The last couple of years have been transformative for Lady Gaga, to put it mildly. The woman who once donned a dress made of raw meat and showed up to the Grammys in a giant egg is now respected for her vocal prowess and jazz chops more than her outrageous attire. In 2014, the 30-year-old released an album of jazz duets with Tony Bennett. This year, she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Superbowl and led a powerful performance of "Til It Happens To You," the song she penned about rape survivors, at the Oscars. Next week, her eclectic new album Joanne drops. And of course it's not the same as her earlier work. People grow up — even pop stars.
"I wanted to become a woman,” Gaga told The New York Times' T Magazine of her album with Tony Bennett. “My audience went, ‘Wait, why is she singing jazz? What’s going on?'" But Gaga says her Little Monsters came to accept the evolution of her sound. "And then they went, ‘Oh, because she can. Because she loves it.’ And jazz, a music invented by the African-American community, is the greatest art form, I believe, to have ever come out of this country.” As for Joanne? Judging by the first single, "A Perfect Illusion," we're in for a more grown-up sound from the singer. It may be one we hadn't heard before, but she's had this voice all along.