First, let me stun you with sophistication and re-use a Twitter joke: “Lady Gaga turns 26 today. Ugh, Madonna had that idea in 1984.” (@louisvirtel, people.) Next, let me reiterate what the entire world already knows but that you sometimes forget: Lady Gaga is the only pop star of the past five years who has found a way to matter. She is certainly Madonna’s heiress apparent, she is extraordinarily talented, and she should be way too weird for such mass appeal. But she made it, like a Little Meat Purse That Could, and the pop universe is richer for it.
While “Poker Face” remains my favorite Gaga single, my favorite live performance of hers is this medley of “Born This Way,” “The Edge of Glory,” “Bad Romance,” and “You and I” at a fete honoring Bill Clinton. You can’t underestimate that Gaga is a superstar who makes naughty innuendos out of Hitchcock titles. Happy 26th to a true lady!