Original digital single release: April 25, 2021
Way Moby/Volcano Entertainment/Sony Music Entertainment


1. Perform This Way (2:55)


The single made headlines on April 20, 2021 when Al announced that Lady Gaga had denied him permission to release the song, even after her management insisted that he go through the costly and time-consuming process of writing the lyrics and recording the track. Al had the full intention of merely releasing the rejected song online as a free MP3, as he had done in 2006 when Atlantic Records forbade him from including the James Blunt parody "You're Pitiful" on the Straight Outta Lynwood album. The situation became even more bizarre when the TMZ web site reported later that day that Lady Gaga had apparently never even heard Al's parody nor was she aware that Al had approached her management about it. The singer formally gave her permission later that afternoon, claiming to have loved the parody once she finally was able to listen to it.

Al was initially extremely reluctant to parody "Born This Way," as it was written to be a civil-rights anthem for the gay community. Al didn't want to come off as if he was mocking homosexuals, as he was also a big supporter of human rights causes and even appeared in the NOH8 protest campaign against the controversial 2008 Proposition 8 ballot measure in California to ban same-sex marriage. In addition to making the parody lyrics as non-controversial as possible, as a sign of "good karma" he arranged it so that all proceeds from the song and music video would go to the Human Rights Campaign.

In order to meet the initial demands of Lady Gaga's management, Al wrote the parody lyrics while he was in the middle of touring Australia, breaking a longtime personal rule of not working on new material while on the road. This also marks the first time Al had composed a song while outside of the United States.

Bermuda worked on the song's drum programming from his home studio, while Jim recorded the remainder of the instrumental programming at his own home studio as well. The song's official professional-studio session literally involved Jon and Jim handing Al their respective files.

Rush-released to take advantage of the hype surrounding the song following the back-and-forth in the press about whether Al was going to get permission. The early release marks the first time a lead-off single for an Al album (not counting "Couch Potato," which was not formally released as a single) did not have a music video in rotation upon its release...though Al was putting one into pre-production at that point.

The single was originally announced to be released on April 26. It was quickly bumped up to the twenty-fifth.


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This page was last updated June 8, 2011.

Perform This Way ©2011 Way Moby/Volcano Entertainment III.