Gaga ooh-la-la. Lady Gaga rocked Super Bowl 51 with a career-spanning performance during the Pepsi Halftime Show in Houston, Texas, where the New England Patriots faced off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday (Feb. 5).
Welcomed to the stage by her Cheek to Cheek collaborator Tony Bennett in a video featuring Little Monsters, Gaga emerged from the NRG Stadium roof in show-stopping fashion. Donning a sparkly Versace leotard and high-heeled boots, she sang “God Bless America” while stars lit up the night sky.
After the patriotic opening, she descended onto the field while suspended on a harness. Throughout her electrifying 13-and-a-half-minute set, Gaga went through hit after hit, starting with “Poker Face” before launching into a medley of her biggest smashes to date, including her empowering anthem “Born This Way,” which was followed by “Telephone,” “Just Dance,” and “Million Reasons” (during which she shouted out her parents). She capped it all off with the ever-infectious “Bad Romance” before tossing the mic and catching a football as she dove offstage.
Prior to the performance, Gaga explained why this set would mirror her longstanding views on social justice issues. “I believe in a passion for inclusion,” she said during a Super Bowl press conference. “I believe in the spirit of equality and the spirit of this country is one of love and compassion and kindness. My performance will uphold those philosophies.”
She also revealed that the medley was meant to empower marginalized voices that often go unheard. “That kid that couldn’t get a seat at the cool kids’ table, and that kid that was kicked out of the house because his mom and dad didn’t accept him for who he was?” she said. “That kid is going to have the stage for 13 minutes. And I’m excited to give that to them.”
The energetic set was structured to celebrate her biggest bangers, it was also meant to display her athletic prowess. “We went through my whole career and chose songs that fans and football fans would enjoy,” she said. “I am going to have to say that the preparation for this show is the show business version of the athlete.”
The epic performance won praise from her peers, including past Super Bowl performers Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.
Sunday’s spectacular was a lifelong dream come true for Gaga. “I’ve been planning this since I was 4,” she said. “I know exactly what I’m going to do. For me, it’s all about giving to the fans and bringing people together that wouldn’t normally come together.”