Rewinding the Charts: In 2009, Lady Gaga 'Just Dance'-d Her Way to No. 1 on the Hot 100

Lady Gaga
WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Lady Gaga onstage in Manchester, England, in 2009.

After writing her breakthrough hit with Akon & RedOne, she almost lost it to The Pussycat Dolls.

Fame did not come easy for Lady Gaga.

By the time she began working on what would become her breakout single, "Just Dance," the singer-songwriter born Stefani Germanotta had already been dropped by Def Jam Recordings in 2006 after just three months on the label.

Interscope took a chance on her next, and in 2007, Gaga wrote "Just Dance," a shimmering synth-pop track about a woozy night in the club, with chart-topping singer Akon and the song's producer RedOne, then known stateside for his work on Kat DeLuna's "Whine Up."

RedOne told Entertainment Weekly in 2018 that when he played "Just Dance" for Interscope's Jimmy Iovine, the label boss asked if he could give the song to another act on his imprint, The Pussycat Dolls. "And Akon was like, 'No! It's Gaga! She can be the next big thing!' "

Gaga was 22 when "Just Dance" debuted on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart in May 2008 and crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 that August. Five months later, it began a three-week stay at No. 1 on the Hot 100 dated Jan. 17, 2009.

The album on which the single appears, The Fame, reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and is Gaga's top seller in the United States with 5.1 million copies, according to Nielsen Music.

Gaga has since added two more Hot 100 No. 1s among 14 top 10 hits, which include "Shallow," her duet with Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born. The ballad reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 last October and is up for record and song of the year at the Grammy Awards in February.

On Dec. 28, Gaga, who has grossed $494 million touring the globe, according to Billboard Boxscore, began her Enigma residency at the Park MGM in Las Vegas, where "Just Dance" is the set opener on alternating nights.

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