Shared from the 2017-04-15 Chattanooga eEdition

Lady Gaga will make history as female headliner at Coachella

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NEW YORK — Lady Gaga will make history when she performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival this weekend, marking a decade since a solo woman has been billed as a headliner on the prestigious musical stage.

Beyonce had been slated to headline the festival in Indio, Calif., but backed out because she’s pregnant with twins. Bjork was the last solo female to headline Coachella in 2007, so it begs the question: Why has it taken so long?

Women always have performedat Coachella, whichbegan Friday, since it was launched in 1999. In the last few years the number of female performers has grown, including acts that blend alternative and pop, such as Sia and Tegan & Sara, to mega genre-mashers such as M.I.A., Janelle Monae and Santigold.

Coachella is known as the festival for cool kids — and musicians. That leaves little to no room for acts that dominate Top 40 radio, where women have a strong presence, from Katy Perry to Rihanna.

Halsey, the Grammy-nominated singer who is readying her second alternative album and had one of last year’s biggest pop hits with “Closer” alongside the Chainsmokers, performed at Coachella last year. The 22-yearold said women who perform alternative music are often billed as pop artists because of their sex.

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