Billboard is celebrating the 2010s with essays on the 100 songs that we feel most define the decade that was -- the songs that both shaped and reflected the music and culture of the period -- with help telling their stories from some of the artists, behind-the-scenes collaborators and industry insiders involved.
Twitter scholars often argue over the moment where society reached Peak Gaga. Some point to 2009’s “Bad Romance,” widely considered to be one of her most adored songs and videos to date, as the most Lady Gaga of all Lady Gaga. Others say the meat dress she wore at the 2010 VMAs, or her similarly otherworldly fashion moments following the release of The Fame Monster, should earn this title.
But in 2011, Gaga unveiled “Born This Way.” The singer’s third single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (following “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,”) the track quickly became known as one of her most iconic singles to date, and what many agree is the true moment of Peak Gaga. It had everything fans had come to expect from a Lady Gaga release: a stomping, electro-pop beat; an absolutely insane music video (which clocked in at a whopping 9 minutes); and a pulsating message of empowerment.