Lady Gaga always delivers on the drama. Whether she’s walking down the red carpet in a way only she can, or putting on a performance that’s out of this world, you know you’ll be talking about it for years to come. There’s a reason she’s not just considered one of today’s best singers, but one of the greatest artists of her generation.
Here’s a look back at some of her career-defining stunts, the ones that we’re still talking about. (This is Lady Gaga’s world, and we’re all lucky to be living in it.)
Bleeding at the VMAs
The first time Gaga truly shook the entire world with one of her stunts was when she made her MTV Video Music Awards debut in 2009, performing her hit “Paparazzi.” At first, the performance seemed fairly normal, with couture and dancers, but then, when she began her final chorus, she showed us all the artist she truly is. As she sings “I’m your biggest fan, I’ll follow you until you love me,” her passion bleeds out of her heart, along with tons of fake blood, drawing audible gasps from the crowd. This was the beginning of Gaga’s reign as Queen of the Stunts.
The Meat Dress
One of Lady Gaga’s earlier stunts was wearing a dress made of raw beef designed by Franc Fernandez and styled by Nicola Formichetti to the 2010 MTV VMAs. The dress had PETA up in arms, and had fans gagging, in more than one way. No matter whether you liked it or not, the meat dress gave us all very visceral reactions. She wore the famous dress, as well as a hat, boots, and purse made of raw meat, while accepting the VMA for Video of the Year for “Bad Romance.”
The Grammys Egg
When Gaga made her appearance at the 2011 Grammys, she took the phrase “born this way” very literally. Instead of walking down the red carpet, Gaga was carried into the Grammys in a giant plastic egg. She then brought the egg back for her performance, hatching out of it to deliver a truly legendary rendition of “Born This Way.”
Performance art!!! Gaga put on a whole new persona at the 2011 VMAs when she introduced Jo Calderone, her chain smoking drag persona. He was brash, unapologetically sexual, and kind of a scumbag, and we loved him for it. From smoking a cigarette on stage, to talking about Lady Gaga c*mming, to almost kissing Britney Spears when he gave her the Vanguard Award, to slipping off a piano during a performance of “You and I,” Calderone was truly an unforgettable figure.
The World’s First Flying Dress
In 2013, Lady Gaga wore the TechHaus Volantis, also known as “the world’s first flying dress” to promote her Artpop album. At her Artrave event in Brooklyn, Gaga hosted a press conference, then strapped herself into the dress and proceeded to lift off the air, flying down the length of the showroom. It was certainly a stunt!
Riding a White Horse Puppet
Gaga arrived at the 2013 AMAs in another stunning way, riding in on a full-size white horse puppet, operated by two people. She said she was inspired to do the stunt by a famous story of Bianca Jagger arriving at the legendary Studio 54 nightclub riding a real white horse.
Jumping Off the Roof at the Super Bowl
When Gaga started her 2017 Super Bowl halftime show performance singing “God Bless America” from the top of the stadium backed by a sky of red, white, and blue drones, we knew something big was about to happen. What we didn’t think would happen was her diving off the roof like a spider on a string and landing on the stage before breaking out into her hit “Poker Face” and doing flips in the air still attached to her harness.
Met Gala Costume Changes
When the 2019 Met Gala theme was Camp, we knew that Gaga would absolutely slay, and she did not disappoint. She started the night in a giant, bright pink cape dress with a 25-foot train carried by a team of dancers. Then, her friend (designer Brandon Maxwell) revealed that this was only her first look of the night, as he helped her unzip the first dress to reveal a corseted black dress underneath. Iconic! But of course, Gaga wasn’t done there, stripping off that black dress to reveal a form-fitting pink one underneath. Finally, she took off that dress, revealing her final look: a crystal bra and panties with tights. Gaga truly knows how to make a statement.