Gaga's second studio album and third major release Born This Way was released on May 23, 2011. She announced the title of the album during her acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. Described as "a marriage of electronic music with major [...] metal or rock 'n' roll, pop, anthemic style melodies with really sledge-hammering dance beats" and referred to as an album "about what what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid", She stated, "It came so quickly. I've been working on [the album] for months, and I feel very strongly that it's finished right now. Some artists take years. I don't. I write music every day." Likening Born This Way to "bad kids going to church" that are "having fun on a high level", Gaga characterized her new music as "something so much deeper than a wig or lipstick or a fucking meat dress" and upon hearing it, Akon remarked that she will take music to the "next level." Its arrival followed the release of its eponymous lead single on February 11, 2011, which was performed live for the first time at the 53rd Grammy Awards two days after its release. The song debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 19th number-one debut and the 1,000th number-one single in the history of the charts.
Two other singles, "Judas" and "The Edge of Glory", the former being criticized for its references to Biblical characters Judas, Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, were released before the album, both placing in the top ten of the major musical markets. Upon release, Born This Way sold 1.108 million copies in its first week in the United States, debuting atop the Billboard 200, and topping the charts in more than 10 other countries. Lending her vocals elsewhere, Gaga paired with Elton John to record an original duet for the animated feature film Gnomeo & Juliet. The song, titled "Hello, Hello", was released on February 11, 2011, without Gaga's vocals. The duet version is only featured in the film. She undertook her job as a fashion columnist for V, where she wrote about her creative process, her studying of the world of pop culture, and her ability to tune into the evolution of pop-culture meme. In May 2011, Gaga told Australian radio show The Kyle & Jackie O Show that she would be coming to Sydney to perform a one-off concert in July 2011, to promote Born This Way, which occurred at Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday 13 July 2011.
- 1986-2008: Early Years
- 2008-2009: The Fame era
- 2009-2010: The Fame Monster era
- 2011: Born This Way era