Lady Gaga’s performance at today’s YouTube Music Awards might accurately be described as “naked” – though not in the way you might be expecting.
Dressed in a simple plaid shirt and cap, the pop diva offered up an emotional rendition of “Dope” (the second promotional single from her forthcoming studio album “ARTPOP”) at the 1st annual awards show on Sunday, in a performance completely shorn of the usual whizz-bang artifice we’ve come to expect from Mother Monster. Of course, it was clearly Gaga’s intention to present a stripped-down contrast to her flamboyant stage persona with the tune, a plaintive piano ballad about drug addiction that includes such lyrics as “I feel so low from living high” and “Toast one last puff/And two last regrets/Three spirits and/Twelve lonely steps.” The chorus itself itself is a mournful plea for forgiveness, with Gaga wailing the desperate refrain, “I need you more than dope.”
Originally titled “I Wanna Be With You” before the singer chose to go in a darker thematic direction with the tune (the lyrics are considerably revamped from that earlier version, which she performed at the 2013 iTunes Music Awards), Gaga has described “Dope” as the album’s most personal track, and it shows in her performance. You can check it out below, along with the studio version of the song.
“Dope” will be available for download on iTunes at 12:01am tonight. “ARTPOP” is slated for release on November 6.
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