Lady Gaga prides herself on her DIY sensibility — sure, she has corporate backers like Doritos now, but the star has a history of developing ideas in-house, from the bottom up, with efforts like the Born This Way Foundation, the ARTPOP artRAVE launch party, Haus of Gaga and other projects that she has built as part of her empire. But in a new documentary about Live Nation global touring division chairman Arthur Fogel (before you snicker, realize he has managed tours for Madonna, U2 and, yes, Gaga), she reveals that this hunger to create on her own terms nearly bankrupted her at the height of her breakout fame. So the money problems are nothing new for Mother Monster.
Back in 2009, after Gaga unexpectedly burst into the superstar realm thanks to The Fame, she planned her elaborate her Monster Ball Tour. “I had three million dollars in the bank to my name and I threw it all in to make my stage,” she said in a clip of Who the F–k is Arthur Fogel? ”So I was bankrupt during the show. And I remember I went home and I was with my dad and he said, ‘I don’t understand. ‘Bad Romance’ is out. You are all over the radio. Everyone is talking about you and you don’t have a pot to piss in.’”
But Gaga felt if she could put on the show as she envisioned it, she would get Fogel’s attention. And that’s exactly what happened. “I remember he called me and he said, ‘We want to do this,’” Gaga recalled. “And he got Live Nation to write me a 40 million dollar check. It changed my life and the life of my whole family.”
That $40 million was a wise investment: the tour went on to gross $227 million.
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