1. Headline
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Image: Blondie
Kippa Sander Koning  /  EPA
Deborah Harry and Blondie have a new album coming out on Sept. 13. The band is also launching a North American tour this year.
TODAY contributor
updated 9/11/2011 7:17:53 PM ET 2011-09-11T23:17:53

Here’s some pop music news. Guess the year it takes place.

Blondie has announced a North American hall tour and has a new album coming Sept. 13. The Human League has a new album getting a physical release that same day. The Bangles have a new album on the way Sept. 27 with a tour following five days later. The B-52s have a release dropping Oct. 11 and are continuing a tour.

Video: Blondie rocks TODAY with ‘Mother’ (on this page)

Meanwhile, the Go-Go’s just wrapped up a tour for which most of the dates sold out. Joan Jett attracted a record crowd at the Oregon Amphitheater, and Stevie Nicks got a lot of press for an album released earlier in the year.

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If you guessed all of this happened during any random year in the early 1980s, you’d be wrong. All of this is happening this year.

The pioneering female rockers and female-led bands that emerged or had their biggest successes in the early 1980s are back in a big way. The fact that so much attention is being paid to them now seems to be creating a sort of mini-revival, but the question is why this is happening now.

Check out The Go-Go's then and now

One answer, said Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, is that since most of these acts have stuck around rather than hung up their rock ’n’ roll shoes, they’ve gradually been able to build up large audiences that span generations.

“The people that came to see us in the old days have kids,” said Wilson. “So it’s really amazing that it keeps being passed around. We get a great crowd — all ages.”

There’s also the fact that most female acts from the early 1980s era bring to their music a sense of lightheartedness that some see as lacking in today’s more in-your-face female artists. So said Holly Beth Vincent, who led the ’80s act Holly and the Italians and is still an active performer.

Story: Cyndi Lauper blames 9/11 memories for anthem flub

“I think it was kind of a fun time — naïve, innocent time — and I think people like that about it,” Vincent said. “I guess kids want to hear that now.”

Girls just wanna get airplay
But there’s also a deeper element of fan identification that these artists bring to the stage, said Gillian G. Gaar, author of the first book on female rockers, “She’s a Rebel.” Gaar said that although there had always been women in rock, it was the female rockers from her era that overcame the struggle against musical gender prejudice and blazed the path that the 1990s Riot Grrrls and others would follow.

“I recently spoke to the Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin who said when they would go into radio stations to promote their first album, the DJs would be like, ‘This is a total joke,’ ” Gaar said. “And she said something like, ‘They said things to us that today you could start a lawsuit over.’ ”

According to Carolyne Mas, an early ’80s rocker who had a minor hit with “Stillsane,” radio stations back then had an unofficial policy to avoid playing too many female artists out of fear of alienating their listeners.

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“There was something in radio called ‘female segueing,’ where you couldn’t play a female act if you’d just played another one,” Mas said. “You couldn’t do them back to back, but you could put men back to back, no problem. Since my records came out around the same time as those by Pat Benatar, Ellen Shipley and Ellen Foley, it was a difficult to struggle to be the one to be heard because they really couldn’t play all of us.”

Wilson said that being a female fronting a rock band wasn’t considered odd when the B-52s formed in the artsy college town of Athens, Ga. But when the group played New York, “I’m sure we looked like we were from a different planet," she said.

“But then we started getting an audience there and definitely hit a nerve and it became bigger and bigger after that,” said Wilson, whose group is preparing to release its first live album, “In With the Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA.”

Terri Nunn, whose band Berlin scored a No. 1 hit with “Take My Breath Away,” said that unlike today, when female musicians like her flaunted their sexuality in the pre-Madonna era, the results could often backfire.

Madonna disses fan's gift of hydrangeas

“It was a double-edged sword because as much as men in the business want sexuality in the visual presentation and in the music, at the same time there’s kind of a double standard there,” Nunn said. “Because if you included it in what you were doing then you’re a slut too. Both of those coexist — the desire and the judgment coexist. So I got both.

“I don’t know if it’s that way now for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, but it definitely was then,” Nunn said.

Story: Katy Perry ties Michael Jackson for album hits

Working hard for the money
To succeed in such a hostile (or indifferent) environment took an extra helping of effort and that, said Gaar, and is likely what fans like about this group of artists today.

