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Watch: Angela Aguilar Covers Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" For ReImagined

Angela Aguilar

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Watch: Angela Aguilar Covers Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" For ReImagined

The GRAMMY- and Latin GRAMMY-nominated ranchera singer, who typically performs in Spanish, offers a powerful one-woman rendition of Gaga and Bradley Cooper's GRAMMY-winning song from 'A Star Is Born'

GRAMMYs/Jul 23, 2019 - 09:25 pm

15-year-old ranchera singer Ángela Aguilar grew up in the music industry, coming from a long lineage of powerful performers, including her father Pepe Aguilar. She has already grown into a big name herself, with a massive following (1.5 million followers on Instagram alone) but she's admitted that she'd still be star struck if she met Lady Gaga, of whom she's a big fan.

Now, with the latest episode of ReImagined, which you can watch below, Aguilar pays tribute to the pop queen, offering a moving one-woman cover of Gaga and Bradley Cooper's GRAMMY-winning hit "Shallow," from their Oscar-winning film A Star Is Born.

Aguilar may be as just as excited about this video as her many fans are. She first teased the performance last month during a news interview with TV Azteca, where she was very thrilled to have permission to offer her take on the emotional song.

"Shallow," released last fall as part of the A Star Is Born Soundtrack, was written by Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt. The song took home two wins at the 61st GRAMMY Awards earlier this year, for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written For Visual Media. 

Also for the 61st GRAMMYs, Aguilar earned her first nomination, for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) for her debut solo album, Primera Soy Mexicana. She also, along with Aida Cuevas and Natalia Lafourcade, stole the show during the GRAMMY Premiere Ceremony, with their rendition of the classic Spanish language song "La Llorna." Aguilar also earned her first Latin GRAMMY nominations in 2018, for Best New Artist and Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and visit our video page to watch each ReImagined episode, along with other exclusive content, as it's released.

The Many Faces Of "La Llorona"

10 Reasons Why 'ARTPOP' Is Lady Gaga’s Bravest Album
Lady Gaga performs onstage during The ARTPOP Ball tour

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

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10 Reasons Why 'ARTPOP' Is Lady Gaga’s Bravest Album

Released in 2013 and following the iconic 'Born This Way,' Lady Gaga's 'ARTPOP' was maligned and misunderstood. Yet the avant garde album took admirable leaps in genre, style and presentation — and deserves serious applause.

GRAMMYs/Nov 6, 2023 - 02:27 pm

A decade ago, the music industry was practically eulogizing Lady Gaga’s career. Cause of death: her fourth album, ARTPOP.

Universally deemed a misfit (even among Gaga’s off-kilter discography), it was all too easy to crack “artflop” jokes as the record’s reception paled in comparison to the thunder of 2011’s Born This Way. In addition to Billboard-charting bangers aside, Born This Way pledged to be a champion for LGBTQIA+ rights, employing the word “bravery” so frequently that the two are now inextricably bound. The album’s daring demeanor had created a tough spectacle to follow, even for the shock-pop maven.

But rebukes of ARTPOP’s avant-garde concepts and stylings, disregard the record’s brazen interweaving of music, fashion, technology, and digital art. Released after Gaga broke her hip and canceled the  Born This Way Ball tour, ARTPOP was a canvas of earth-shattering bursts of pain and passion, and an electronic confessional.

For her efforts and vision, Gaga's maligned 2013 album would become a blueprint for contemporary alt-pop artists — not just with its experimental clash of genres, but through its winking subversion of industry expectations.  

In honor of ARTPOP’s tenth anniversary this month, read on for 10 reasons why  the overlooked outcast of Gaga’s catalog is actually the bravest album of them all.

It Prioritized Creativity Over Sales And Charts

When the public slams an artist for “only” selling one million copies of an album in a week, record sales lose their shine. After facing flack for her Born This Way numbers in 2011, Lady Gaga entered the ARTPOP era with clear intentions: creativity for creativity’s sake.

