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Ladygaga every icon

By Jessica Iredale | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-26 17:15
Ladygaga every icon

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Lady Gaga drops details about her upcoming release - the first since a broken hip forced her career's longest hiatus. Jessica Iredale reports.

'I want to know. What do you see?" asks Lady Gaga, her voice carrying a combination of genuine curiosity, press-savvy flirtation and inherent provocation. The image in question is the cover of Gaga's new single Applause, the first from her forthcoming third studio album Artpop, to be released on Nov 11 through Interscope records.

Shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, the photograph is colorful, emotional and theatrical, capturing Gaga with a Pierrot-esque face, her rainbow of makeup artfully smeared and her hair covered under a head wrap.

Asked to explain the image, Gaga immediately turned the question around: "I need to get your reading first," she says.

"Otherwise it's not art."

She's back.

Applause came out Aug 19 - also the album's presale date - six days before Gaga headlines the MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The VMAs will mark her return to the public domain after a rough six months spent mostly under the radar. Artpop was announced in August of last year when Gaga was in the midst of her ambitious Born This Way Ball world tour, which kicked off in April 2012 in Seoul and came to an abrupt halt in February in Montreal when a severe hip injury forced Gaga to cancel the rest of her shows.

"My injury was actually a lot worse than just a labral tear," she says.

"I had broken my hip. Nobody knew, and I haven't even told the fans yet. But when we got all the MRIs finished before I went to surgery there were giant craters, a hole in my hip the size of a quarter, and the cartilage was just hanging out the other side of my hip. I had a tear on the inside of my joint and a huge breakage. The surgeon told me that if I had done another show I might have needed a full hip replacement. I would have been out at least a year, maybe longer."

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