Lady Gaga Gives SXSW Keynote: ‘Don’t Sell Out to This Business’

Lady Gaga American Horror Story
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Nearly 12 hours after a wild show at Stubb’s BBQ, Lady Gaga emerged wearing clear trash bags Friday morning for her SXSW keynote and had anything but applause for the current state of the music industry.

“As you get more successful, they push the rule book at you more,” the pop singer said of record executives.

Gaga, known to her fans as Mother Monster, said the underwhelming performance of her latest album “Artpop” only highlighted the fact that the industry’s priorities were upended.

“I’m very proud (of the album)…I’m held to such an insane standard and it’s almost like everybody forgets where the music business is now,” she said. “The sad part is at some point you have to look at those people who believe in you and say, ‘My talent matters more to me than the money does. What I have to say matters more to me than the money does.’ I would give it all up tomorrow if I had to sell my soul. I will retire from the commercial market if I can’t be myself.”

Hosted by former MTV VJ John Norris, the hour-long discussion featured questions from the audiences while the singer also explained her “Swine” performance from Thursday night, during which “vomit painter” Millie Brown forced herself to throw up all over the singer.

“I’ve known Millie (Brown) for I think like five years now and we’ve actually collaborated before…she was just in town and so we thought we would collaborate again,” she explained. “It was just exciting to see people talk about performance art on the internet. We really just did it because we believe in the performance and we believe in what it meant to the song.”

Gaga, speaking at the Hilton Hotel in Austin, revealed she will be releasing her next music video next Saturday.

“Don’t sell out to this business,” she told the audience. “Sell in.”

The 27-year-old later dismissed comparisons to fellow artists including Katy Perry, whose single “Roar” dropped on the same day as Gaga’s “Applause.”

“I don’t know what the fuck I have to do with Katy Perry. My music is so completely different and I couldn’t be more different,” she quipped.

But perhaps the most exciting bit of news for Gaga’s “little monsters” was that new music will soon be on the way.

Said Gaga, “I have a whole second act of ‘Artpop.’”

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    1. Brandon says:

      “I would give it all up tomorrow if I had to sell my soul.” Umm, why haven’t you given it all up yet then? People with an ounce of intelligence knows that this lady has been an illuminati puppet.

    2. Trey M says:

      PEOPLE CHANGE! ARTISTS CHANGE! When you are a nobody with a ton of money you can easily get the chance to be a pop star. Lady Gaga took that chance as I would if I could. She took the same opportunities Paris Hilton had but made it big because she was smart and talented. Then she was on top of the world. When you are on top you view everything differently. Now she feels worthy to make whatever music she wants. Lady Gaga can say things like, I make music for myself and my fans, not for money. She honestly must feel that way because she knows she could live rich for the rest of her life, but if she was ever truly poor she would not feel the same way. Lady Gaga is a rich girl who had talent and now that she has recognition and fame the train has left the station. Welcome to you never being able to stop her. So either get over it and see what happens next or ignore her name wherever you see it.

      • Ron Lewis says:

        Wow, how insightful. You must be a lot smarter than all of us. Maybe you can help me – I seem to be getting a lot more hair growing in my nose and ears these days. Should I continue to pluck or go with electrolysis?

    3. Catrina says:

      First she was the victim’s advocate, against bullying, for gay rights. She billed herself as a champion for the underdogs. Then she turns around and releases a collaboration with R Kelly, a known pedophile. He’s not the only male singer in the industry, but he is one of a handful with a proven history of victimization. Sure you could argue that the teens he groomed and abused eventually “consented” to his sexual advances, but not one of those young girls was better off for knowing him. So, which is it Gaga? Are you an advocate for victims or are you just exploiting a potential fan base? It would appear that Gaga herself is the real sellout.

    4. George says:

      I love her, she saved my life and helped me quit my drug addictions and that’s all that matters. She may not touch the lives of some demographics but to her fans, she changed our lives, especially to me and a lot of my gay friends, she helped us to open up and be ourselves.

