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The stories behind Lady Gaga’s album

Just put your paws up, ’cause it was born this day. 

On May 23, 2011, Lady Gaga released her sprawling second studio album “Born This Way.” The risky yet riveting effort solidified her status as a global superstar, after flipping dance-pop on its head with her glittering 2008 debut “The Fame” and its hits-filled reissue “The Fame Monster” a year later. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with more than 1 million copies sold its first week and spawned four top-10 hits on the Hot 100, including “Judas” and “You and I.” 

“Born This Way” was created with a loyal stable of producers including RedOne and Fernando Garibay, who was introduced to Gaga a couple of years after producing Paris Hilton‘s 2006 single “Stars are Blind.” 

“Gaga was a big fan of ‘Stars are Blind.’ She loves straightforward and interesting pop songs,” Garibay says. They met for the first time in the studio when Gaga was just 21, “and my jaw dropped. That’s talent that only comes around once in a lifetime. I was like, ‘How can I continue working with this girl?’ ” 

Garibay shares stories about five of the biggest songs he worked on from “Born This Way.” 

‘Born This Way’ 

The thumping title track was written in just 10 minutes and was immediately embraced as an LGBTQ anthem upon its release as the album’s lead single. The song is filled with punchy, empowering lyrics about self-liberation and acceptance as Gaga declares, “I’m beautiful in my way / ’cause God makes no mistakes / I’m on the right track, baby / I was born this way.” 

Garibay believes the song is most powerful in its rebuke of the Catholic Church, which refuses to bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin,” the Vatican said in a statement earlier this year. 

Lady Gaga performs at Radio 1's Big Weekend festival on May 15, 2011, in Carlisle, England.

“Her making a nod to that and saying ‘God loves everybody’ in a pop song, it’s extraordinary,” Garibay says. “She can distill what’s going on in culture and (her fans’) struggles into something that’s palatable. It’s delicious but it’s moving at the same time, and I think that’s why this album can go on repeat and repeat, because you discover something new on almost every listen.” 

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