“What’s common to a lot of these people is they just had a determination to get through,” Gaar said. “In (Go-Go’s lead singer) Belinda Carlisle’s autobiography, you get a sense of that. They got together in the late 1970s, but their first album didn’t come out until 1981. They were watching other people getting signed to labels and they felt they weren’t in part because they were women.

“They’d get discouraged, but they’d keep urging each other on and they just stuck to it.”

While radio may have been unfriendly to female performers, MTV wasn’t and inadvertently helped create an ’80s women’s music revolution, Gaar said.

“In those early days, MTV was a music station and they didn’t have any reality shows and all they did was play videos,” Gaar said. “But because of that, and because there weren’t that many bands making videos at the time, they just put on everything they could get their hands on, so it was really a diverse mix — which included women. That gave exposure to a lot of bands that maybe would not have gotten that three years down the line when they were being more selective.”

Story: At 30, MTV hasn't lost its sexy edge — or shock factor

Carla DeSantis Black, who founded the magazine ROCKRGRL and women’s musician advocacy group M.E.O.W. (Music for the Empowerment of Women) said because of MTV, the early ’80s were a time when women’s music snuck up on the general public as just plain music and wasn’t considered different or odd to the younger generation.

“It was really a golden age for women because women were really coming into their own at that particular time,” Black said. “Bands like the Bangles weren’t really considered ‘women in music’ — they were just musicians. I think there’s less of that now because I think women who become popular get singled out as ‘women in rock’ in a way I don’t think that they necessarily were at that particular time.”

As it stands now, the women rockers who once weren’t taken seriously by radio program directors are taken very seriously by musicians who grew up hearing them and draw from their music.

“Groups come up and say, ‘You’ve influenced me,’ and it’s really wonderful to hear that,” Wilson said. “That’s the natural way with music. You feed (an influence) in and make it your own and bring something that you have to it because it speaks to you.”

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: Blondie rocks TODAY with ‘Mother’

Photos: Fashion gone Gaga

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  1. Living in a box

    Lady Gaga made many costume changes during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York Aug. 25, 2013, but the white-box-on-her-head look was perhaps the weirdest. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. She sells sea shells

    After taking off the white box-on-head outfit, Lady Gaga switched to a shell bikini, which she kept on for the rest of the 2013 VMAs. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Lady Gaga's back

    Lady Gaga enters the Z100 Studios on Aug. 19, 2013 in New York. (Ray Tamarra / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Rainbow face

    The Mother Monster is seen on Aug. 12, 2013 in Los Angeles with colorful face paint that seems reminiscent of the cover art for her single "Applause." (Jb Lacroix / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Speaking out

    Lady Gaga speaks up at The Rally during NYC Pride 2013 on June 28, 2013 in New York. (Robin Marchant / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Across the generations

    Yoko Ono poses with Gaga during the Lennon Ono Grant For Peace awards ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland on Oct. 9, 2012. This year's recipients are Lady Gaga, Rachel Corrie, John Perkins, Christopher Hitchens and Pussy Riot. (Afp / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Sweet smell of success

    Lady Gaga visits Harrods London on Oct. 7, 2012 to celebrate the launch of her new fragrance, Fame. (Ian Gavan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Rainbow tiers

    Lady Gaga leaves her London hotel in a tiered skirt and Vivienne Westwood's "climate revolution" t-shirt in Sept. 2012. (Neil Mockford / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. On the catwalk

    Lady Gaga opens British hat designer Philip Treacy's show at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 in Sept. 2012. She made a big splash on the catwalk by entering in hot pink netting. (Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Floral helmet

    Lady Gaga wears a floral hat designed by British milliner Philip Treacy to the designer's Michael Jackson-inspired hat show at London Fashion Week in Sept. 2012. (Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Gaga shines

    Wearing a long red wig and a gleaming black dress, Lady Gaga arrives for the launch of her "Fame" perfume in a horse-drawn carriage on September 14, 2012 in New York City. (Rob Kim / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Big bun

    Lady Gaga shows off her recently shaved head at the launch of her "Fame" perfume at Macy's Herald Square in New York City on September 14, 2012. Her head was tattooed at the event inside of a transparent bottle made to look like her new fragrance. (Kevin Mazur / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Knee-highs

    The pop star arrives at Vilnius airport in Lithuania on Aug. 20, 2012 in a black crop top and short shorts with a split front skirt. She paired the look with chunky platforms and knee-highs. (Mindaugas Kulbis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Mellow in yellow

