The faster they rise, they harder they fall. Poor Jimmy Iovine.
Story by: Sabrina O'Connor / Examiner.com
On Saturday, it was revealed that Interscope, Lady Gaga's label, has spent $25 million dollars to promote her flop album "ARTPOP," which is set to sell around 250 thousand copies in its first week -- that's a 75 percent drop from the first week album sales of "Born This Way" only two years ago. This weekend, plenty of Lady Gaga's little monsters prostituted themselves online, offering gay sex for people who buy at least 30 copies of "ARTPOP."
Some have compared the fate of "ARTPOP" to Michael Jackson's "Invincible," where $30 million was spent on the promotion for an album that didn't even launch one solid hit single. But "ARTPOP" is really Lady Gaga's "Glitter." Interscope, who was hoping the album would sell at least ten million copies worldwide, is rumored to lay off at least 50 employees -- they will allegedly receive their pink slips around Christmas time. What a gift!
So, how was the money spent? We talked to a music industry analyst (who wants to be referred to as 'Jacob' for this story), who has worked at both Warner Brothers and Arista over the past twenty years. He works closely with people from Interscope and told us that the past year has been a huge nightmare for Lady Gaga and Interscope. He confirms that the promotional techniques for the album have been incredibly unethical.
"She originally was going to have the album ready by last Christmas. They made her re-record it. When her tour wasn't selling, they invented a hip injury and told Gaga to go away for months so the public could be interested in her 'comeback.' After the lead single 'Applause' didn't get such a great reception, they made her re-record the album again. I hear that they allegedly paid radio stations in order to put the song at the top of their playlists," Jacob laughs.
Besides the alleged payola, it is believed that a lot of money most likely went to news outlets such as Billboard, Glamour, MTV, ABC and some others. "Cash gifts to news outlets really aren't unheard of, but Gaga has taken it to new extremes if this happened. Articles by many news sources sound like they were completely written by Gaga's PR team." He notes that Rolling Stone, a magazine that had usually praised Lady Gaga in the past, allegedly wouldn't accept the cash. Gaga's team was hoping Rolling Stone would put her on the cover and call her "Woman of the Year." Instead, the "honor" went to Glamour.
"I can't say for sure what she is doing for Billboard, but they are definitely trying to save her. They let her song 'Dope' chart at number 8 this week based on YouTube views that weren't intended just for her. The magazine also counted thousands of free giveaways of the song for that chart position. They are covering up for her big time. It's really sad when an industry staple such as Billboard picks favorites and allegedly participates in the payola game," Jacob says with sadness.
The rest of the story concerns Gaga's alleged drug use. Read on.
LA Fashion Week, "LAFW": You’ve been in the fashion industry for almost 30 years now. How did you get your start?
Mary Ellen Vernon: My husband Thom and I started selling clothes in a parking lot across from the coliseum during the 1984 LA Games. We soldthese bright silk-screened tees out of our Volkswagen bus in Long Beach and after two weeks we had made $40,000. The business just took off from there. Now, nearly thirty years have gone by and we have 27 company-owned retail stores, a handful of franchised stores and a healthy wholesale business with more than 500 partners we’re proud to work with.We even opened a retail store right in Pasadena earlier this year.
LAFW: How did you transition from silk-screened T-shirts to a full-fledged clothing line?
Mary Ellen: The brand we are today really started to become a reality when Thom, my husband, and I were eating at one of our favorite spots in La Jolla and came up with the name Fresh Produce. It was catchy, memorable and gave you a sense that this was something different. By then my twin sister Jennifer and I were busy designing our first line. In 1988 Nordstrom picked us up and it kept growing from there; we opened our first company store in 1994.
Fresh Produce was always destined to be more than silk-screened tees. Since I started designing my own clothes in high school I had dreams of building a fashion brand, I just wasn’t sure what form it would take. Influenced by my own values and interests, it took shape as something soulful, spirited, inspiring and feel-good that fits a woman’s lifestyle. The brand really developed naturally from there.
LAFW: What is Fresh Produce today?
Mary Ellen: Fresh Produce is a women’s lifestyle brand that is for women, by women, inside and out. In everything we do and create, we celebrate color, a relaxed mindset and effortless style. It’s all about feeling good, inspiring our customer, and uplifting her with color and effortless style.
Ultimately, I want to feel confident, carefree and true to myself when I get dressed in the morning. That’s what this brand is about and that’s what I want to share with our customer every day.
We’re also a homegrown company. Our clothes are primarily made in the USA, more specifically southern California, which is important to our customer and us; it’s also essential to our brand DNA. We are evolving as a 360-degree lifestyle brand with a retail-centric focus.
lAFW: What’s next for Fresh Produce?
Mary Ellen: We just launched our first ever beauty product, a nail polish called SHINE ON. The colors are inspired by our favorite coastal destinations with names like “Emalia love Maui” and “Mellow in Montecito”. We see opportunity in creating a 360-degree experience for our customer beyond the clothes she wears – beauty and home feel like a natural progression.