“Really, it’s about freeing yourself from the expectations of the music industry and the expectations of the status quo,” she explained during an interview at SXSW. And you know she meant it, because that same week she bucked those pressures by climbing atop a mechanical bull, where she served as the human canvas for the "creative output” of vomit artist Millie Brown.

“I write for the music not for the charts,” she tweeted, addressing a comparison between her lead single “Applause” and Katy Perry’s song “Roar,” which outperformed “Applause” on the Billboard charts. The singles were released days apart, stirring up a heated conversation about which singer was a more powerful pop star. Gaga was, of course, quick to crush the debate.

“Applause” peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and despite being released in mid-November, ARTPOP nabbed 2.3 million album sales worldwide by the end of 2013. In contrast, Born This Way sold 2.1 million copies between its May 2011 release and the end of its debut year in the United States alone. 

It Put Gaga In The Producer's Seat — Alone 

By 2013, Lady Gaga boasted an impressive list of co-producing credits from working alongside collaborators like RedOne, DJ White Shadow, and Fernando Garibay. Yet ARTPOP marks the first time she slipped behind the soundboard by herself.

For "Venus," an intergalactic ode to lust that blossoms into starry-eyed infatuation, she saluted the titular goddess of love and pushed the men out of the room, folding a hybrid Sun Ra reference/Zombie Zombie sample into her sexually-emboldened EDM. Gaga cites "Venus" as the first song she ever self-produced, a major milestone for the multi-hyphenate and for women producers as a whole.

It Wasn't Afraid To Get Messy

One decade’s definition of "sloppy" is the next decade’s epitome of style. In 2013, the general consensus among critics was that ARTPOP’s sound was often too messy to take seriously. Their examples were copious; "Aura," for instance, dedicates 15 seconds to nothing but hysterical, autotuned laughter over an unraveling country western guitar riff. Manic deep cuts "MANiCURE" and "Jewels N’ Drugs" were labeled choppy and sonically inconsistent, as Gaga allegedly struggled to find common ground between rock, trap, and electronic music.

Compared to the streamlined pop sound of the time — including some of Gaga’s prior hits — ARTPOP’s frenetic mishmash of sounds felt totally alien. "I was desperate, in pain, and poured my heart into electronic music that slammed harder than any drug I could find," Gaga reflected, explaining her need for catharsis over catchiness (a choice that she was lambasted for at the time). 

Ten years later, her avant garde approach to pop suddenly seems remarkably en vogue, as genre-hopping and highly-textured sonic palettes become the norm — especially in the alt-pop sphere. In hindsight, it’s apparent that ARTPOP was ridiculed so artists like SOPHIE, Charli XCX, and Dorian Electra could rave.

It Was, Literally, Designed To Be Out Of The World

ARTPOP prioritized pushing art into uncharted territory, and not just on Earth.In addition to a naked Jeff Koons sculpture of Gaga herself, the album’s release was feted with the debut of a flying dress named Volantis. The original creation from Gaga’s TechHaus (a branch of her Haus Labs team) is technically an "electric powered hover vehicle" that fits around Gaga’s body to hoist her into the air. Gaga offered a less technical term for it, calling the dress a metaphor. "I will be the vehicle of their voices," she said during a press conference, sharing her vision for representing young fans in the sky.

Volantis arrived alongside news that Gaga would become the first musician to perform in space aboard a Virgin Galactic ship. The flying dress successfully cleared its first flight; the Virgin ship unfortunately did not. After a fatal test flight, the plans for Gaga’s galactic debut were canceled.

It Crushed Tabloid Trash-Talking  

It’s admittedly hard to recall ARTPOP’s ill-conceived R. Kelly collaboration "Do What U Want" without wincing. Beyond Kelly’s unnerving presence on the track, his lone sexually-charged verse ultimately skewed the true message of the song, transforming a kiss off to tabloid journalism into randy radio fodder.

