Clevelanders know that the city is fueled by people with dreams, and among the dreamers is Annie Zaleski, a music journalist and author who saw a dream come true when one of her latest book pitches was approved. She would be writing about the life and legacy of Lady Gaga: performer, actor, musician, applause seeker and all-around cultural icon.
Zaleski’s work in books began last year with a release of a book following 80s superstars Duran Duran and their hit album Rio (which will see a re-release on Dec. 1) as part of the 33 and 1/3 book series. Along with her accolades as an author, her journalistic work has also appeared in The Guardian, LA Times, Rolling Stone and NPR Music – and she makes it all happen from right here in Cleveland, her hometown.
“Growing up here, we had really good radio stations,” says Zaleski. “So I grew up listening to local bands and being familiar with the local scene [and] reading all the different magazines and newspapers writing about music in the 90s.”
With a rich background in music, it only made sense that it would transcend to a career – one that would help her realize a dream to talk to one of the biggest stars in pop music.
Zaleski got the opportunity to write Lady Gaga: Applause after UK-based publisher, Palazzo Editions, approached her following the success of her book on Rio. She had written about Gaga in the past.
“It was pretty much ‘absolutely yes’ right away when they reached out to me,” says Zaleski.
The book will walk readers through the story of Lady Gaga’s life and career from her childhood in New York City all the way to her rise to fame in music and later acting through A Star is Born and House of Gucci.
And what’s a book about the life of an icon without photos to show all her fashion trends over the years?
“It’s an illustrated biography so there are hundreds of photos of her amazing fashion and her makeup and her aesthetic,” says Zaleski. “I also have this separate mini feature on her infamous meat dress which was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a while.”
The book is available for purchase at book retailers and at local shops, including at Mac’s Backs on Coventry.
“Writing an entire book about her made me respect and appreciate her even more than I already did,” says Zaleski. “I think she’s one of the smartest, most innovative pop stars around.”
For more books by Zaleski, check out her re-release of Rio following Duran Duran, as well as the release of a biography similar to Lady Gaga: Applause following the life and career of P!nk that will hit bookstores in 2023.
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