The “Queen of Pop” according to Rolling Stone, Lady Gaga has made herself into a household name in the music industry. The pop legend is a familiar face at the Grammys, Met Gala, and the top of Billboard’s music charts. With a musical career spanning two decades, countless movie and TV appearances, and a Super Bowl halftime performance, the narrative of her journey to becoming one of the bestselling artists worldwide is an expansive one. However, we believe it is best told through a look at 5 hits that symbolize milestones in the pop artist’s career.
1. Just Dance
This is the first time the world heard the deadly combo of Lady Gaga’s captivating vocals paired with an uptempo electropop beat. Released in 2008, “Just Dance” is Lady Gaga’s debut single, as well as the lead single of her debut studio album, The Fame. Foreshadowing the trailblazing success Lady Gaga would experience in her career, the pop hit spent five months on the Billboard Hot 100, and is one of the most best-selling singles of all time with 10 million copies sold. With all this in mind, it is mind blowing that Lady Gaga wrote this in ten minutes!
Another iconic and high charting single off of The Fame is “Poker Face,” a song most of America can remember singing along to when it came on the radio.
2. Born This Way
The lead single off of her second full-length album, which shares the same name, “Born This Way” was released in 2011. The lyrics to this song underscore all that Lady Gaga has stood for in her activism and philanthropy: LGBT+ and minority advocacy, as well as an emphasis on mental health. Selling over one million copies within five days of release, the song earned the Guinness World Record for fastest selling single on iTunes.
The year after the hit pop single’s release, Lady Gaga founded the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering youth, mental health, and bullying prevention.
Lead single of her third studio album, Artpop (2013), the catchy beat of “Applause” is all about the motivation behind Lady Gaga’s musical endeavors: her fans. The song was written after Lady Gaga sustained a hip injury while touring for Born This Way and her fans were her motivation to perform through the pain.
“Applause” charted in the top ten in over 20 countries worldwide, peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
Lady Gaga fans got to see their idol on the big screen when she featured as the heroine of A Star is Born, a 2018 musical romance film. “Shallow” is the lead single from the film’s soundtrack and a duet with Bradley Cooper.
“Shallow” has multiple accolades to show for its success: including the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.
5. RAIN ON ME
A single off her latest and sixth studio album Chromatica, “Rain On Me” features fellow pop icon Ariana Grande. The pop hit was released by Interscope Records in May of 2020 and debuted at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100. It is the winner of MTV Video Music Awards Song of the Year.
This is Gaga’s fifth number-one single in the country. With over a decade of being one of America’s bestselling female artists, it still seems that fans can continue expect more breakthroughs in the Queen of Pop’s future.