Singer, merchant diverge on gay rights

Lady Gaga has nixed her deal with Target for an exclusive version of her forthcoming album “Born This Way.”

A rep for the flamboyant singer said Wednesday that Gaga and Target “came to a mutual decision to end their overall exclusive partnership a few weeks ago.” Gay pub the Advocate revealed the end of the deal Tuesday.

Last month, Gaga announced that Target would release an expanded version of her highly anticipated May 23 release, which has spawned a titular No. 1 single that bears a pro-gay rights theme (Variety, Feb. 10).

Minneapolis-based retailer has a history of contributing to political action committees supporting candidates who oppose gay rights. Interviewed by Billboard, Gaga recently said that her deal with the company was contingent on a change in its stance on the issue.

“We were very surprised and disappointed by the statements made by Lady Gaga’s organization related to her partnership with Target,” the company said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “Target remains committed to the LGBT community as demonstrated by our contributions to various LGBT organizations, our recently established policy committee to review our political giving and our respectful, inclusive workplace environment.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the music page on Target’s website was still soliciting pre-orders for the exclusive “Born This Way” package.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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