      I thank her for letting me always stay positive and never criticize or be negative towards anything, even if i don’t accept it, i am always happy for everything and look for a positive in everything in the world, because it truly helps you see the beauty in the world.

      • Ron Lewis says:

        Geez, what a bunch of self-deluded hooey. You haven’t been saved from drug addiction, you’ve just migrated to a new way to self-medicate. Whatever you were trying to escape by using drugs, you’re trying to cover up with these rose-colored glasses you’re now wearing. If Lady BlaBla told you to look at the world that way, she’s evil, and if you believed her, you’re an idiot. The world is what it is. Accept it, and yourself, because it’s your idea and not some BS you heard from a flash-in-the-pan rockstar.

      • Katina says:

        Wow, this is really special.
        I had no idea Lady Gaga had such an effect on people.
        Thanks for opening my eyes. by sharing your experience.
        She always seemed to me like she was selling her talent and her voice for the money.
        If she is taking the chance to go her own way now I’d applaud that move.

        It’s really good to hear that pop music can have such a life changing effect and you can be proud of yourself for quitting and choosing to improve your life.

    5. Sarah says:

      She is so obnoxious. It’s SO easy for wealthy people to say “I would give it all up if I had to”. No you wouldn’t, you also know you have enough money that you never have to work again. Shut up. She is an insult to humanity and to her fans. Her music is awful crap that she poops out with no thought, and that’s obvious to people with taste in music.

    6. Copycat says:

      This talentless woman is a joke. She’d better go back to copying Madonna, those were the days Gaga found success. Oh, wait, she’s already changed her Twitter headline to “Creative Rebellion” following Madonna’s “Rebel Heart” statement about her new music. Good going, Gaga. You may find success again, now that you’re copying Madonna again.

    7. tex says:

      pretty humorous considering she’s one of the biggest sell outs herself. This can usually be characterized as self-delusion.

    8. Bradley says:

      I just have to say a couple things. Lady Gaga didn’t say that she is releasing the second act to Art Pop. She said there were hundreds of songs that she “… never inputted into the system…” and that amid those songs there was a second act to Art Pop that we may or may not ever see. I’d urge Andrea Seikaly to print a correction. Further more, Lady Gaga sold out, so far in as a woman who has been playing piano since she was 4-years-old, writing songs since she was 11-years-old and performing publicly original material since she was 15-years-old has to sell out. The music industry sucks, people have to fight tooth and nail to get remotely heard in the first place and being heard doesn’t equate being considered. Lady Gaga was the formulaic construct that gave a 23-year-old Stefani Germanotta enough freedom to market her music to the degree she saw fit and maintain her act as intact true to form as she could. It’s not for me to say Lady Gaga is art and Katy Perry isn’t or vice versa. That strikes me as saying blue is artistic but green isn’t or vice versa. If a pop star was your friend, you’d feel compelled to support their projected perception of them self and help them to feel good about honoring the decisions made to that end. I think the dialogue in modern times it too harsh, too cutting, and too critical from too removed a stance.

    9. billsmith says:

      Talk about irony. Lady Gaga is the ULTIMATE sellout. She has become famous, not for her musical talent, but for wearing dresses made of meat or acting like a weirdo. She is all style and show with absolutely no substance. Any substance she may have had (I think none, since her music is garbage) has been sold out to foster an image and become famous. Her entire career is based upon shocking people or making a statement, yet she is supposedly to be a musician and a person of character, according to herself.

    10. The Snappy Sneezer says:

      Funny, she sold out when she became LAdy Gaga. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, what the heck became of SXSW? SXSW sold out. It is shameful.

    11. Olivia says:

      are you kidding me? If you have seen Lady Gaga preform at the hurricane sandy relief concert.. you would KNOW she is the biggest sell out there is…shes an amazing singer… so why does she make these pop songs instead showing that talent… BECAUSE SHE SOLD OUT!!! wow she pisses me off so much…

    12. Lammassu says:

      She’s posing as usual. Tool said it best:
      “All you know about me, is what I sold you, dumbfuk
      I sold out long before you ever even heard my name
      I’d sell my soul to make a record dips#!t
      -Tool, excerpt from ‘Hooker with a Penis’

    13. I’m glad Lady Gaga thinks she’s a artist of note because I don’t.

    14. C. Adkins says:

      She’s losing it. She needs to re-invent herself.