    The songstress sports a yellow wig as she holds her dog, Fozzi, at the airport in Vienna, Austria, on Aug. 17, 2012. She toted the pooch with her around the European city. (Andreas Pessenlehner / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Cover girl

    Lady Gaga poses in a purple Marc Jacobs gown on the cover of the September 2012 issue of Vogue magazine. (Mert Alas And Marcus Piggott / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Gaga channels Jackie O

    Lady Gaga leaves the Ritz Carlton Hotel in a Moschino drop-waist dress and Mary Jane platform pumps on May 2, 2012 in Hong Kong. (Chinafotopress / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Plunging neckline

    The pop diva waves upon her arrival at Gimpo International airport in Seoul, South Korea, on April 20, 2012. She wore a Versace gown with a plunging V-shape neckline and an eye mask made of pearls. (Yang Kang-sam / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Portrait perfect

    Lady Gaga poses for a portrait in her hotel suite prior to an event for her "Born this Way" foundation at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on February 29, 2012. The fashion icon rocked a dramatic hat and sunglasses from her own collaboration with Linda Farrow Projects. (Charles Krupa / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Gaga for Paul

    Lady Gaga and Paul McCartney are seen in the audience at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2012.

    Born Stefani Germanotta on March 28, 1986, Gaga has sold more than 23 million albums and won five Grammys. (Larry Busacca / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Ring in the new

    Lady Gaga and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg share a kiss as they celebrate the beginning of the new year at New Year's Eve 2012 in Times Square on Jan. 1, 2012. (Jemal Countess / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. It's her department

    Lady Gaga and designer Nicola Formichetti pose for a photo after cutting the ribbon opening Gaga's Workshop at Barneys in New York on Nov. 21, 2011. (Jemal Countess / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. For the children

    Lady Gaga poses backstage at Children in Need Rocks Manchester 2011 at The Manchester Evening News Arena in England on Nov. 17, 2011. (Dave J Hogan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. And a Bambi to boot

    Lady Gaga poses after receiving the International Pop award during the Bambi ceremony in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Nov. 10, 2011. The Bambis are the main German media awards. (Daniel Roland / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. She got her MTV

    Lady Gaga holds her four awards backstage at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Nov. 6, 2011. (Luke Macgregor / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. She's got the spins

    Lady Gaga performs onstage during the MTV Europe Music Awards live show at at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Nov. 6, 2011. (Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Dude!

    Lady Gaga, left, dressed as her male alter ego Jo Calderone, presents the Best Pop Video award to Britney Spears during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Aug. 28, 2011. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Promises, promises

    Lady Gaga poses during a news conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 4, 2011. The singer promised her fans that she would hold an Asian concert tour next year, after her first performance in Taiwan sparked stronger-than-expected response from local fans. (Sam Yeh / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Born this way?

    Fans of Lady Gaga, dressed in costumes, pose during a news conference in Taipei on July 4, 2011. (Sam Yeh / AFP-Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Earthquake relief

    Lady Gaga poses during the MTV Video Music Aid Japan at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, on June 25, 2011. (Hikaru Ogawa / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Am I your 'Idol'?

    Lady Gaga performs "Edge of Glory" during the "American Idol" finale on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Scotty McCreery beat out Lauren Alaina for the title. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Where to start with this outfit?

    Lady Gaga tapes an episode of "106 and Park" at BET Studios in New York on Monday, May 23, 2011. (Charles Sykes / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. 'Born This Way'

    Lady Gaga's second full-length studio album, "Born This Way," was released in May 2011. Online retailer Amazon was overwhelmed with demand for the album on its release day, when it sold for just 99 cents. (Interscope records via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Kiss from a fan

    A fan blows a kiss to the camera as she waits in line outside an album-signing event for Lady Gaga's new release "Born This Way" at Best Buy in New York City on Monday, May 23, 2011. (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Am I what you expected?

