"Pop stars that are wholly part of the “entertainment machine” often have family members that act more as handlers. We’ve recently seen in Britney Spears is on Tour and is Still Under Mind Control that her parents have a tight control on her. Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson are also other interesting cases. Today, a NY Post article on Lady Gaga reveals that she too has a rather strange relationship with her father. He reportedly turned her into a “sexy queen” and she shares 50% of her revenues with him. Although the article paints a heart-warming picture of their relationship, some of the details are rather unsettling and that something more shady going on. Is he her handler? Whatever the case may be, she is another pop star with a bizarre relationship with her parents.
Lady Gaga gives 50 percent of her earnings to her father
How does the biggest pop star on the planet reward herself after she’s spent the past year touring the world, performing for President Bill Clinton, opening her own boutique in Barneys, releasing a high-fashion picture book, and prepping for her appearance on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”?
If you’re Lady Gaga, you go home to Mom and Dad’s and curl up in your childhood bedroom on the Upper West Side — which is what she plans to do this holiday weekend as her ABC variety special, “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving,” premieres Thursday night.
“She still doesn’t have her own place in the city,” one longtime friend tells The Post. “She and her family are very tight.”
OLD DAYS: The future star at a high-school dance with her father in 2004.
It’s her great paradox: At 25, Lady Gaga may be the most avant-garde performer of the last decade, a self-anointed Queen of the Freaks who reinvents herself with whipsaw rigor, yet she remains very much a nice Catholic girl who is most comfortable with 19-year-old sister Natali, mom Cynthia and dad Joe — who takes an unprecedented 50 percent of her earnings under their LLCs, Team Love Child and Mermaid Music.
She’s also bought a restaurant, one of her dad’s favorites on the Upper West Side. Formerly known as Vince & Eddie’s, it’s been renamed Joanne after his late sister. Celebrity chef Art Smith, who appears on Gaga’s Thanksgiving special, is at the helm.
But it’s the 50/50 split between Gaga and her father that’s most unusual. There’s only one other of its kind in the history of the music industry — between Elvis and Col. Tom Parker.
“There’s really no justifiable sense to doing a 50/50 deal with anyone in your career, other than someone you’re partners in a band with,” says Josh Grier, an entertainment lawyer who represents Wilco and Elvis Costello, among others. “Certainly no artist entering a management deal does anything close to that — a commission is usually 15 to 20 percent.”
That said, it’s quite possible that Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, believes her father has earned his share of her fortune, even though her success has allowed him to realize a lifelong dream: He now works in the industry, managing aspiring artists. Yet she likely sees this as further evidence of how similar they are; her adoration is unconditional. In January 2010, she told Elle magazine, “I’m married to my dad,” and that September, she told Vanity Fair, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve been in my father’s arms for two weeks, wishing [him] a Happy Father’s Day.”
In the majority of her interviews, her father is — aside from herself — the most dominant character. Though Gaga has given alternate versions of her decision to quit using cocaine in 2007, in the most consistent one is Joe Germanotta coolly assessed his daughter’s downward trajectory with one devastating line: “He looked at me one day and said, ‘You’re f–kin’ up, kid,’ ” she said.
Joe Germanotta grew up in New Jersey, a rock ’n’ roll fanatic who loved Led Zeppelin and Billy Joel and who perhaps overshared with his daughter along the way: “He was having sex with girls under the boardwalk in New Jersey before he went to see Bruce Springsteen,” Gaga said in July. “He saw a lot of himself in me. My first piano teacher was a stripper.”
Though friends describe Gaga as equally close with her outgoing, elegant mom, her primary relationship seems to be with her dad. Joe Germanotta was a frustrated rocker who made his fortune in hotel Wi-Fi, becoming wealthy enough to buy a duplex on the Upper West Side and send his daughters to the Convent of the Sacred Heart (yearly tuition averages $35,000).
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