Pop music is in a rut of rip-offs: Lady Gaga rips off Madonna; Christina Aguilera and Rihanna rip off Gaga; Ke$ha rips off the rip-offs; and everybody claims it was "artistic inspiration." Well, Gigi Leung is here to tell you there ain't no knock-off like a Chinese knock-off, because Chinese knock-offs don't apologize.
"In China, Gaga Has Nothing on Gigi," the Wall Street Journal proclaimed this weekend. Gigi is the most-followed pop star on China's version of Twitter; she's more popular than Jackie Chan. Her presence regularly incites public mobs. Her career revolves around her style, particularly her hair, which she sings about in a song called "Short Hair." And, in recent concerts, she has been a direct, unapologetic Lady Gaga rip-off.
The above images depict Gigi performing live at the Hong Kong Coliseum last night. Every look is a direct knock-off of a Lady Gaga look: Her S&M aesthetic, her famed bubble dress (itself a Hussein Chalayan knock-off), her Statue of Liberty crown. She treats her stage act like a high-concept photo shoot, her wardrobe like elaborate furnishings from an alien palace on Planet Hairspray.
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But the best part about Gigi Leung's unapologetic Gaga stealing? A few years ago, she was Gaga's polar opposite. In billowy skirts and bare feet, she warbled ballads and frolicked with puppies. Wholesome romance was her niche for the better part of two decades.
After releasing 30 albums in the last 15 years, Gigi's pre-Gaga image was at least as big as her post-Gaga one, which may be why she doesn't take her Gaga-isms too seriously. (In the same concert where she wore the bubble dress and did an S&M-inspired dance routine, Gigi danced with people dressed as teddy bears and giant snowflake cut-outs.) The result is strangely refreshing: Guileless stealing from other artists, without any of the self-serious pretenses of artistry. [Images via Getty]