    15. Renton says:

      “Dont sell out” she says on the SXSW stage brought to you by doritios

    16. blancojoe says:

      She should move to Austin, Texas. That city gets trashier by the day.

    17. Richard Avery says:


    18. Trisha says:

      Have none of you ever heard the phrase you never know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes??? I’m not a huge fan of hers. But it seems to me that you mid level peons are awfully judge mental when you truly have no clue what it’s like to be her, be famous or be anyone. Get a grip! You’re giving advice to one if the most famous people in the world!? Tearing her down and judging so harshly? Who the hell are YOU? Because you think she really cares what you think?? HA!

    19. GagaMeWithASpoon says:

      A sellout telling other people not to sell out. She must be a progressive.

    20. She thinks that she’s an artist. Heaven help us. What boring rubbish.

    21. Jim57 says:

      Did Lady Gaga really say don’t sell out to the music business? The music business has made her fabulously wealthy and well know — yep, that music business should be avoided. When the music is good, it sells. When it is not as good as prior music made by the same performer, it will not sell — that is business.

    22. Shawn P says:

      ‘Don’t Sell Out to This Business’ she says, after she has earned over $100 million dollars.

    23. Losers should not lectura.

    24. april says:

      Really, Crystal?
      . Why is humanity refusing to wake up and see whats really there? Gaga is the biggest pop star on this planet. People please stop worshiping these multi million dollar puppets!!! Im w julie turek. Gaga is the biggest sell out of them all…the pied piperess (yes, i just made up that word), whose true role in all of this, {and many other celebs} is not to entertain but to direct the subconscious of ourselves and our children….the future healers and leaders of our beautiful planet. Forcing them into a perpetual state of distraction while the barrage of subliminal suggestions in her”art” convince them to behave in like ways. That’s y she’s at the top of the heap!! Notice she termed the act of telling people who believe in her that her talent means more to her than money as SAD,….and she’d give it all up even if she had to sell her soul because she couldn’t work in this industry if she weren’t being true to herself. This is classic “double bind ‘speak technique meant to confuse your mind. They want you to believe her soul is intact and that no matter how insane her behavior may get, its ok. Not only is this her TRUE nature and behavior {so definitely acceptable)..but.its making her a huge fucking star {and you’d have to be a moron not to follow that formula for success, right?}!!! .You will not question it……your kids will start pattering their behavior after her. Because its all making her a star. And to top it off…..she wants you to believe this behavior is absolutely acceptable….AND its who she REALLY IS!!! . With her constant references to satanism and worshiping lucifer…..videos saturated w occult symbolism and imagery. She’s showing you exactly what she wants to influence your children to believe, accept, model, etc.
      People wake up……for your legacy, i implore you.
      Let’s all begin helping each other….in whatever ways we can.
      ….to wake up.

    25. Philby says:

      Gaga’s the sellout. Fancy her preaching to us about it. Hypocrite.

    26. Crystal says:

      I think people missed the part where Lady Gaga just said she would quit doing her job as a performer if she isn’t able to be herself and here a lot of you are talking about her trash bags?? Her point is about being herself and all I am reading in the comments below is stop being Lady Gaga! I think I’d rather the crazy outfits they don’t hurt anyone and unlike Gaga most of the stars have sold their soul just to make millions. In my opinion they don’t deserve their wealth if they have to use evil to get it! I’d rather listen to someone wearing garbage bags, with a beautiful voice and soul in which,Gaga possesses both! The music industry is full of Illuminati puppets and I’ll take Gaga and her non compliance of becoming one of them any day of the week! She is not all about the money and that is of great need in music today. Unfortunately, Katy Perry whom I used to listen to has very much disappointed me. She did full out witchcraft at the Grammy’s. Apparently, you can’t sell music anymore without becoming a witch now and it is a disgrace! Good for Lady Gaga and I truly hope she keeps her word and keeps her soul.

