Lady Gaga's Biggest Moments From the 2010s, Because, Yes, She Really Did That

As we look back at the 2010s, I can think of a handful of stars who made their mark, but none quite like Lady Gaga. The 33-year-old multihyphenate first hit the scene in 2008 with her hit "Just Dance," and over the past 10 years, she's cemented herself as an icon with her constant reinventions, record-breaking songs, philanthropic work, and undeniable talent.

But Gaga isn't just an artist, she's a pioneer. Gaga isn't afraid to push boundaries and show the world different sides of herself, which in turn has inspired her fans to do the same. In fact, in 2018, she did just that when she made her film debut in A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper. Despite believing that she "couldn't make it as an actress," Gaga honed in on her craft and delivered a performance of a lifetime — but that's just the tip of iceberg. See Gaga's biggest moments of the decade ahead, and get ready because there's more where that came from.

2010: Lady Gaga Made History at the MTV VMAs
Getty | Kevin Winter

2010: Lady Gaga Made History at the MTV VMAs

Lady Gaga's appearance at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards was historic for two reasons. Firstly, because, well, she showed up in a dress made entirely out of raw meat. The ensemble was tied to Gaga's protest against the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and it certainly was one of the most talked-about moments at the ceremony.

"If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights pretty soon, we're going to have as [many] rights as the meat on our own bones," she explained. "And, I am not a piece of meat."

On top of the meat dress, Gaga also earned a whopping 13 nominations, which was the most ever received by any artist in a single year! Among the nods were best collaboration for "Telephone" with Beyoncé and best pop video for "Bad Romance." She ended up taking home eight moon people that year.

2011: Lady Gaga's Born This Way Album Changed the World
Getty | Kevin Mazur

2011: Lady Gaga's Born This Way Album Changed the World

Gaga is constantly reinventing herself, and following the release of her Born This Way album in May 2011, we saw her with prosthetic horns and ridges on her shoulders, forehead, and cheekbones. This was Gaga's way of showing the world who she really was and encouraging others to not be afraid to be themselves.

"I was born this way. It's that very simple, over-arching phrase that has really set me free as an artist," she explained at the time. "It's set me free of my insecurities as an artist, my insecurities as a person — as a human. I separate artist and human because a lot of other people separate artist and human, but on this album it's conceived that I am fully an artist and I am fully human. And that is my destiny. It is my destiny to follow my artistic visions to their fullest. I was born this way."

The lead song from the album, "Born This Way," became the fastest-selling single ever on Apple's iTunes, racking up more than one million downloads in five days! Gaga also scored three Grammy nominations for the album, including best pop vocal album and album of the year.

As far as her personal life was concerned, Gaga began dating Taylor Kinney after he played her love interest in her "You and I" music video. The two dated for four years and eventually got engaged on Valentine's Day in 2015. However, they ended up breaking up a year later, though they still remain good friends.

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2012: Lady Gaga Used Her Platform to Give Back

Gaga embarked on her Born This Way Ball tour in April with stops in Asia, Europe, and South America. It grossed over $160 million and a North American leg was later added, though it was cut short because Gaga had to undergo hip surgery. Gaga broke her hip so badly during the tour, it was almost beyond repair.

Still, that didn't stop Gaga. Instead, she focused her efforts on giving back and launched the Born This Way Foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. The goal of the organization is to support the wellness of young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world and focus on issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development. Gaga and Cynthia launched the initiative with the help of Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra at Harvard University in February 2012.

"This is about transformative change in culture over a period of time," she said in her speech. "This is a youth empowerment foundation. This is about changing the climate of the school environment and not putting the power in the hands of the teachers or the government. It is about the bubble effect. I don't believe that they have the answers, I believe that you do."

Gaga capped off the year by teaming up with UNICEF and spearheading a global youth empowerment program. "On behalf of my fans and The Born This Way Foundation, I will be traveling the world to visit and assist families, orphanages, and communities in need," Gaga said in a statement. "During each visit I seek to empower the youth to be brave in their struggles, and find strength in their ability to persevere." The singer visited families, orphans, and communities in need around the world, including South Africa and Peru.

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2013: Lady Gaga Made a Triumphant Return to the Spotlight

After breaking her hip and undergoing surgery, Gaga kept a relatively low profile during the first half of 2013, but by Summer, she was officially back! Gaga made a triumphant return to the stage when she opened the 2013 MTV VMAs with an unforgettable performance of "Applause." In addition to having five costume changes, it was the first time Gaga had ever performed the single live.

Three months later, Gaga released her third studio album, Artpop. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 258,000 copies in the first week. Despite its success, though, Gaga tweeted on its sixth anniversary that she forgot Artpop even existed. Um, come again? We're not entirely sure where that came from, but we certainly remember it.

2014: Lady Gaga Hit the Road For ArtRave: The Artpop Ball

2014: Lady Gaga Hit the Road For ArtRave: The Artpop Ball

Following the release of Artpop, Gaga hit the road for the ArtRave: The Artpop Ball. The tour kicked off in May 2014 with legs in Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania and grossed $83 million. True to Gaga fashion, there were plenty of wild costume changes and colorful makeup looks.

There was also one moment in particular that had many people talking — you know, the one where Gaga had a woman regurgitate a green goo during her performance of "Swine" at the SXSW Festival. The performance was met with mixed reviews and the "vomit artist" Millie Brown later explained that it was "not a statement about eating disorders in any way." "I think the whole bulimia thing — it's important for people to know that I'm not trying to promote it," she told Elle.

