By the time she appeared at SXSW, Lady Gaga had sold more than 100 million albums, making her among the highest selling artists in history. The sponsorship of her appearance by Doritos, which included rebranding the Stubbs BBQ venue as the Doritos Bold stage for her performance, as well as another stage set up in a parking lot which was designed to look like a giant Doritos vending machine, had received some negative publicity. She addressed this controversy in her keynote interview at a time when there was still considerable uproar about artists endorsing products, although this practice has only increased in importance as traditional record sales have declined. Her SXSW appearance also occurred in the period just before she made her transition into film roles which eventually led to her breakout performance in 2018’s A Star Is Born.
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