Gaga scrubbed the song from streaming services in 2019, sparing the alternative version that instead features Christina Aguilera. Here, Gaga’s intended retaliation shines: "You can’t have my heart / and you won’t use my mind / but do what you want with my body," she taunts on the chorus, welcoming the public’s superficial — and therefore meaningless — judgments.  

When unveiling the track in October of 2013, she took to X (then named Twitter) to trounce a litany of rumors and nitpicks about her weight, likeness to Madonna, and erroneous identity as a hermaphrodite. At its core, "Do What U Want" proved that the only gesture more pointed than a middle finger is cackling while inviting the world to do its worst. 

It Invented A New Artistic Concept 

Lady Gaga can’t take credit for the notion of art-pop, but she did coin a new phrase, calling the conceptual glue of ARTPOP a "reverse Waholian expedition." Translation: if Andy Warhol transformed mass-produced items like Campbell’s soup into high art, then Gaga wanted to flip the process, placing high art where it could be easily accessible to the public.

As a result, the visual aspects of ARTPOP present a mosaic of the most esteemed masterpieces of all time. The busy album cover fuses the brilliance of American sculptor Jeff Koons with fragments of Sandro Boticelli’s magnum opus "The Birth of Venus," while her outfits for public appearances nodded to greats like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali with brash makeup and fake mustaches. The concept opened her up to mockery — including from Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine — but introduced the basics of art history to millions of listeners worldwide.

It Openly Examined Gaga's Relationship With Drugs And Alcohol

Many of ARTPOP’s most exuberant moments orbit high or drunken states, such as Gaga sneaking around Amersterdam while stoned and incognito on "Mary Jane Holland." Trap outlier "Jewels N’ Drugs," which collects verses from T.I., Twista, and Too $hort, packs the same giddy punch despite its somewhat awkward execution. Yet the party pauses on "Dope," ARTPOP’s sole piano ballad.

The sobering single gazes inward, where Gaga finds a startling void, her spirit gutted after years of addiction. While the song’s lyrics vow to prioritize loved ones over drugs and liquor, Gaga revealed the most personal promise during her album release show.

"I do not have to be high to be creative," she professed from behind her piano, hand raised in the air as if taking an oath. "I do not need to be drunk to have a good idea. I can sit with my thoughts and not feel crazy." On an album bursting with innovation, "Dope" is her firmest pledge to self-improvement, delivered with aching sincerity.

It Ventured Into The Tech World 

Designing mind-bending art? There’s an app for that. Or there was, anyways. ARTPOP arrived with a supplemental app, designed to enhance Gaga’s multimedia approach to the album’s release. As a way to empower fans to dabble in digital art, one of the app’s main features was a gif and still image generator that allowed users to choose from a rainbow of gyrating geometric shapes and backgrounds. Most creations straddled the line between optical illusion and Tumblr-ready art. The app also offered fans the ability to stream the album and chat with each other.

It was an entertaining endeavor, albeit ultimately a short-lived one. Despite an in-app countdown for other features, including a stream of new behind the scenes videos and a digital audio workshop called TrakStar, neither element came to fruition. Due to Gaga’s shift in management, the project was never developed further. 

Still, the ARTPOP app remains a unique addition to pop’s first brushes with modern tech, long predating crossovers like Charli XCX performances on Roblox and AI-created music.

It Refused To Shy Away From Themes Of Sexual Assault

When ARTPOP hit shelves, the world was still three years away from the awareness about pervasive sexual assault revealed by the #MeToo movement. But a hush around the topic didn’t stop Gaga from eeking out a screech or two about her own experiences with abuse in 2013. While Gaga has since divulged more information about her unfortunate experiences with predators as a fledgling popstar, the ARTPOP track "Swine" dropped some of the first angsty breadcrumbs about her survival story.

"I know you want me / You’re just a pig inside a human body / Squealer, squealer, squealer, you’re so dis-GUS-ting," she practically spits with revulsion on the chorus. The deep cut is an exorcism dressed up as a rave, revealing a gut-churning snapshot of a woman publicly processing her own violation years before the act was deemed acceptable.

