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No One-Hit Wonder as Lady Gaga Takes on Advocacy

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The spectrum of success in the music industry can be roughly divided between one-hit wonders on one end and sound that defines a generation on the other.

We all know and love "Rock, Me Amadeus," "Who Let the Dogs Out," and "The Macarena," but very few of us remember the bands Falco, Baha Men or Los Del Rio.

Madonna, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen became part of our cultural fiber through the creation of music that authentically expressed a far-ranging artistic vision.

The same is true when celebrities approach philanthropy and advocacy.

Many artists choose to lend their name to efforts, headline fundraisers or film PSAs. Just like one-hit wonders keep feet tapping, these efforts make an important difference to the causes they support.

Then there are artists who choose to take on the role of advocates and philanthropists. When they do so, they are most successful when they make this new role an extension of their persona, their artistry and their vision.

From Bono to John Mellencamp to Bob Geldof, advocacy from within the music industry has made an incredible difference across the globe and here at home.

The newest star is following in their footsteps -- and taking the plunge in the same kind of thoughtful and disciplined way that made her a global pop sensation.

Lady Gaga is widely seen as the emerging iconic star of the 2010s. Her music gets played from the hippest clubs to the squarest 50th high school reunion parties. Indeed, her liberating and unifying persona is beloved across the globe and demographic groups.

The California Endowment -- the largest health foundation in the western United States -- and the MacArthur Foundation are joining as partners with Lady Gaga's new Born This Way Foundation because, just like everyone with whom foundations choose to partner, she is profoundly serious about this next stage in her career.

She has already been an outspoken and effective advocate on behalf of marriage equality, gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, a humane immigration policy and the fight against bullying.

The Foundation will take her advocacy to the level and use research and education to help instill values of kindness and empowerment in young people, while addressing issues like anti-bullying, suicide prevention, self-confidence and well-being.

These issues are not only close to Lady Gaga's heart but, just as important, they are authentically tied to her music, her message and her fans.

It's just a fantastic endeavor and, with nearly 20 million Twitter followers than, there's probably no one better positioned to make change than Lady Gaga. Of course, she needs partners and we're proud to be there.

The California's Endowment's campaign to promote youth empowerment and healthy youth development is an amazing companion for the new foundation as we focus on improving people's health by improving their surroundings.

From bullying-free schools, to creating more playgrounds in neighborhoods and ensuring that kids have access to healthy foods, we are turning the health tide for kids and teens across California.

The Born This Way Foundation launched Feb. 29 at Harvard University with Oprah Winfrey, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Deepak Chopra and other leaders at Lady Gaga's side. But it won't be a one-day event, as a bus tour is under way and there will be a presence for the foundation at Lady Gaga concerts.

Time, patience and perseverance will be the key to the foundation's success, just like they've been the key to Lady Gaga's artistic success. And that's what's important -- she clearly knows what it takes to make her foundation last and make a real difference.

Lady Gaga has captured the imagination of an entire generation with her music. Now she is on the verge of giving that same generation an even greater sense of empowerment for their health and well-being.

It just may be her most spectacular show yet!