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Lady Gaga Takes On Target

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For years, musicians have mixed music with politics. But now, one top performer is mixing politics with business.

Lady Gaga told Billboard.com that when she cut the deal to let Target sell exclusive tracks from her “Born This Way” album, she demanded the store chain change some of its political policies.

The album and the deal are part of her long-standing support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.

It’s safe to say that Lady Gaga knows how to make a statement.  Her combination of costumes, choreography and charisma fills arenas and sells albums, so Lady Gaga says she got Target executives’ attention when she asked for a meeting.

Upset that Target corporate money helped anti-gay rights candidate Tom Emmer in last year’s governor’s race, Lady Gaga told Target that she would only agree to the partnership if Target started supporting LGBT charities.

She told Billboard, “our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and redeem the mistakes they’ve made.”

And that was music to the ears of Monica Meyer, executive director of OutFront Minnesota.

“I think it’s great that we have celebrities like Lady Gaga,” she said, “who are stepping up and saying let’s really do something bigger and better and different than we’ve done in the past.”

Today Target said it “has a long history of supporting the LGBT community through giving, volunteerism and event sponsorship and participation.” And it has donated almost a half-million dollars to Project 515, a Minnesota group that wants gay families treated equally under state law.

It’s the second political win for Lady Gaga, who also actively pushed to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the U.S. Military.

“I really do think that we’re seeing a new kind of excitement around speaking out and standing up for equality for all people,” said Meyer.

Lady Gaga told Billboard that the meeting with Target officials was one of the most intense conversations she’s ever had.

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