Lady Gaga Plays Rent‘s Mimi In “The Edge of Glory” Video

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Lady Gaga premiered the music video for “The Edge of Glory,” her third Born This Way single, tonight on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. “The Edge of Glory” is the not only one of the album’s standout tracks (and in the running for Song of the Summer) but also the first remotely organic single from the album, which is to say both that the song was not a planned single but enough of a hit with listeners that it was released to radio and that the video is low-concept, particularly compared to the “Born This Way” and “Judas” videos.

Gaga has said the song is a tribute to her late grandfather, but through director Joseph Kahn Haus Of Gaga‘s eye, “The Edge of Glory” is about Gaga’s early days in lower Manhattan. In the MTV documentary Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside, she discussed playing metal records onstage with Lady Starlight before she got her break, and her starry-eyed reminiscence of her Lower East Side experiences are translated visually, and through the lens of Gaga’s love of musical theater, into somewhat of a recreation of the choreography of “Out Tonight,” a number from the musical Rent. She dances and prances all over a fire escape and up and down a block, and her leathered-out getup reads as positively throwback (not in a bad way).

Clarence Clemons also appears in the video, sitting on a stoop wearing his signature long black jacket. He appears a number of times, but very little is seen of him actually playing his solo (possibly less than of Kenny G pantomiming the solo in “Last Friday Night”). His appearance feels all too brief, but suits the straightforward clip, which lets the song speak for itself. Hopefully this video won’t serve as a de facto eulogy to Clemons’s performing career, but it wouldn’t be a bad sendoff.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]