Lady Gaga’s Hit-Filled Super Bowl LI Half-Time Show

Lady Gaga's 18 Biggest Hits: Revisited & Ranked
We revisit and rank Lady Gaga's biggest hits ahead of her Super Bowl LI show.

The hours leading up to Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI half-time show were rife with speculation. Would Mother Monster call out Donald Trump? How would rowdy football fans embrace her signature gay-pride anthems? Who would be joining her on stage? Well, she answered the latter question before the performance. “There will not be any guest performers tonight, I’m doing these 13 minutes solo!” the 30-year-old informed fans via Instagram. “I dedicate every second to the love, diversity, compassion, and wild spirit of our fan base.”

“To that kid who felt unwanted, or the grown up who remembers how hard it was to find acceptance,” Gaga continued. “This is for you. It is also for those whose hearts and minds have opened to our message.” The singer then promised to give it her all: “I’m gonna leave my heart on it so you never forget it.” And she kept her word. Joanne gave 110 percent and reminded the world that she’s still one of the best performers in pop with a high-energy, hit-filled set.

The pop star kicked off the 13-minute mega-medley standing on top of the NRG Stadium. She sang a couple of bars from “God Bless America” and made a plea for acceptance. That’s about as political as it got (there was no Trump shade), but it was still an important statement given current tensions. In a move straight out of the Pink handbook, Gaga dived from the roof and was suspended above the crowd in a harness. The sequined-clad diva then kicked off the show in earnest with “Poker Face.”

That transitioned into “Born This Way,” which arguably was the queerest moment in Super Bowl history with Gaga proudly chanting “whether gay, straight or bi” to football fans around the world. She warned us that there would be no special guests, but I still got my hopes up for a Beyonce cameo when the opening chords of “Telephone” blasted out across the stadium. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Next up was a keytar-fuelled rendition of “Just Dance” — yet another song from her imperial phase.

Just when I was starting to wonder if Gaga was going to ignore Joanne altogether (she paid ARTPOP dust), the #OnlineKindness advocate took a seat at the piano and belted out “Million Reasons.” (Expect it to enjoy a brief revival on the charts next week). Last but not least was a high-energy rendition of “Bad Romance.” This is the hitmaker’s best song and she knows it, reveling in its majestic dance-pop glory with intricate choreography. Watch the full performance below.

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