Ally Maine has left the building.
Lady Gaga released a new single Thursday night, the 33-year-old pop singer’s first piece of music since her acclaimed starring role opposite Bradley Cooper in his high-toned 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born.” A knowing return to the flamboyant dance-pop sound that brought her to fame more than a decade ago, “Stupid Love” — in which she declares, “Now it’s time to free me from the chain” — landed on streaming services around 9 p.m. accompanied by a colorful music video in which opposing tribes flex their best moves in a post-apocalyptic desertscape.
“Stupid Love,” which Lady Gaga teased early this week in an Instagram post that’s since been liked more than 720,000 times, comes nearly a year and a half after she appeared in “A Star Is Born” as the latest version of the show-biz hopeful previously played by Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland and Janet Gaynor. For her performance as Ally — a gifted songwriter in a volatile relationship with Cooper’s rock-star Jackson Maine — Gaga was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress; she won an Oscar for best original song for co-writing “Shallow,” her and Cooper’s rootsy power-ballad duet.
In late 2018, the singer kept up the razzle-dazzle with the premiere of a long-term show at Las Vegas’ Park MGM— two of them, in fact: “Enigma,” a high-tech pop spectacle with elaborately choreographed renditions of songs like “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance,” along with “Jazz & Piano,” in which she does standards including “Luck Be a Lady” and “Someone To Watch Over Me” while backed by a small orchestra. The residency, for which she’s reportedly being paid $100 million, is currently scheduled through mid-May.
Lady Gaga’s last album (not counting the soundtrack from “A Star Is Born”) was 2016’s classic-rock-inspired “Joanne.” Before that, though, the New Yorker born Stefani Germanotta scored some of the biggest hits of the pre-streaming era with the self-explanatory “Just Dance” and “Born This Way,” a throbbing stadium-rave jam about LGBTQ pride. The challenge before her now — at a moment when former peers like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus are struggling for visibility — is to attract young fans with a song that sounds like anything other than hip-hop.