U.S. singer Lady Gaga watches children from the traditional Taiwan aborigine Taiya tribe dance during a welcoming ceremony inside the Taichung City Hall building, central Taiwan July 3, 2011. Lady Gaga will be in Taiwan from July 1-5 to promote her latest album “Born This Way”. REUTERS
Taiwan city declares 'Lady Gaga Day'
A city in Taiwan declared Sunday "Lady Gaga Day" as the pop diva's first visit to the island sparked a frenzy among dedicated fans and local media.
Lady Gaga, sporting a black and white wig, red trousers and a red dress with leopard-print sleeves, was given a key to Taichung city by the mayor at a ceremony attended by hundreds of enthusiastic supporters.
"On behalf of Taichung, I now declare today 'Lady Gaga Day'...which also belongs to all of her fans," mayor Jason Hu said.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of her fans -- known as "Little Monsters" -- defied summer heat to parade on the street dressed in costumes and wigs.
One man wore a raw pig's head, the TVBS cable news network reported, in apparent homage to an outfit made of raw meat that Lady Gaga wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
"My father is a butcher. I try to link Lady Gaga's creativity with my family's business," he said.
Another fan won a prize from the event's sponsors for his costume consisting of a white mask and a cloth festooned with paper money, which is burned by local people to soothe the spirits of dead loved ones.
"Death is not the end of life," he said. "Lady Gaga has set a very good example for people encouraging us to pursue our dreams, whatever they may be. I'm so glad that I will be able to see her tonight."
The 25-year-old singer, ranked this year's most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine, is among the most popular international entertainers in Taiwan and her visit made the front pages of major newspapers.
Sunday night's performance, which will be attended by 4,000 fans, is part of a five-day tour promotional tour of Taiwan for her new album "Born This Way".
Lady Gaga told the crowd she would return to the island next year for a concert with tickets on general sale. AFP