Did Lady Gaga ‘copy’ a famous Madonna quote for the ‘ASIB’ promo tour?

32nd American Cinematheque Award Presentation Honoring Bradley Cooper

LOL, the other day I was thinking about whether Lady Gaga would really win an Oscar, and my mind wandered to Madonna and all of her attempts to be a “real actress,” and whether Madonna was mad about Gaga’s Oscar buzz. For those latecomers to the Gaga bandwagon, let me tell you… for the first four or five years of Gaga’s music career, she copied Madonna. A LOT. Gaga even had a few songs that just sounded like old Madonna songs. But one area where Gaga didn’t copy Madonna: Gaga can act, and Madonna never could. Madonna always craved legitimacy in the acting world, and she never got it. And now Gaga has that legitimacy. So…Gaga’s Little Monsters and Madonna’s stans are at each other’s throats again:

They have a feud stretching back years. And after a relatively calm period between Lady Gaga and Madonna, the Material Girl icon has hit out at her rival for supposedly stealing a famous quote of hers. The drama started when a video compilation circulated online of Gaga repeatedly using a quote during her A Star is Born press tour earlier this year.

‘There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don’t believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life,’ the singer and actress has said on multiple occasions.

But it turns out the quote is very similar to one said by Madonna in the 1980s, with the star herself posting an Instagram story on Monday showing herself being interviewed thirty years ago, saying: ‘If there are 100 people in a room and 99 say they liked it, I only remember the one person who didn’t.’

Madonna also posted an Insta snap of herself with the caption ‘Don’t F–k with Me Monday,’ leading to a flurry of comments and back and forths between her fans and Gaga’s Little Monsters.

[From The Daily Mail]

I’m including one of the videos below for comparison. Maybe I’m super-old (???) but this argument seems to be about different quotes which didn’t originate from either Madonna or Lady Gaga. I mean, Madonna was not the first person to ever say “If there are 100 people in a room and 99 say they liked it, I only remember the one person who didn’t,” right? People have been saying variations on that quote for a lot longer than Madonna has been around. As for Gaga’s quote… is it possible she had no memory of Madonna even saying that? Good lord.

2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Press Room

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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33 Responses to “Did Lady Gaga ‘copy’ a famous Madonna quote for the ‘ASIB’ promo tour?”

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  1. Div says:

    FFS. Madonna stans and Little Monster stans need to chill—as you mentioned Kaiser, some variation of that saying has been around for ages. Also, I’ve always kind of seen Gaga as semi-ripping off (or taking inspiration) from Cher, Madonna, Blondie, and Freddie Mercury in her early days, not just Madonna. Madonna’s not the first person to wear outrageous outfits, or ‘reinvent’ herself, and Gaga even got her name from a Queen song—and while some of Gaga’s songs definitely have a Madonna vibe she’s clearly influenced by numerous other artists.

    I would understand Madonna’s bitterness more if it was a blatant rip off, like the Beach Boys stealing from Chuck Berry or Katy Perry’s song being nearly identical to Sarah Barellies, but that’s not the case. Can’t help but believe that Madonna’s anger comes from the fact that Gaga simply has a much better voice and legitimacy as an actor.

  2. Nev says:

    She is a huge copier. Even same outfits and the Born This Way similarity. Look it up on YouTube. There’s videos of the similarities.

    • dietcokehead says:

      It’s a silly controversy because the quotes aren’t the same and some variation has been around for ages, but Gaga kinda invited it. I don’t think people would be giving her grief if she hadn’t been a giant rip-off of other artists all these years. When you base your public persona and music on another artist’s work and then make a similar quote…well people are going to think it’s more copying.

    • ValiantlyVarnished says:

      You know what’s so silly about that argument? Gaga flat out stated that her entire Born This Way album was an homage to 80’s and 90’s pop music. That was the point!

      • Some chick says:

        Madonna is a huge copier too, tho! Takes one to know one, I guess.

        Really, this whole thing is silly. All artists draw inspiration from around them. Maybe Madonna just wants the attention. Or feels threatened… like Nicki M going after Cardi B.

