Lady Gaga has always been a force to be reckoned with.
When the American singer released her single “Poker Face” back in 2008, she was catapulted to worldwide fame. And soon enough, her then-unknown persona became a household name in the music industry.
But that was just the beginning. The song has also successfully established itself as a fixture in pop culture, as it has been featured in countless songs, shows, and even video games. And now, more than a decade later, the song still remains one of the best-selling singles of all time.
“Poker Face” is the second single from Gaga’s debut studio album, ‘The Fame’, following the tremendous success of its predecessor “Just Dance”.
Although she stated before that the song is a tribute to her rock ‘n’ roll boyfriends, Gaga later shared that the song was written at a time when she was still figuring out her sexuality and had this “poker face” on. From this personal tumult, the now-iconic lyrics referencing poker, like, “I wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas, please,” were born. The line, “Bluffin’ with my muffin”, also borrows a poker term which describes when players try to fool opponents into thinking they’ve got a strong hand when they don’t. It takes guts to face uncertainty when you yourself are uncertain, and that’s exactly what Gaga was going through in her personal life.
Eventually, “Poker Face” earned nominations for Best Dance Recording, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards, ultimately winning the first of these. It also ranked 96th in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of the 2000s.
Last year, as the world awaited her sixth album ‘Chromatica’, “Poker Face” re-entered the Top 10 of the Dance/Electronic Song Sales chart — a testament to how the song has stood, and will continue to stand, the test of time.
Other artists have released their renditions of the song, and one of the latest ones to do so is Kelly Clarkson. Last February, the original American Idol nailed the “Kellyoke” segment of her own show with a rocked-up cover of the song. With heavy guitar playing and slapping drums, the energy-filled performance took “Poker Face” to another level.
Incidentally, this is not the first time Clarkson covered a Lady Gaga song. In one of her earliest “Kellyoke” episodes, she sang “Bad Romance”, and in a 2019 show, she also performed the Oscar-winning song “Shallow”.
Clarkson has produced a ton of impressive covers, including that of Aerosmith, Demi Lovato, Kenny Rogers, and The Beach Boys. Her dynamic range has also helped her career develop into a lot of unique fields, such as theatre and musical films. In fact, she was cast to voice characters (and sing) in animated films like UglyDolls and Trolls World Tour.
And with her performance of “Poker Face”, Kelly Clarkson treated her own and Gaga’s fans alike to a creative rock reinvention of the iconic dance track. The rendition strikes the perfect balance between originality and tribute, and will likely go on to be one of the most memorable celebrity covers in recent years.
But which version is the best? Lady Gaga’s original or Kelly’s cover?
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