How R. Kelly ended up on Lady Gaga's 'Do What U Want'

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Lady Gaga

Pop star Lady Gaga performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York August 25, 2013. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Lady Gaga teamed up with R&B singer R. Kelly on her latest single, “Do What U Want,” and it was a Chicago-based DJ and producer who played matchmaker.

DJ White Shadow (real name: Paul Blair) said he put the two artists in touch on a whim while producing Gaga’s upcoming album, “Artpop.” The synth-heavy “Do What U Want” – which features Kelly singing “You’re the Marilyn, I’m the president” -- was officially released Monday and can be heard in Best Buy's Beats Studio headphones commercial featuring the Washington Wizards' John Wall.

“Long story short, I mean, it's some space age George Jetson R&B (stuff),” said Blair by email Monday. “My friend Martin was playing me this beat he had done for a remix project like two years ago. I told him ‘you gotta let me have that’ so I flipped it and Gaga and I started writing to it on the tour bus when we were in Europe.

“It kinda stayed on a back burner for a minute and then we were talking around a month ago. I was like ‘You know who would sound good on this? R. Kelly’ and she said ‘Yes!’ So I called him up and put them on the phone together literally like 10 minutes later. Then we just made it happen. It is two writing/singing geniuses on one track. Seemed logical to me.”

“Artpop” is scheduled to be released worldwide Nov. 11. Kelly’s next album, “Black Panties,” was supposed to hit stores that same day but has been pushed back to Dec. 10.

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis


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