Lady Gaga has never been content to be seen as just another pop star. In fact, as she recently told CR Fashion Book, she's trying to build her legacy out of heavy metal.

Sporting an Iron Maiden T-shirt for her interview photo shoot, Gaga pointed out, "They're one of the greatest rock bands in history, in my opinion. Some people really don't know the importance of metal and the scope of it. Those guys were filling stadiums, and they still are. And it's because of the culture of the music, the poetry that's so powerful, that whenever the fans come together, they unite in the essence of what Iron Maiden is all about."

To that end, Gaga has always put a lot of effort into encouraging and helping develop her community of fans, affectionately dubbed "Litle Monsters," and has been among the savviest and most enthusiastic artists to embrace the celebrity-fan connections fostered via social media. As she explained, it's all about building that sense of musical identity that many metal fans — and their favorite bands — seem to enjoy: "I always used to say to people when they would say, 'Oh, she's the next Madonna' — 'No, I'm the next Iron Maiden.'"

The real Maiden don't seem to be in any hurry to pass the torch: The band's new album, the two-LP set The Book of Souls, is due Sept. 4, with a major world tour reportedly to follow.

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