Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Rumours of serious illness? Congratulations. You've arrived.
It could be that Grazia have some knowledge of the state of Lady Gaga's health. I doubt it. Magazines don't have a good record when it comes to this kind of thing. In fact they are liable to swallow whatever propaganda they are fed when they've got the act's cooperation and to run their sniping stories only when the artist has made it clear that she no longer needs them. Paula Yates was dead not long after Red magazine had run a cover story giving her a clean bill of health, mental and otherwise, River Phoenix was exalted as a paragon of clean living in all sorts of high-end magazines until he was found face-down outside the Viper Room and I've no doubt that some title will soon be running a piece about how Amy Winehouse has finally got her life together in exchange for some glamorous pictures of her new look.
The funny thing is that speculation about an artist being in the grip of a disease is one of the hallmarks of massive success. We used to notice it on Smash Hits back in the 80s. We used to get tear-stained letters on Friends Forever notepaper asking if it was true that Morten Harket or Boy George or Annie Lennox was secretly battling some life-threatening illness. We used to conclude that it was just malicious playground gossip designed to wound fans of the hot new thing. And so it proved. We would never have dreamed of printing any of it. Grazia, which is today's Smash Hits, albeit for people with a surfeit of brand-awareness, feels no such compunction.