      • GagaMeWithASpoon says:

        you’re high. at the very beginning of her career, she admitted she created the persona of Lady Gaga b/c being herself wasn’t getting her paid enough. she isn’t being herself, and she’s a shill for lowest common denominator pop music schwag, which is why she has so many clueless fans such as yourself. she’s a fraud, her music and act are derivative, and compared to actual great singers her voice is merely serviceable. but she is laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to silly girlz like you.

      • Julie Turek says:

        This woman is one of the bigger sell outs there are. There are videos of her out there before she was famous. They look nothing like the blonde mess she looks like now. She had long brown hair and played her instrument with her band. She didn’t need to be carried into things in eggs and on top of human horses. I mean, is she joking?

        • Katie says:

          Here’s my problem with this argument – Are you exactly the same as you were when you were 18 – 19? You may be similar, of course, but I’m sure as hell a lot different, and I’m only 25 so it evolved pretty quickly. My taste in music and fashion and art, for instance, is monumentally different. Almost completely opposite in a lot of respects, actually. If I had been a performer then and was a performer now, I would be doing VERY different things.

          There are also videos and photos of her before she was famous where she was very similar to what she is now, just with a lot less money, so she’s obviously missing some of the things that come with a bigger budget… but the aesthetic is the same.

          Sidenote: Her high school yearbook page says that her male equivalent was Boy George… so she’s probably not as different as you think she is.

    27. James Hamilton says:

      27! wow I’m almost 20 years older then you.

    28. I dont think anyone is going to take advice from someone who dresses worse than a bag lady.

    29. bobinnc says:

      OBTW – I also think you’re kind of attractive in a very real way – no bullshitting.

    30. Sweetie, you could form your own label, do your own promotion and everything else on your own. Stop bitching.

    31. Ron Lewis says:

      You’re a couple of years too late with that diagnosis.

    32. WilliamPenn says:

      This babe’s mentally ill.

    33. Tony says:

      Oh, please tell me we don’t have to endure another three months of this shi††y flop album? The only people who respect this pig are the losers who can’t think for themselves, simple-minded folk who think that buttons glued to her face is “MIND BLOWING ART!”. Shes the epitome of a sell out, formerly a boring nobody writing sappy songs in empty bars….until the label signed her and created this facade.

    34. el polacko says:

      this is rich from someone whose entire ‘gaga’ persona was an invention of record execs. before she “sold out/in” to the industry, ms. geramotta was trying to make it (and going nowhere) as a drippy, sensitive, piano-playing, singer/songwriter…but the big money was to be had with the wacky ‘gaga’ image instead. she’s as phony as a pop star can be.

    35. Allen says:

      didn’t Dave Chappelle leave the industry for the same reasoning about his comedy?

    36. TTS says:

      It pains me to say this because I am a huge fan of her music. Gaga is so talented, and this latest stunt with the vomit just makes her look desperate. ARTPOP is a great album, but everything she’s doing right now, with her imagery and costuming, is just coming off as copying. She’s “borrowed” from so many people that her music is sort of suffering because of it. She needs a total re-vamp, image wise, and she’ll be ok.

      • W says:

        The vomit was during a song called Swine and that song makes a very strong statement about r a p e and abuse and apparently something that Lady GaGa herself went through. So the imagery is on point.

      • Eli says:

        If you were a TRUE fan you would’ve known that she has done this before for an interlude for the Monster Ball 2.0 Tour

        • TTS says:

          Oh boy, here we go. Eli- I’ve seen the monster ball interlude. It’s had it’s time, it’s old news. And i said huge fan of her music, but maybe not so much a fan of her right now. And W, Do you really think people are going to connect that act to Rape and Abuse without knowing? If anything it looks like she’s glamorizing bulimia, and forgive me for assuming that more people are probably going to take that direction of thought, rather then trying to understand why she did it.

