It’s Officially Been A Decade Since Lady Gaga Took Over The World And Here Are Her Greatest Hits So Far
End of the year listicles are pretty much everything. Every December we get to see what was the best of such and such or so and so each year. But in December 2019 it gets even more intense – not only is it the end of the year – it’s the end of a decade! That’s right, we’re almost entering the roaring twenties again and whoever wants to bring in the flapper girl, Great Gatsby vibe has my full support. In the meantime, it’s time to get a little nostalgic over the last ten years. One person who immediately comes to mind as an icon that has made her mark in the 2010s is without a doubt, Lady Gaga. She was only twenty-three years old when she told everybody to just dance, and that we all did. She was once called the Madonna of her time, but as Madame X is still current, Gaga has proven to be in a lane of her own. Selling twenty-seven million albums and counting, Gaga isn’t going anywhere. Let’s reflect on some of the biggest and best stand outs of the woman by starting with when she won her first award (MTV’s Best New Artist Award in 2009). We all remember when she dedicated it “to the gays!” From that moment on, our friendship, love, and music ties were solidified with Gaga.
Now without further adieu and in no particular order, let’s dive into Gaga’s 10 best- one for each year of her mega super stardom.
Just Dance / The Fame Monster
You cannot include a Lady Gaga top ten list without including her first hit, Just Dance. Do you remember when you first heard this song on the radio – you know, back before Pandora and Spotify? The four minute jam made everyone get on their feet and want to live life. As Gaga’s target audience, teenage and gay, this song was played so much throughout summer 2009 that the lyrics are permanently engraved in my brain. From the jump, Gaga told us it’ll all be okay in the end.
Paparazzi / The Fame Monster
When Gaga released Paparazzi she made a statement: She’s an artist. The music video was mind blowing – and featured rising True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard. She didn’t just give us a music video, she gave us a full blown short film. After speaking pillow talk in Swedish, she’s killed by Skarsgard – but that doesn’t stop her undying love for him. Gaga is eternal, kind of like future celebrities and their outrageous stans. In her first televised performance of the song, Gaga literally hung herself in front of the MTV audience… and would eventually be covered in blood. Talk about a gag!
Paper Gangsta / The Fame Monster
Okay, let’s be honest – the best of Gaga’s decade could all very much come from her first album renamed The Fame Monster. One of her original songs on her first album, The Fame, is Paper Gangsta. It wasn’t one of her Billboard hits, probably for liable reasons. She throws shade the exact way it should be done: Bold. The entire song is a diss to record company Island Def Jam, who essentially screwed around with promises to Gaga and never delivered – they wouldn’t let her be herself. She writes about how she won’t sign her life away and didn’t. A year later, I’m sure those executives were all deeply regretting their decision.
Bad Romance / The Fame Monster
Gaga’s most viewed video of all time, with over 1.1B (B as in billions!) is Bad Romance. You must understand, as a Little Monster, the release of Bad Romance caused a frenzy! This was her first single after she hit fame. She was everyone you looked. Everyone was talking about her. This song came out when Gaga was ruling the world. The rumors started flying – she’s a part of the Illuminati! If she is, count my soul in there, too. This is the song of the ex – the one you just can’t get over. So, stick with that person and just have a craptastic life, because you know it’s what you want in the end anyway. Gosh, I never thought someone would sing about the terrible life choices I make – but of course, Gaga delivers each time.
Telephone / The Fame Monster
While Gaga admittedly is not a fan of Telephone’s music video AKA short film with Goddess Beyonce, this was truly a pivotal moment for her. Not only was she working with the Queen Bee. But, this cemented her celebrity among the gays. In the video, she even touches on the random rumor that she was born a man. I remember living in Chicago and the gay bars literally had viewing parties for when the video would drop. Some could argue with the additional of Beyonce, it was more anticipated than Bad Romance, her first video after achieving mega fame. In a prison yard, she’s felt up by a fellow female inmate and rocks a girl power vibe throughout. Gaga’s career would never be the same: She reached a level of untouchable.
No Floods / Unreleased
You want to cry tonight? Tuck yourself in, turn off the lights, and listen to No Floods. The song is one of Gaga’s early, unreleased works that only exists on YouTube – and in our hearts. Clearly about a struggling artist, Gaga is determined to make her dreams come true no matter what comes in her way. Through the lyrics, we’re taken on a journey of someone who has it leave their hometown and venture somewhere new to find success. Ten years later, Gaga would be an Academy Award winner – so those risks definitely paid off. Never give up!
Born This Way / Born This Way
The young woman who always had the LGBTQ communities back made us not only believe it, but she proved it. Born This Way seemingly provided our community with the gay anthem of the decade – seriously. After developing a huge following in New York’s gay bars pre-fame (monster), she decided to give back to us with some love. No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian or transgender life… come on, you know the words!
Hair / Born This Way
Hair is basically Born This Way’s gay cousin who was the second person to come out in the family. Darn you first gay cousin! The song is reaching out to someone who knows who they are and they want to live freely, like their hair, despite their parents restrictions and rules. Yeah, it’s basically about coming out and being disowned by your family and not caring anyway. This song gets a little buried in the madness of the album, but is absolutely a stand out if you’ve ever felt rejected by your family for your identity.
Sexxx Dreams / ArtPop
Have you ever had a wet dream about someone you’re incredibly into? Yep, that’s what Sexxx Dreams is about… of course. Tucked in the middle of the viciously attacked ArtPop album, Sexxx Dreams wasn’t able to reach mainstream status… but let’s be realistic, this wasn’t about to be played on the radio so every soccer mom could phone into their radio stations raging. Gaga is clear, the evidence in her head can’t be hidden – she wants you. I’m clutching my pearl necklace right now, or, envisioning myself draped in one.
Shallow / A Star Is Born Soundtrack
Like icons Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand before her, Gaga would go on to play the titular character in A Star Is Born. In this modern version, Gaga basically plays herself – starting her career in gay bars and all. She was nominated for a freakin’ Oscar for the song, Shallow, and ended up winning! She wouldn’t win for her acting, but this is the song that would make our Mother Monster become just this much closer to being an EGOT. Still, she is the first person to win an Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy, and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts in one year… so that’s still saying a whole lot!
Yes, her first hits were rolling out in early 2008, but with these lists, there are some creative freedoms. What I wanted to hit home is the fact that if we look back at the 2010s, it was the decade of Gaga.
What are you favorite Gaga songs of the last decade? Which one(s) did we miss that deserve to be recognized?
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.