States Pepsi Center
December 4, 2009 St. Louis Scottrade Center
December 9, 2009 Miami American Airlines Arena
December 11, 2009 Atlanta Philips Arena
December 12, 2009 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
December 13, 2009 Norfolk Norfolk Scope
December 16, 2009 Worcester DCU Center
December 18, 2009 Philadelphia Wachovia Center
December 19, 2009 Baltimore 1st Mariner Arena
December 20, 2009 Buffalo HSBC Arena
December 22, 2009 East Rutherford Izod Center
December 26, 2009 Hartford XL Center
December 30, 2009 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
January 3, 2010 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
January 6, 2010 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre
January 8, 2010 Ottawa Scotiabank Place
January 11, 2010 Montreal Bell Centre
January 14, 2010 Auburn Hills United States The Palace of Auburn Hills
January 16, 2010 Chicago United Center
January 19, 2010 New Orleans New Orleans Arena
January 21, 2010 San Antonio AT&T Center
January 22, 2010 Houston Toyota Center
January 24, 2010 Dallas American Airlines Center


  1. ^ a b Stein, Joshua David; Michelson, Noah (August 9, 2009). "The Lady Is a Vamp". Out: 2. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  2. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (June 9, 2009). "Kanye West To Tour With Lady Gaga". MTV News. Archived from the original on December 10, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Montgomery, James (August 13, 2009). "Lady Gaga Promises 'Groundbreaking' Tour With Kanye West". MTV News. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Aswad, Jem; Dinh, James (October 1, 2009). "Kanye West/ Lady Gaga's Fame Kills Tour Canceled". MTV News. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Kreps, Daniel (September 23, 2009). "Lady Gaga Gets NSFW in Promo For Joint Tour With Kanye West". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  6. ^ "Nude Lady GaGa 'Fame Kills' tour promo released". NME. September 24, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  7. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (September 13, 2009). "Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift's VMAs moment: What was he thinking?". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  8. ^ France, Lisa Respers (September 14, 2009). "Anger over West's disruption at MTV awards". CNN. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  9. ^ Conception, Mariel (September 16, 2009). "Will Kanye West's VMAs Outburst Hurt His Upcoming Tour?". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  10. ^ Kreps, Daniel (October 29, 2009). "Lady Gaga, Kanye West Cancel 'Fame Kills' Tour". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Kreps, Daniel (October 2, 2010). "Lady Gaga, Kanye West's 'Fame Kills' Tour Killed By Poor Sales?". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Prince, David J.; Concepcion, Mariel (October 2, 2009). "Lady Gaga Speaks: Solo Tour Soon, Kanye Taking Time Off". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 12, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  13. ^ Lee, Christina (April 11, 2016). "Kanye West Talks Why His Joint Tour With Lady Gaga Was Canceled (Hint: Taylor Swift)". Idolator. Archived from the original on May 28, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Nestruck, Kelly (November 30, 2009). "Lady Gaga's Monster Ball, reviewed by a theatre critic". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
  15. ^ Hiatt, Brian (October 21, 2009). "Inside The Monster Ball: Lady Gaga Reveals Plans for Ambitious New Tour". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011.

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