Lady GaGa is adamant she did not copy Bette Midler's mermaid in a wheelchair performance, as she had "no idea" the veteran entertainer pulled a similar stunt 30 years before her.
The Poker Face hitmaker performed at a show in Australia last week (13Jul11) wearing a mermaid tail and sitting in a wheelchair - a move which infuriated Midler, who took to Twitter.com to remind fans she came up with the gimmick way back in 1980.
Gaga has now spoken out to deny she had any idea Midler had beaten her in the originality stakes, telling Access Hollywood's Billy Bush, "I had no idea that she did that and I'm a huge Bette Midler fan.
"(It was) not (a Midler tribute) in the beginning... because I didn't know that she'd done (it), but I do now and I think it's great. Obviously I feel connected to women in theatre and women from the past.
"Maybe we're just cut from the same cloth. I couldn't hop around in that tail so I just stuck myself in a wheelchair. All I'll say is that I... admire her and find her to be one of the most brilliant and incredible performers, so that's all I'll say."