Lady Gaga is releasing a new studio version of her latest single “Do What U Want.”
The song was originally a collaboration between the “Born This Way” singer and R & B star R. Kelly, but in the new version the raunchy R&B kingpin has been replaced by superstar diva Christina Aguilera. Gaga introduced the new version with Aguilera during the season finale of The Voice:
While the new duet may have been the outcome of a stunt for NBC’s hit singing show, replacing Kelly with Aguilera comes in the wake of the Village Voice’s extensive interview by Jessica Hopper with Jim DeRogatis, a former Chicago Sun-Times beat reporter who covered allegations that R. Kelly had had sex with underage girls. For many, the interview served as a stark reminder of Kelly’s past criminal charges and cured many of their infatuation with the singer. As a reminder, back in 2002, R. Kelly was charged with child pornography for videotaping himself engaged in sexual acts with a minor; he was acquitted in 2008. Other lawsuits were settled out of court.
Gaga, savvy marketer that she is, may be hoping that offering fans an alternative version of “Do What U Want,” without the moral dilemma that comes with supporting Kelly, will allow more sales for the track. Plus, two versions of a hit song—with two different megastars—may translate to double the sales for Lady Gaga.