    Lady Gaga greets her fans at a New York Best Buy store for the launch of her new album, "Born This Way" on Monday, May 23. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Love in her eyes

    Lady Gaga leaves the set of Canal Plus TV show "Le Grand Journal" at the France's 64th Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 2011. (Martin Bureau / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. What to wear, and what not to wear

    Singer Lady Gaga is as well-known for her outrageous costumes as for her music. Here, she performs at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. (Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Lady of fashion

    Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga and Sebastian Peigne walk the runway during the Thierry Mugler Ready to Wear Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 show during Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. (Francois Durand / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Lady in red

    Lady Gaga performs at New York's Madison Square Garden on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011. MTV reported that "multiple costume changes, fake blood, complicated sets and over-the-top piano playing" were only part of the show. (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Entrance of the egg

    Lady Gaga made headlines for entering the 2011 Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011inside a giant egg. She later claimed she spent days in the egg prior to the awards, but others said she was never inside it for that long. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Breaking out of the egg

    After breaking out of the egg, Lady Gaga performed her hit, "Born This Way," at the 2011 Grammys. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Talk about 'Fame'

    Lady Gaga accepts her award for best pop vocal album for "Fame Monster" at the 2011 Grammys. "Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart," she said. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Say cheese

    Lady Gaga takes a photo with her phone while introducing her Grey Label product line during the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. (Steve Marcus / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Flashing the crowd

    Lady Gaga performs to a sellout crowd at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. Unsurprisingly, she changed costumes numerous times during the show. (Peter Morrison / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Bridging the generations

    Lady Gaga and Yoko Ono perform at the "We Are Plastic Ono Band" concert at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles on Oct. 2, 2010. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. She's got a wild hair

    Lady Gaga performs at The Oak Room in New York's Plaza Hotel wearing almost nothing except a cape made of hair and fishnet stockings on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. She had been invited to the stage by the house jazz band. (Daniel Shapiro / Splash News) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. Flying the flag

    Lady Gaga suited up to speak at a rally in support of repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gay service members, in Portland, Maine, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. (Pat Wellenbach / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Meat Lady Gaga

    Singer Lady Gaga horrified PETA and some viewers when she wore a dress, hat and boots made from meat to accept the video of the year award during the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12, 2010 in Los Angeles. Some thought it was cleverly designed fabric, but the designer later revealed that the dress was in fact made of real meat. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. Sharp mind

    Don't touch her head! Lady Gaga wore a black gown and a pointy headdress to accept the award for best pop video for "Bad Romance" at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010 in Los Angeles. In background are presenters Amber Riley, Cory Monteith, and Jane Lynch, of the cast of "Glee." (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Topped off

    Lady Gaga wore multiple outfits to the 2010 VMAs, but she accepted the award for best female video for 'Bad Romance' from presenter Ellen Degeneres while clad in a Victorian-style gown, Mohawk-style headdress, and a blue-and-white wig. (Mike Blake / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Stripping down

    Sometimes the best outfit is ... next to nothing. Lady Gaga performs at Staples Center on Aug. 11, 2010 in Los Angeles. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. Crowd surfing

    Lady Gaga reveals a lot while jumping into the crowd during a performance by Semi Precious Weapons at Lollapalooza at Grant Park on Aug. 6, 2010 in Chicago. (Roger Kisby / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. Keep a stain stick handy

    Lady Gaga wore an all-white ensemble to perform on NBC's TODAY at New York's Rockefeller Center on July 9, 2010. (Jemal Countess / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. Strike a pose

    Lady Gaga poses with a large Polaroid picture of herself at the MIT Art Museum in Cambridge, Mass. The photo will be added to the 10,000 artifacts from Polaroid’s 73-year history that the company donated to the MIT Museum in May. Lady Gaga is Polaroid's new creative director, tasked with introducing Polaroid to a new generation. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. Fire when ready

    Lady Gaga on the cover of Rolling Stone's June 25, 2010 issue. In an interview, the pop star talked about the breakup that inspired her transformation from Stefani Germanotta to Gaga, her complex relationship with her father and the music on her next album. Lady Gaga told Rolling Stone art is life and not being fierce isn't an option: 'When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl,' she says. 'Then I say, 'B*tch, you're Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.' (Rolling Stone via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. Damn Yankees

    Lady Gaga attends a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets on June 18, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in New York. Lady Gaga apparently crashed the New York Yankees’ clubhouse, according to the Huffington Post, which caused a disruption mostly because the Yankees lost the game. (Al Bello / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Dazzling Nottingham

    Lady GaGa performs at the Trent FM Arena on May 27, 2010 in Nottingham, England. Lady Gaga started the latest UK leg of her Monster Ball Tour at the Nottingham Trent Arena. During the emotional show, Gaga broke down in tears during 'Brown Eyes' which she dedicated to her ill grandfather. (Ollie Millington / Getty Images ) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. Constellation of stars

