How does the biggest pop star on the planet reward herself after she’s spent the past year touring the world, performing for President Bill Clinton, opening her own boutique in Barneys, releasing a high-fashion picture book, and prepping for her appearance on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve”?
If you’re Lady Gaga, you go home to Mom and Dad’s and curl up in your childhood bedroom on the Upper West Side — which is what she plans to do this holiday weekend as her ABC variety special, “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving,” premieres Thursday night.
“She still doesn’t have her own place in the city,” one longtime friend tells The Post. “She and her family are very tight.”
It’s her great paradox: At 25, Lady Gaga may be the most avant-garde performer of the last decade, a self-anointed Queen of the Freaks who reinvents herself with whipsaw rigor, yet she remains very much a nice Catholic girl who is most comfortable with 19-year-old sister Natali, mom Cynthia and dad Joe — who takes an unprecedented 50 percent of her earnings under their LLCs, Team Love Child and Mermaid Music.
She’s also bought a restaurant, one of her dad’s favorites on the Upper West Side. Formerly known as Vince & Eddie’s, it’s been renamed Joanne after his late sister. Celebrity chef Art Smith, who appears on Gaga’s Thanksgiving special, is at the helm.
But it’s the 50/50 split between Gaga and her father that’s most unusual. There’s only one other of its kind in the history of the music industry — between Elvis and Col. Tom Parker.
“There’s really no justifiable sense to doing a 50/50 deal with anyone in your career, other than someone you’re partners in a band with,” says Josh Grier, an entertainment lawyer who represents Wilco and Elvis Costello, among others. “Certainly no artist entering a management deal does anything close to that — a commission is usually 15 to 20 percent.”
That said, it’s quite possible that Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, believes her father has earned his share of her fortune, even though her success has allowed him to realize a lifelong dream: He now works in the industry, managing aspiring artists. Yet she likely sees this as further evidence of how similar they are; her adoration is unconditional. In January 2010, she told Elle magazine, “I’m married to my dad,” and that September, she told Vanity Fair, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve been in my father’s arms for two weeks, wishing [him] a Happy Father’s Day.”
In the majority of her interviews, her father is — aside from herself — the most dominant character. Though Gaga has given alternate versions of her decision to quit using cocaine in 2007, in the most consistent one is Joe Germanotta coolly assessed his daughter’s downward trajectory with one devastating line: “He looked at me one day and said, ‘You’re f--kin’ up, kid,’ ” she said.
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