"Born This Way" is a dance-pop album and the second studio album by American celebrated singer Lady Gaga. Interscope Records released the album on May 23, 2011.
It follows her first internationally successful album, "The Fame." Lady Gaga and Jeppe Laursen wrote the songs on the album, with co-production by Dj White Shadow, RedOne, Dj Snake, Clinton Sparks and Fernando Garibay.
This album was compiled while Lady Gaga was on a world tour with "The Monster Ball Tour" in Liverpool, England. According to Lady Gaga, "Born This Way" was her freedom album to empower women and those who are marginalized in the community.
After the release of the album, there were divided opinions among religious fraternities and conservatives.
Despite this, however, the album was well-accepted by music critics. They praised the prowess shown in Gaga's vocals and the various musical styles used in the album.
"Born This Way has all the electro-sleaze beats and Eurodisco chorus chants that made her the Fame Monster. But the big surprise is the way Gaga pillages the Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar and Eddie Money records of her childhood." - Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
The Message in "Born This Way"
"Born This Way" is a self-empowering album with lyrics that center on sexuality, feminism, individualism, freedom, and religion. According to Elton John, the "Born This Way" track is a gay anthem for the new era.
This is because Lady Gaga is widely viewed as the umbrella of the "LGBT" community.
The song gave the gay community more visibility since most of them embraced it as their own.
Graves- Fitzsimmons of The Washington Post stated that the song was a "Hymn for LGBT Christians". The song's inclusive lyrics such as "No matter gay, straight, or bi/lesbian, transgendered life\I'm on right track baby. I was born to survive," made it an instant celebratory anthem for the LGBT community.
"Judas" is about a woman in love with a man who betrays her. The song basically gives us a snippet about the negative parts of Gaga's life that she cannot escape from. She says the song intends to honor one's inner darkness and brings it into the light.
"The Edge of Glory" is a pop song whose message is about the very last moments of life. This was inspired by her grandfather's death.
"You and I" is a slow tempo romantic song detailing the highs and lows of the love escapades with her boyfriend, Luc Carl.
"Marry the Night" is a tribute to her love for partying and nightlife. Lady Gaga describes the song as her "honest moment" since she tells about her musical journey, from an early career trauma to her stardom as a renowned and celebrated pop star.
The Born This Way Ball Concert in Manchester
The song "Born This Way" debuted in the top five spots in every major chart, including billboard 200 and 100.
It became the first song to enter The Billboard Hot 100 at number one and held on to the same position six weeks in a row.
It became the first song to debut at number one and stay there for over a month since the "Candle in the Wind 1997" hit by Elton John in 1997. In the United States alone, the song hit more than a million copies in sales in its first week.
"All over Born This Way, she takes on the big topics dear to her heart: sex, religion, muscle cars, her hair. She sings in French, German, Spanish and whatever language wants to claim “punk-tious.” She seduces men, women, deities and dead presidents." - Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
An estimated 440,000 copies were sold in Amazon in a span of two days. It was the most number of copies sold by a female artist in the first week since its release.
The song also set a new world record with the Guinness' Book of World Records. It was the "Fastest-Selling Single" with over a million copies sold in five days after its release in iTunes.
The song became number one in more than 25 countries. Interestingly, it was her third single to reach the number one spot in the US Billboard Hot 100 list.
"So relentless is the pace, in fact, that towards the end of this mammoth album (14 songs, plus bonus tracks), when those sledgehammer beats bash you one too many times, you do start to wish for a nice little piano ballad as a breather." - Tim Jonze, The Guardian
Born This Way also became one of the best-selling singles with more than 8.2 million copies sold all over the world. The "Born This Way" music video scooped two awards at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. It won the Best Video with a message and Best female video categories.
In the same year, Lady Gaga won the Best Song and the Best Video categories in the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Lady Gaga performed her hit "Born This Way" in the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2011. The track also received three Grammy nominations
The Born This Way Ball Concert in Milan
Performances and Covers
Lady Gaga had a lot of live performances of the album after her Grammy appearance.
These included appearances on the "Tonight with Jay Leno Show", the "Graham Norton Show", BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, and the season finale of Saturday Night Live, among others.
She also brought her performance to Europe, where she performed in television shows in Germany and Italy. As a testament of the song's popularity, many prominent artists also did remixes or covers of "Born This Way". These artists include Alice Cooper, Maria Aragon, Katy Perry, and Madonna.
An Indian duo Salim-Sulaiman and the cast of hit televisions series Glee also covered the hit "Born This Way."
The Born This Way Ball Concert in Paris
"Born This Way" marked a point in Lady Gaga's career where she stopped to make a statement about empowerment.
Throughout the album, she was able to articulately talk about social injustices by giving voice to the voiceless and suggesting we aacept ourselves.
The album encourages one to embrace one's past life and work to change in a better way in the present and future.