What do you do if there are 100 people in the room, and one of them thinks your work is “reductive”?
“There can be 100 people in the room and 99 don’t believe in you, and you just need one,” Gaga has said again and again in praise of her A Star Is Born co-star. Gaga has used the speech to praise Bradley Cooper so many times on the press tour that it’s become a meme. While it’s hard to blame her for wanting to make it through the tour, at least one fellow pop star thinks the quote is a little too familiar.
It wouldn’t be the first time Madonna accused Gaga of imitating her; the two have been feuding for nearly a decade. “It feels reductive,” Madonna said of Gaga's song "Born This Way" in an interview with ABC News. “Born This Way” drew many comparisons with Madonna’s 1988 single, “Express Yourself.” Gaga responded in an interview with NME, calling the accusation “moronic” and pointing out that it was a common chord progression. Madonna later seemed to embrace the similarities; in 2012, she performed a mashup of the two songs, adding the phrase "she's not me" at the end.
The feud seemed to be set aside by 2015 when Madonna told Rolling Stone that she was “bored” with it and that she thought Gaga was “very talented.” One year later, though, the feud was back, with Gaga accusing Madonna of not writing the music in her songs.
“Madonna and I are very different,” Gaga said in a 2016 interview with PageSix, “I don’t mean to disrespect Madonna, she’s a nice lady, and she’s had a fantastic huge career, biggest pop star of all time. But I play a lot of instruments. I write all my own music. I spend hours a day in the studio. I’m a producer. I’m a writer. What I do is different.”
In several clips from her documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, the singer clarified that she had respect for Madonna, “I admired her always and still admire her.” She had a suggestion for how to put the feud to rest; “I just want Madonna to push me up against the wall and kiss me and tell me I’m a piece of shit.”