    Lady Gaga (third from left) was joined by (from left) Sting, Debbie Harry, Elton John, Shirley Bassey and Bruce Springsteen in peforming "Don't Stop Believing" during the 21st birthday celebration of the Rainforest Fund at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 13, 2010. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  58. A-veiling herself

    Before her concert in Berlin, Germany, on May 11, 2010, a veiled Lady Gaga received several awards. (Britta Pedersen / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  59. 'Monster' hits

    Lady Gaga performs at the O2 arena in Hamburg, Germany, on May 10, 2010 during her "Monster Ball" tour. (Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  60. Idol-ing about

    Lady Gaga performed at the American Idol Season 9 Top 5 to 4 Elimination Show on May 5, 2010 in Los Angeles. She later criticized "Idol" for "chopping up" her performance in editing. (Frank Micelotta / PictureGroup via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  61. Flash in Japan

    Lady Gaga arrives at Narita International Airport in Japan on April 13, 2010. (Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  62. Hold the phone

    With soda cans for hair rollers, Lady Gaga peforms in the video for "Telephone," her smash hit with Beyonce. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  63. Pompadour and circumstance

    Hair piled high, Lady Gaga arrives on the red carpet for The Brit Awards 2010 at Earls Court on Feb. 16, 2010, in London. (Ian Gavan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  64. Girls just wanna have fun

    Lady Gaga, left, and Cyndi Lauper appear on TODAY on Feb. 10, 2010, to promote their roles in the M-A-C Viva Glam program, benefiting women with HIV/AIDS. (Peter Kramer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  65. Pearl jam

    Bedecked with pearls, even on her face, Lady Gaga attends the amfAR New York Gala co-sponsored by M.A.C. Cosmetics to Kick Off Fall 2010 Fashion Week at Cipriani 42nd Street on Feb. 10, 2010 in New York City. (Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  66. Ice queen

    Lady Gaga's ensembles -- including this icy number --stuck to a futuristic theme at the 2010 Grammy Awards, where the singer walked away with two of the coveted trophies.

    The pop sensation is known for her catchy dance music and eccentric style, ranging from pantless getups to blinding face masks. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  67. Out of this world

    Lady Gaga arrives at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2010, wearing this shiny, silvery three-dimensional outfit that was created in collaboration with Giorgio Armani. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  68. Green Gaga

    Lady Gaga performs the first song of the 2010 Grammy Awards in a green fairy-wing bodysuit with matching green sparkle booties. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  69. Pause for reflection

    Lady Gaga performs in a mirrored getup at the first of four shows at Radio City Music Hall on Jan. 20, 2010, in her hometown New York. (Evan Agostini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  70. Hairy situation

    Singer Lady Gaga sports a hat made of her own teased out hair for her appearance at the Polaroid booth after being named the company's chief creative officer at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 7, 2010. (Andrew Gombert / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  71. All on her shoulders

    Lady Gaga takes shoulder pads to new heights in this disco ball-inspired getup that she sported when performing at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Dec. 22, 2009. (David Livingston / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  72. Tied up in a bow

    No need for accessories when you can just rock the hairbow like Lady Gaga did for her performance at the launch of music video site VEVO on Dec. 8, 2009 in New York City. (Theo Wargo / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  73. Gaga goes royal

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth (L) meets U.S. singer Lady Gaga following the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, England on Dec. 7, 2009. Gaga wore a stunning red dress and matching eye makeup. (Leon Neal / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  74. Strong shouldered

    Lady Gaga attends a CD signing at Best Buy on Nov. 23, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 23-year-old New Yorker was bombarded with so many fans — some who waited days outside to catch a glimpse of the star — that she ordered them $1,000 worth of Papa John's pizza. (Kristian Dowling / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  75. In the nude

    Clad in a complicated bodysuit, Lady Gaga performed at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 22, 2009. As her dramatic performance concluded, her piano was set ablaze and violins were smashed. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  76. Puckered up

    Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and musician Lady Gaga attended the MOCA NEW 30th anniversary on Nov. 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    Of Lady Gaga's new "Bad Romance" music video, the blogger wrote, "Epic! Glamour! Dance! Dark! Fashion! Diva!" (Michael Caulfield / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  77. Funny face

