Lady Gaga may have split from manager Troy Carter last year, but her SXSW appearances couldn’t help but make people wonder how her relationship with label Universal Music Group is faring. During her Doritos-sponsored gig, the star told fans “You don’t need a f***ing record label, you don’t need a company you are the spirit of every artist!” and she returned to the theme in her keynote address later in the week. “I don’t want a person in a corporate tower to be dictating what I’m listening to. I don’t think any of us do,” she said, before defending her crispy-snacks sponsor. “The truth is that without sponsorships and companies coming together to help us we won’t have any artists in Austin because the record labels don’t have any f***ing money.” Gaga’s claims that Doritos hadn’t interfered with her performance were put into context by a quote from an anonymous executive reported in Billboard: “I paid [her] $2.5 million, I better hear ‘Alejandro’…” She didn’t play it, since you ask.

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