Further proving that she was back and stronger than ever, Gaga collaborated with Tony Bennett for their Cheek to Cheek album, which won a Grammy for best traditional pop vocal album. "When I came into this with Tony, he didn't say, 'You've got to take off all the crazy outfits and just sing.' He said, 'Be yourself,'" Gaga told Parade about what it was like working with him. "That's what Tony has taught me, that my intuition is right." Cheek to Cheek debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

2015: Lady Gaga Slayed the Hell Out of American Horror Story: Hotel
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2015: Lady Gaga Slayed the Hell Out of American Horror Story: Hotel

Gaga had always dreamed of becoming an actress, and in 2015, her dream came true. Mother Monster made her TV debut as The Countess on season five of American Horror Story. To the surprise of no one, she absolutely killed it and she even won her first Golden Globe for best actress in a miniseries.

When asked what it was like working with Gaga, her costar Matt Bomer told POPSUGAR, "It's everything you could ever hope for and then some and then more on top of that with an extra helping on top of that."

2015 was quite the monumental year for Gaga. In addition to acting, she was also named Billboard's woman of the year, she delivered a show-stopping Sound of Music tribute at the Oscars, and she made her first red carpet appearance at the Met Gala after performing at the ball in 2010. Little did she know she'd be hosting the glamorous event four years later.

2016: Lady Gaga Poured Her Heart Into Joanne

2016: Lady Gaga Poured Her Heart Into Joanne

From delivering yet another flawless performance at the Oscars to dropping her fifth studio album Joanne, Gaga showed no signs of slowing down in 2016. The album was inspired by Gaga's aunt Joanne, who died of lupus in 1974, and was one of her most emotional projects to date.

"Returning to your family and where you came from, and your history . . . this is what makes you strong. It's not looking out that's going to do that — it's looking in," Gaga explained to People. "Joanne is a progression for me. It was about going into the studio and forgetting that I was famous."

"It's not a sad album. It's an album that is very revealing of me as a woman," she added. "I really wanted to reach that girl in the crowd who's got a kid in her hand and two kids running around her and a glass of beer in the other and she's crying her eyes out with heirloom jewelry on from her grandma."

Joanne became Gaga's fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, making her the first woman to reach the US chart's summit four times in the 2010s. It also scored a Grammy nomination for best pop vocal album.

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2017: Lady Gaga's Super Bowl Performance Was a Touchdown

Gaga kicked off the year with a spectacular half-time show at Super Bowl 51. Between the acrobatics and the hundreds of drones, it's no wonder the performance broke the record for the most-watched musical performance ever. According to the NFL, "nearly 118 million viewers tuned into the performance on the FOX broadcast network."

Gaga then followed up her Super Bowl performance by replacing Beyoncé and headlining Coachella, where she debuted her song "The Cure." She also released a revealing documentary on Netflix titled Gaga: Five Foot Two, where she talked about everything from her feud with Madonna to her past relationships and battle with chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

But she wasn't done yet. Gaga concluded the year by announcing her Las Vegas residency. "I was made for this town, and I can't wait to light up the Park Theater like never before!" she wrote on Instagram.

As for Gaga's love life, the singer began dating talent manager Christian Carino, and by the Summer, the two were engaged. However, Gaga and Christian never made it down the aisle as they parted ways in February 2019.

2018: A Star Was Born
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2018: A Star Was Born

2018 was truly an incredible year for Gaga. Even though she didn't actually record a new studio album, she still gave us new music with the A Star Is Born soundtrack. Oh, and she delivered the performance of a lifetime as Ally in the film. In fact, the movie was so good that it earned a whopping 24 nominations during award season.

In honor of the film's one-year anniversary, Gaga posted an Instagram snap of herself holding a multiplatinum plaque that she was awarded for the movie's amazing soundtrack. "A year ago, A Star was Born, and here we are 6 times pink platinum," she wrote. The album surpassed six million global sales and became certified double platinum in the US.

In between promoting A Star Is Born, Gaga also graced the cover of Vogue's October 2018 issue and gave a riveting interview about her career journey and evolving image. "For me, fashion and art and music have always been a form of armor. I just kept creating more and more fantasies to escape into, new skins to shed," she said. "Every time I shed a skin, it was like taking a shower when you're dirty: getting rid of, washing off, shedding all of the bad, and becoming something new."

2019: Lady Gaga Took Home All the Gold
Getty | Handout

2019: Lady Gaga Took Home All the Gold

Gaga closed out the decade by winning all the awards, literally. After she took home her first Oscar for best original song for "Shallow," the singer and actress made history by becoming the first person to ever win a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Grammy, and Academy Award in a single year (all of which were for A Star Is Born).

"I have worked hard for a long time, and it is not about winning, but it's about not giving up," Gaga said in her impassioned Oscars speech. "If you have a dream, fight for it. There's a discipline for passion, and it's not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or beaten up, it's about how many times you stand up and are brave. Thank you."

In addition to sweeping award season, Gaga hosted the Met Gala alongside Harry Styles, Serena Williams, and Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele, where she served not one but four looks on the iconic stairs of NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art. When will your fave?

She also delved into the makeup world and launched a beauty brand called Haus Laboratories. It consists of six lines in the collection — Haus of Chained Ballerina, Haus of Goddess, Haus of Rose B*tch, Haus of Rockstar, Haus of Dynasty, and Haus of Metal Head — and is available on Amazon.

Given all the success Gaga has achieved over the past decade, it's hard to tell how she'll outdo herself in the next 10 years, but if anyone can do it, it's definitely Gaga. So buckle up, because knowing her, it's going to be a wild ride!