7 WONDERS: LADY GAGA
On the right track baby, she was born this day.
A star is born: the breakout performance
In 2008, Lady Gaga first shook up the auto-tuned, squeaky clean landscape of mid-00s pop with her seminal debut album The Fame. There was “Just Dance” and “Poker Face”, “Paparazzi” and “Boys Boys Boys”, which she performed in a whole host of extravagant outfits, shoes and wigs. Whether you loved or hated her, there’s no doubt Gaga’s been championing the unconventional, controversial, fantastical and straight up freaky from day one.
Proof? Look no further than her notorious performance of “Paparazzi” at the VMAs in 2009, featuring fake blood, a fabulous outfit, a walking stick, a dramatic stage death and a foreboding comment on fame…
Extravagant outfits, again
Lady Gaga’s most outrageous looks are nothing short of infamous: That raw meat dress she wore to the 2019 VMAs. Performing in McQueen Armadillo Boots (which she supposedly bought for £150,000). Avant-garde couture. Hats that covered her face, worn with wigs that skimmed her knees.
Gaga explained her affinity for the weird and wonderful in this “60 minutes” CBS News interview from 2011. “I use the media to make political statements, but my music is so damn good that I can”, she emphasised, touching on her inspo for that meat dress and more…
The “Telephone” video
In 2009, Gaga and Beyonce teamed up on the high-powered pop track “Telephone”. And though the song itself marked a notable moment in her early career, it’s the video that’s gone down in history.
The plot: Gaga turns up to her local jail dressed like 80s Madonna, before Beyoncé fabulously bails her out. Then they poison all the breakfast guests at an all-American diner, ending up in a high-speed police chase dressed in everything from bejewelled shoulder pads and dramatic headdresses to head-to-toe leopard print.
Born This Way
“Born This Way”, the lead single of Gaga’s second studio album of the same name, instantly became an anthem for freedom and individuality, especially within the queer community.
Relive the magic of her iconic performance of the track at the 2011 GRAMMY awards, with alien-like costumes and production inspired by “Born This Way”s Nick Knight-directed music video. You’re welcome.
American Horror Story
Gaga’s acting career kicked off when she was a teen, landing her first role in an episode of The Sopranos when she was just 15 in 2001 and even appearing in an episode of The Hills.
But her first major break as an actress came in 2015, when she joined the cast of horror anthology show American Horror Story for its “Hotel” season, where she played magically evil femme fatale Elizabeth Johnson. Oh, and won her first Golden Globe.
The Joanne era
After taking a short break from music, Gaga stripped it back to her roots for 2016’s fifth studio album, Joanne, which saw her embody a more minimal, country-inspired look.
Blending soft rock with pop and ballads, the album explored doomed romance and heartache, as well as the intricacies of familial relationships, with the death of her aunt Joanne Stefani Germanotta influencing the record. We’re not crying, it’s hayfever season.
A Star is (re)Born
We’ve all laughed and cried and sang along at the top of our voices to every single track in 2018’s Oscar winning A Star is Born this year.
Gaga proved her buck not only as one of the best vocalists of our generation, but the actress, creative visionary and all-around diva she always has been.
She could go pretty much anywhere from here, but it’s looking like we can expect more music pretty soon – this month Gaga shut down pregnancy rumours on twitter by announcing she’s expecting with her sixth studio album #LG6.
Stay tuned, and happy birthday, babes.