Gaga covers up for China release

BAN LIFTED: Lady Gaga's music was deemed against Chinese regulations in 2011, with her provocative lyrics and persona landing her on the government's blacklist.


    Jan 20, 2014

    Gaga covers up for China release


    LADY Gaga can sing legally in China again, more than two years after her provocative lyrics and persona landed her on a government blacklist.

    The change of heart by the censors means her new album, Artpop, can be released in China.

    Here's how she celebrated the news on her Twitter account, in a tweet posted last week: "I'm so excited!!!! The Chinese Government Approved ARTPOP to be released in China with all 15 songs! Next I hope I can come to perform!"

    Artpop, with a cover designed by American artist Jeff Koons, will go on sale in China before Chinese New Year, which begins next Friday, said an executive at Universal Music, the singer's Chinese record label.

    The cover of Lady Gaga's album will be modified for the Chinese market.

    The original cover features a naked Lady Gaga sitting with a large blue ball between her legs and her hands over her breasts. It will be toned down, according to reports on Chinese social media that were confirmed by the executive, who declined to give his name to avoid attracting the attention of censors.

    On the altered cover of Artpop, the pop diva's legs will be covered with black stockings and the ball positioned higher so that it covers more of her body, he said.

    In 2011, Lady Gaga's music was deemed "against regulations", with six of her songs considered to be "creating confusion in the order of the online music market, and damaging the nation's cultural security", the Culture Ministry said then.

    From her 2011 album Born This Way, the offendings songs included Hair, Bloody Mary and Judas.

    In all, 100 songs by overseas artists were banned, including Katy Perry's Last Friday Night.

    At the time, the Chinese authorities said that foreign music would be subject to censorship, just as domestic music was.

    Albums must undergo screening by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

    Music companies hoping to release an album in China must provide SARFT with the original and translated lyrics.

    "After things go up there, it's a black box," the executive said of the process.

    Changing the cover of Artpop could be a way to "avoid risk" during that process with a "compromise", he added.