Happy Birthday, Lady Gaga! Celebrate by Binge-Watching Her 13 Most Iconic Performances Ever
Just in case you aren't already convinced that she has some of the best pipes on the planet, relive some of Lady Gaga's best onstage moments
Lady Gaga was born to take the stage.
World-class vocal abilities and a striking presence make everything from her arena tour finales to her backstage warm-ups unforgettable viewing experiences. In celebration of her 34th birthday today, we’re looking back at some of those remarkable performances.
“Shallow” — 2019 Oscars
Gaga and her A Star Is Born costar Bradley Cooper performed in-character as lovers Ally and Jackson, and they were so convincing that some fans wondered if they had real-life feelings for each other. “For me, as a performer and as an actress, of course we wanted people to believe that we were in love. And we wanted people to feel that love at the Oscars,” she later told Elle. “And we worked hard on it, we worked for days. We mapped the whole thing out — it was orchestrated as a performance.”
“Poker Face” & “Paparazzi” — 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
The bloody finale, the cane, the piano break, the chandeliers — this performance was Gaga showmanship at its best. The star’s theatrics were unlike anything that had graced the VMAs stage, and trust us, that’s saying something.
“Til It Happens To You” — 2016 Oscars
Fifty sexual assault survivors joined the singer on stage as she performed her Best Original Song nominee form The Hunting Ground. The moving song left the audience of Hollywood elite teary-eyed and on their feet.
The Super Bowl LI Halftime Show — 2017
Beginning with “God Bless America,” Gaga’s nearly 14-minute-long set filled Houston’s NRG stadium with pure energy.
“Million Reason” — The 2016 Royal Variety Performance
She delivered a stirring performance of her Joanne ballad at the annual fundraiser for the Royal Variety Charity.
The Sound of Music Medley — 2015 Oscars
Yep, Lady Gaga walked in Julie Andrews’ shoes on Oscar night. The superstar paid tribute to the classic musical with a medley that included favorites “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Even Andrews was impressed by the homage. “She really nailed it and I thought she did great,” the actress later said of the performance.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” — Super Bowl LII, 2016
“Hair” — 2011 iHeartRadio Music Festival
In this emotional performance, Gaga paid tribute to Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old fan who died by suicide after enduring homophobic bullying. Before his death, Rodemeyer tweeted a heartbreaking goodbye to “mother monster,” which Gaga shared onstage during the concert. “Tonight, Jamey, I know you’re up there looking at us. And you’re not a victim, you’re a lesson to all of us,” she said before singing the song.
“Speechless” — 2009 VEVO launch event
Thanks to close-ups, you can just feel Gaga connecting to the song (and goosebumps crawling up your arm). As always, her piano skills are impressive, too.
“Born This Way” — 2011 Grammy Awards
Obviously, the performer’s egg entrance, shoulder implants and Latex-esque outfit made an impression, but her killer dance moves also had us talking. Gaga (and her flawless abs) worked it at break-neck speed right along with her backup dancers, and she did it in heels, too.
“Bad Romance” and “Speechless” — 2009 American Music Awards
The props and staging of Gaga’s AMA performance sent her already-powerful songs over the edge. The light-up bone getup, flaming piano and breaking bottles just screamed “Gaga,” and we loved it.
“Applause” — 2013 MTV Video Music Awards
Why wear one costume when you can wear all the costumes? Gaga did magician duty at the 2013 VMAs, executing numerous outfit changes right on stage in the midst of punishing choreography. Just another reminder that no one puts on a show like Gaga.
“The Edge of Glory” — A 2011 The Howard Stern Show Appearance
Gaga’s understated, yet-chill-inducing, acoustic performance received heavy praise from host Howard Stern. “I think I’m in love with you,” he joked after the song. “That’s one of the best live performances I’ve ever had on my show in all the years that I’ve been here.”