    37. Stacy says:

      sell out? Do any of you know what a “sell out” is? A sell out is someone who changes who they are and what they want to do, for money….
      Lady Gaga is one of the lucky ones who never sold out, she does what she wants, doesnt let her label define her, she doesnt conform, nothing… she is all her…. and the best part is… she made it, she makes lots of money, great music (maybe not for everyone’s taste and thats personal opinion) and she IS talented… as a whole… as a dancer, as a performer, as an artist, and as an amazing vocalist. She never sold out. Some of you people need to understand what selling out is before you call her that. Do you think any label would allow her THAT much freedom if she “Sold out”? No way.
      She is a smart, talented, beautiful business woman. College educated, musically educated and she payed her dues. She spent from age 15 performing and writing her music and NEVER sold out! You dont have to like her… but dont judge her or what she does just because its not what YOU like.

      • Olivia says:

        you haven’t seen any of her videos before she was famous have you? The ones where she was humbly playing a piano and singing pretty respectful music… and now, she makes songs like ‘poker face’…. she’s a sell out, she sold out to GET famous

        • Catrina says:

          So going from being a victims advocate to collaborating with a pedophile (R Kelly), in a song where she sings “do what you want with my body”, isn’t selling out? She either was full of crap to begin with, or she has compromised her principles for the almighty dollar.

          Talented? Absolutely. Smart? Of Course. Sellout? Yes. She is.

      • Marjie Powell says:

        Right on !

    38. lady gaga is the best.what she does to her music is cool.i like her.people keep your shittythoughts to yourself

      • cmb11978 says:

        Hahaahaha. Skanky gag me fooled your ass. All her song writers and image creators quit or were fired before her last album. That’s why it tanked. You really think that freak show is her real personality? Wow are you stupid.

    39. Dirk Digler says:

      Did any of the loser kids even listen to her?

      Lady Gaga giving the keynote at SXSW is the equivalent of Jaz-Z selling those stupid “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts to those slack-jawed Wall Street protesters.

      And the impressionable idiots lap it up…

    40. Peter says:

      No talent little rich girl , her last album was a big flop.
      Go away, your 15 minutes of fame are over.

    41. Vicki Allard says:

      Well i really liked her before she started letting People puke all over her….and this puke art thing OMFG!!!! is all i can say is nothing private anymore????? k i may be old i don’t know just guess i need some old time rock n roll Love the Born This Way Album…she’s just gonna puke herself right out of the business real soo…and thats to bad cause when Gaga is playing piano and singing she pretty darn good :)

    42. Cary Carter says:

      You go, Gaga! I love you and your Art!

    43. Colleen says:

      I love her. What she says extends to all of us, no matter what we do in life. Having someone vomit on me for art’s sake is the only thing I feel I might say I do not connect with. :)

    44. JJ Walker says:

      Pop music is synonymous with sellout.

    45. Darcus Tori says:

      I think ARTPOP is by far her best album yet. Her stage name in not a gimmick it’s Art, her ultra ego is Lady Gaga. She’s one of the best artist to ever hit Pop Music. For all the Naysayers, you’re just out of touch with real art! She won’t flop, nor did Madonna, Marilyn Manson and all the other hard working Pop singers/songwriters!

    46. Daisy D says:

      “Don’t sell out to this business,” she told the audience. “Sell in.”

      What utterly meaningless tripe.

    47. Gaga is an amazingly accomplished pianist with a great voice. I look forward to the day when just sits at the piano and plays and sings with no outrageous props and outfits and sets.

    48. Teresa Jakowich says:

      I don’t fell that allowing someone to puke all over you fake or not, during a concert is where the music needs to go. What ever happened to just plain using your voice to create harmonious music with instead of getting insane with all this other crap! Anyone who resorts to using theatricals like this is doomed to die! I began liking your music for years but now I WILL NOT support the type of things that are being done on stage during concerts. I don’t care who it is.

    49. None Ya says:

      *sighs heavily*

    50. I believe ARTPOP was poorly promoted in the first place, I hope she takes the reigns and rocks it out with awesome songs on this album, as it was they released the worst of it!

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