    • Stella Alpina says:

      The HYPOCRISY of Madonna’s complaint — she has copied everyone left and right throughout her career and there’s plenty of evidence:

      It’s funny how ignorant some fans on both sides can be. Madonna and Gaga didn’t invent anything, just copied from the past. It’s beneficial for Madonna and Gaga that their stans remain unaware. So much easier to build up your fictional image as a trailblazer and legend. **rolls eyes**

      To clarify: I was once a Madonna fan a long time ago. I like some of Gaga’s earlier songs and credit for that should be given to Akon and company. She’s not a strong songwriter, as demonstrated by her later albums when she broke away from the producing and songwriting teams who helped her early in her career. She’s certainly more talented vocally and can play an instrument well, unlike Madonna.

      This campaign to get her an Oscar and the requisite hype is too much. It’s the same tactic they used with Kate Hudson in Almost Famous. Look at Kate’s acting career now. Besides, like Kate in her first film, isn’t Gaga just playing a version of herself? Like Madonna playing a version of herself in Desperately Seeking Susan and A League Of Their Own. Hardly much of an effort, “thespian-wise”.

  3. Loopy says:

    How old are these people? Now you are fighting over quotes that even all the people i know has used variations of it. Grow Up!

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Didn’t LiLo spill another version of this in a byline just yesterday lol? Oy vei. The hubris.

    • Juju says:

      Exactly, Lindsay Lohan said almost the exact same thing in her interview yesterday but I don’t see Madonna coming for her! Using a 99 to 100 ratio when speaking doesn’t make it similar enough. Madonna is trying to hard to stay relevant. It actually makes me sad because I used to enjoy her music, but now there is no joy in anything she does.

  5. Ms says:

    They don’t even mean the same thing. What a nothingburger of controversy.

    People are giving Madonna too much credit if they think she made that up.

  6. Bellagio says:

    Madonna built her career stealing from everybody and everyone. It makes her look petty and hungry for relevance, which she always was and is. For all the talk about empowering other females, she has a pretty awful way of showing it.
    Also, that phrase is very common, so to think Madonna was the one that originated it, is delusional. I guess she thinks of herself as Confucius.
    Madonna is not known to remember things she says in interviews, so to come up with this is really making her look desperate.
    We all are aware at this point that Lady Gaga took the highroad and has better things to do than address tipsy Regina George’s wannabe mom.

  7. Chaine says:

    I’m sorry but this is just Madonna grasping to stay relevant. Neither of them said something super-original, they both made statements that could be said by any performer or any person, really, to express their outlook on life. Second, the two statements are not at all the same meaning, they are quite opposite. Madonna’s saying is very “glass half empty” and reflects her essential negativity and unpleasantness, while GaGa’s saying, although it does have the same trope of 100 people in an audience, is optimistic and hopeful.

  8. Alissa says:

    The quote is similar but the sentiments behind them are very different. Gaga needs to stop using the same soundbite in every freaking interview about it though – Lainey joked yesterday that she wonders if she’ll say it if she wins the Oscar.

  9. Christina says:

    I really don’t think Lady Gaga should win an Oscar. She’s not the best actress. She’s just ok.

    • Steff says:

      I hope Glenn Close finally gets it this year. I can see Bradley winning best actor which is unfortunate imo…

  10. CK says:

    Madonna or Madonna stans accusing anyone of copying, rightfully or wrongly, is just rich for someone who is the queen of taking stuff from other artists and claiming them as her own.

    Lady Gaga isn’t going to respond. Why would she? She’s on the road to multiple Oscar nominations (Song and Actress) and pretty much has one in the bag (Song) with a coin flip chance for the other. Last anyone checked, Madonna took a break from dressing up like a clown on instagram to ruin Aretha Franklin’s tribute.

  11. lucy2 says:

    I’ve heard PLENTY of people say a comment like that, it’s not in any way unique, so saying she’s copying that is ridiculous.

    The similarities between Born This Way and Express Yourself though…

    • Stella Alpina says:

      The similarities between Express Yourself and Respect Yourself by the Staples Singers, particulary the chorus…

      Madonna’s Erotica song sampled without permission a song by Lebanese singer Fairuz. Ray Of Light copied an obscure song called Sepheryn by Curtiss Maldoon. Frozen was legally banned in Belgium in 2005 because a court there once ruled that it plagiarized a song composed by Salvatore Acquaviva. The ban was lifted in 2015.