It Was Her First Record After Canceling The Born This Way Ball 

Scrapping a major tour over an injury shouldn’t warrant a comeback, but that’s what the world demanded of Lady Gaga when her Born This Way Ball hit the brakes. Gaga was forced to end the tour early in February 2013 when she broke her hip, thwarting her ability to walk, let alone dance. As she underwent surgery and paparazzi vied for photos of her in a Louis Vuitton wheelchair, the public largely viewed the truncated Born This Way Ball as a personal failure on Gaga’s part. 

By the time ARTPOP arrived, the expectations for her next move couldn’t have been higher — which made Gaga’s spasmic, genre-jumping, vomit-covered return to pop all the more daring.

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ReImagined: Kassa Overall Transforms Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" With Jazzy Improvisation
Kassa Overall

Photo: Courtesy of Kassa Overall

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ReImagined: Kassa Overall Transforms Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" With Jazzy Improvisation

Contemporary jazz star Kassa Overall uses his genre-bending of hip-hop and jazz to offer a new perspective on Snoop Dogg's 2004 hit single with Pharrell, "Drop It Like It's Hot."

GRAMMYs/Oct 24, 2023 - 05:00 pm

While Snoop Dogg and Pharrell boast a bevy of chart-toppers across their respective careers, both artists' first No. 1 can be traced back to 2003 thanks to one special single: "Drop It Like It's Hot." The track went on to receive two GRAMMY nominations, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Duo/Group Performance. By the end of the 2000s, Billboard declared it the most popular rap song of the decade.

In this episode of ReImagined, contemporary jazz artist and drummer Kassa Overall delivers a live performance of "Drop It Like It's Hot" from a highway. Overall uses pieces of the song's original iconic production — like its tongue clicks — but ultimately turns it into his own with jazzy improvisation.

Overall's spirited performance is a teaser for what fans can expect on his Ready to Ball World Tour, which kicked off with a sold-out performance in Tokyo on Oct. 19. The trek will see Overall hit 30 cities in the United States and Europe, ending on March 21 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Press play on the video above to hear Kassa Overall's unique rendition of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Drop It Like It's Hot," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of ReImagined.

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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ReImagined: Adi Feels "Happier Than Ever" In This Thunderous Cover Of Billie Eilish's Hit Single
Adi

Photo: Courtesy of Adi

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ReImagined: Adi Feels "Happier Than Ever" In This Thunderous Cover Of Billie Eilish's Hit Single

Mexican singer/songwriter and TikTok star Adi offers a synth-pop take on Billie Eilish's GRAMMY-nominated single "Happier Than Ever."

GRAMMYs/Oct 10, 2023 - 05:03 pm

Though the title "Happier Than Ever" suggests otherwise, Billie Eilish's hit song is far from it. As the track's instrumental transitions from a soothing ukulele to a blazing electric guitar, Eilish comes to terms with her ex's mistreatment before exploding with rage over his behavior she let go over the years.

"I don't talk s— about you on the internet/ Never told anyone anything bad," Eilish exposes in the song's second movement. "'Cause that s—'s embarrassing, you were my everything/ And all that you did was make me f—ing sad."

In this episode of ReImagined, Mexican singer/songwriter Adi delivers an equally cathartic cover of "Happier Than Ever." She remains faithful to Eilish's vocal performance, but trades in the original pop-punk production for synth-pop sounds.

Beyond covers, Adi is a prolific content creator on TikTok and Instagram, boasting more than 450,000 combined followers across all platforms.

Since making her debut with the single "Poison" in March 2022, Adi has released two more singles, "Ojos Marrones" and "Monstruos." According to a press statement, her songwriting "reflects the feelings of a new generation of young people, where loneliness, depression, and love are present in their daily lives."

Press play on the video above to hear Adi's raging cover of Billie Eilish's "Happier Than Ever," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of ReImagined.

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