Flashback: Lady Gaga's First Grammy Performance - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Lady Gaga’s First Grammy Performance

Young pop star was joined by Elton John for elaborate, star-making debut at the 2010 ceremony

In the coming weeks, Lady Gaga will become the first artist to perform at three of the biggest U.S. television events in the same year: the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and the Oscars. Five years ago, she made her Grammy debut by opening the show with none other than Elton John.

By the time the ceremony rolled around, Gaga had already released a reissue of her 2008 debut album The Fame in the form of The Fame Monster, which included the new hits “Bad Romance,” “Telephone” (featuring Beyoncé) and “Alejandro.” Her performance played on the celebrity-machine themes that connected her Fame and Fame Monster eras.

Hairspray star Elijah Kelley kicked off the performance, serving as the Emcee to her Sally Bowles. A makeshift factory produces Gaga lookalikes while Kelley searches for the “real Gaga” amidst the fakes. “See, the real Gaga comes complete with five Number One singles,” he says in the midst of a jazzy number to accompany his search. “And the best part is: She has her own pogo stick. And she has no soul!”

Gaga emerges to perform a “Poker Face” in a green outfit with glittery, pink upside-down triangles painted around each eye. Her piano-only rendition transitions into the dance-pop original before Kelley declares that her music is “ruining his business” and that she’s a “monster” as she gets dumped into the “rejected” pit of fire.

Gaga returns once more – this time with Elton John, both of them covered in ash at a double-piano. “Take my picture, Hollywood,” she declares before singing a duet/mash-up of John’s “Your Song” with her own ballad “Speechless,” from Fame Monster. “I wanna be a star!”

In This Article: Elton John, Lady Gaga


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