      She had to pay undisclosed sums to Fairuz and to the estate of photographer Guy Bourdin, whose photos were ripped off for her “Hollywood” video. She paid poet Max Blagg for ripping off lines from one of his poems for her song Sky Fits Heaven. Madonna settles out of court to avoid the negative publicity. If she really thought she could win, she wouldn’t be paying these people off. Has anyone successfully sued Gaga for plagiarism or copyright infringement?

      Let’s not forget how the video for Express Yourself is a colorized “inspiration” of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The video for This Used To Be My Playground ripped off the concept of Boy George’s video for To Be Reborn. Her Love Profusion video copied Billie Piper’s Honey To The Bee.

      When Madonna copies, it’s called inspiration. She rarely gives props to the many who “inspired” her. She lets her fans think she’s the Queen of Reinvention. When others copy her (how can you copy what is itself frequently a copy?), she says it’s reductive. Really? Pot meet kettle.

  12. greenmonster says:

    Anyone else singing “If just one person believes in you, long enough and strong enough believes in you…”? That’s all I’m getting from this quote.

  13. SallyS says:

    I hope Gaga gets nominated for Best Actress and Best Song at the Oscars – Madonna was never nominated for Oscar. Not for Acting, not for Song.

  14. sweetpea says:

    At the end of the day – Madonna has influenced many artists. I think M is pissed that Gaga was able to crack into the movie biz successfully – something Madge has never done…this feels stinky on Madonna’s part

  15. Dids says:

    I always thought Madonna held her own in A League of their own. She was good, No? She didnt stand out as a non actor around Geena Davis, Rosie O’donnel or even Tom Hanks… No? I saw this movie for the first time when I was young and I love it so much… I might be biased!

  16. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    A lot of people dont get that the “copying” of Madonna was purposeful in some instances. Gaga herself talked about this. Born This Way was an homage to 90’s pop iconography and music. I think what burns Madonna the most is that Gaga is and always has been more talented. She can actually sing, write, she’s a classically trained pianist, she playes guitar…and yes she can actually ACT. Gaga had a lot of reverence for Madonna at the beginning of her career but Madonna has always been hateful towards her. And I think Gaga got to a point where she stopped caring about it. Because why should she? It’s not her issue it’s Madonna’s. And Madonna always seems to have something against other singers. I remember when she gave that interview about her nightmares about Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey beating her on the charts. The woma has a ton of insecurity.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I think that in Gaga’s early career, she wore her influences on her sleeve. Since then, she really has shown that she is so much more. I think Madonna was a “performer”, where as Gaga is a “musician” and yes, an “artist”. Gaga’s songwriting and investment in playing musical instruments shows a depth of musicality that Madonna could NEVER touch.

      Gaga has really out grown the Madonna comparisons, she’s surpassed her to become a different creature, IMO.

      Seeing Gaga on the cover of the Hollywood Reporter with Glenn Close and Nicole Kidman must have really bruised Madonna’s ego for her to be this petty in public .

    • Stella Alpina says:


      Not only a ton of insecurity but a ton of self-absorption, too. Persistent reports about her behavior through the years show she’s not a nice person by any stretch. She’s sure not hiding it now. Madonna mean-girls other female entertainers who are a “threat” to her. And anyone who is a studio-created “singer” and PR stunt queen, who relies on talented producers, songwriters, musicians, set designers, backing vocalists, and backup dancers to make her look good, SHOULD be insecure. All those bells and whistles to distract people from the fact that her talent is truly minimal.

  17. BANANIE says:

    I haven’t seen ASIB, but I’ve heard the song Shallow on the radio a ton and I truly believe it is not her best work, nor does it really show how talented she is. I get that the song works for the movie, but her voice in it isn’t a revelation or anything. When I heard it I was more like nice job, Bradley Cooper. I also think their harmony didn’t sound that good. But I know nothing about music.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It works so well for a couple scenes in the movie, and I think that is part of why it is so praised.

  18. Valerie says:

    No. Isn’t what Madonna said just a variation of an adage? She didn’t invent that.

  19. Oh…how I wish Grace Jones and Debbie Harry would shut them both down. Haha 😘

  20. bridget says:

    It’s not a quote, because the meaning is different (ie opposite, actually). Madonna claimed to only hear the one voice that doesn’t like her, Gaga claimed to only focus on the 1 voice who likes her. Those are two entirely different ways of looking at life.

  21. Riley says:

    HA!! I think it doesn’t matter even if Gaga did steal it. How often does anyone say something that’s never been said before? Petty! And I don’t favor one over the other.