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Old 02-27-2015, 07:01 AM
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Why Lady Gaga needs ‘American Horror Story’ more than it needs her
By Emily Yahr on February 27, 2015 - 12:01 AM

After Lady Gaga’s majestic “Sound of Music” medley at the Oscars on Sunday, some speculated she may be headed to Broadway. Wrong genre! Turns out the pop star is aiming to conquer the world of basic-cable television.

FX announced Wednesday that Lady Gaga will star on the fifth season of “American Horror Story,” the much Emmy-nominated anthology horror series. Has there ever been a more perfect fit for a role? Gaga’s wardrobe and selfies already often resemble nightmares, depending on what you’re into. Plus, she’s literally known to fans as Mother Monster. It’s a coup for FX, banking on her millions of intensely devoted fans (“Little Monsters”) to tune in.

There are no details on her leading role, of course, other than that the fifth season will be called “American Horror Story: Hotel,” judging by the slightly terrifying tease that Gaga tweeted. It premieres in October.

This is also good news for Gaga given that she’s been struggling lately to find a place within the music industry. Her last solo album, “Artpop” in 2013, was widely regarded as a flop. Even though it went on to sell 2.5 million copies, it was a steep decline from her first two albums (2011 hit “Born This Way” and 2008 smash “The Fame”), which sold many more millions.

Critics noted that “Artpop” only moved 258,000 copies in its first week – “Born This Way” sold a million in its first – and didn’t launch a single comparable to any of her previous hits. She still spent much of last year touring the world promoting the album, though LiveNation hit back at reports claiming the tour had poor ticket sales.

Gaga also took a break from mainstream pop to record a jazz standards album with Tony Bennett last year, “Cheek to Cheek,” which recently won a Grammy for best traditional pop vocal. Though she’s not nearly in the tabloids as much as she once was, she just made headlines with her recent engagement to actor Taylor Kinney.

Anyway, this appears to be a chance to relaunch Gaga – who has little acting experience beyond her impressive onstage theatrics – back into the pop culture spotlight on a regular basis. And “American Horror Story” has some experience with pop stars rebranding themselves as TV personalities, i.e., Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, who got his arm ripped off in the opening minutes of Season 2.
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