Who didn’t see this one coming? Thanks to the pushed-up release date on Friday and the most talked-about entrance at Sunday night’s Grammys — not to mention what must have amounted to endless spins at clubs over the weekend — Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” is making some chart history.
Billboard reported that after just three days of availability, the tune shot to a record-setting debut on the Pop Songs radio airplay chart at #14 and is poised to possibly debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week thanks to brisk digital sales.
The first single from the album of the same name due on May 23 got 4,602 plays, which gives it the highest detections total by a debuting song in the chart’s 18-year history, representing an audience of 39.3 million. Citing unnamed sources, the magazine also reported that “Born” sold more than 450,000 downloads since its release on Friday morning, which could help the song debut at #1 on the Hot 100 and make it only the 19th song ever to do so on that chart.
Gaga could also potentially wrest a record for the biggest debut track for a woman from Britney Spears if download sales continue to climb. Spears’ “Hold it Against Me” rocked the chart a month ago with 411,000 in sales, but if Gaga’s numbers hold she could land the fourth-largest digital track debut of all time behind Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” (636,000) the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” (465,000) and Flo Rida’s “Low” (460,000).
The star stopped by “Jay Leno” the day after the Grammys, and in addition to explaining that she and Madonna have no beef over complaints by some that “Born This Way” bears too much of a resemblance to some earlier Material Girl hits, Gaga also announced her upcoming May HBO special and explained the inspiration behind her new album.
She also revealed that she changed up the entire look of her Grammy performance two days before it aired because she wasn’t happy with it. “I don’t want the band and dancers to feel like a band and dancers,” Gaga said, explaining why her crew was dressed in flesh-tone vinyl outfits that matched her own.
When Leno made a crack about her trio of Grammy outfits, which included a molded leather bodice created by fashion icon Thierry Mugler, Gaga said the latter had a cosmic inspiration. “It was inspired by humanoids, alien sex humanoid hybrid women,” she said matter of factly, rocking some of the low budget sci-fi alien face-ridged makeup she debuted at the Grammys, on Leno’s show.
The talk show host pointed to her third getup, which she said featured a giant black “church” hat, and asked if maybe it didn’t block the view of the star behind her at the show, actor Will Smith. Gaga promised it didn’t and added that she is in love with his daughter’s hit single. “I love Willow,” gushed Gaga, who took a series of photos with the pre-teen Smith family singer on her lap at the show. “I told her that she inspired me to whip my hair back and forth!”
Though she claimed to have written “Born This Way” in a matter of minutes, Gaga said she spent more than a year perfecting it and tweaking the music, promising that it is just one of the many sounds you’ll hear on the album. “The record is kind of eclectic in a way,” she said. “The rest of the songs on the album are quite different from ‘Born This Way.’ “
As for the album’s theme, Gaga said it’s about “being able to know that when you were born, you weren’t just born in that moment, you have your entire life to realize the person that you’re potentially going to become and whoever you choose to be was part of your destiny.” Her hope, she said, was to encourage people who are feeling bullied or disenfranchised at the moment to realize that it’s “never too late to harness your inner superstar.”