    Lady Gaga smiles awkwardly during the 184th edition of the TV show "Wetten, dass..?" (German for "Wanna Bet..?") on Nov. 7, 2009 in Braunschweig, Germany. During the show, the singer showed off an arm tattoo of a poem by German writer Rainer Maria Rilke. (Jochen Luebke / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  78. Crescent curves

    Lady Gaga waves to the crowd during the German TV show "Wetten dass...?" ("Wanna Bet..?") in Braunschweig, Germany, on Nov. 7, 2009. (Axel Heimken / Pool via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  79. Thinly-veiled sexuality

    An icon of avant-garde fashion, Lady Gaga wore a lace veil at the 13th Annual 2009 ACE Awards on Nov. 2, 2009 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  80. More than just a unique face

    Lady Gaga marched for gay rights at the National Equality March in Washington, where thousands of gay and lesbian activists converged on the White House and Capitol demanding civil rights protections in all 50 states.

    "If we see ourselves as free and equal people, then we need to act as free and equal people," the singer said in a statement. "Lend your voice and demand to be heard." (Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  81. Clad in black

    Lady Gaga covered John Lennon's legendary "Imagine" during the 13th Annual National Dinner of the Human Right Campaign on Oct. 10, 2009 in Washington, DC.

    Before her performance, Lady Gaga was introduced by President Barack Obama. "It's a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady Gaga," the President said. "I've made it." (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  82. Hair-raising

    Lady Gaga wore a furry, see-through creation to the Billboard Women in Music brunch, where she received the "Rising Star" award on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009 in New York.

    "Lady Gaga is one of those rare examples of a truly unique artist with mass appeal," says Bill Werde, Editorial Director of Billboard. "The whole world is waiting to see what her next outrageous but brilliant move or style will be." (Evan Agostini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  83. For the frill of it

    Lady Gaga poses for pictures at a New York press conference announcing Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, the latest addition to the Beats by Dr. Dre family of headphones from Monster Cable, on Sept. 30, 2009. (Peter Kramer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  84. Take a spike

    Lady Gaga fuses several different styles together while performing at the launch of V Magazine's V61 issue on Sept. 14, 2009 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  85. Minnie me

    Lady Gaga sported lacy headgear at an MTV Video Music Awards after party at Avenue on Sept. 13, 2009 in New York City. (Shareif Ziyadat / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  86. Thigh high

    Lady Gaga stands backstage with the best new artist award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, Sept. 13, 2009.

    Of her pantless style, the singer told Rolling Stone magazine: "My grandmother is basically blind, but she can make out the lighter parts, like my skin and hair. She says, 'I can see you, because you have no pants on.' So I’ll continue to wear no pants so that my grandma can see me.” (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  87. Face-framing

    Beyonce and Lady Gaga, in an austere white headpiece, pose together at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 13, 2009. (Frank Micelotta / Picturegroup) Back to slideshow navigation
  88. Crowning moment

    Lady Gaga, dressed in a cherry-red lace dress with matching mask, accepts the award for best new artist at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Halfway through her acceptance speech, the singer stripped off her mask and thorny crown to address the crowd. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  89. There will be (fake) blood...

    Lady Gaga shocks viewers with an eccentric, bloodied performance of her hit song "Paparazzi" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  90. Ruffling some feathers

    Lady Gaga's multiple costume changes included a black feather creation at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  91. Platinum perfection

    Lady Gaga makes a heart gesture during her appearance at IFA, the world's largest trade fair for consumer electronics and electrical home appliances, in Berlin, on Sept. 7, 2009. The New York-born singer, styled in a dramatic bob cut, presented headphone products by the company Monster. (Gero Breloer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  92. Silver surfer

    Lady Gaga perfoms in an asymmetrical getup at the V Festival on Aug. 23, 2009 at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, England. (Samir Hussein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  93. Bow wow

    Lady Gaga poses for fans upon her arrival at the Changi International Airport on Wednesday Aug. 12, 2009 in Singapore. (Bryna Djuhar / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  94. Unchained glove

    Lady Gaga shines in a glittery mini dress at the 2009 Wango Tango concert in Irvine, California, on May 9, 2009. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  95. White might

    Lady Gaga sings amidst confetti at the Z100 Jingle Ball 2008 at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 in New York. (Evan Agostini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Singer Lady Gaga appears onstage during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York
    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
    Above: Slideshow (95) Lady Gaga
  2. Image: 3rd Annual "Change Begins Within" Benefit Celebration - Arrivals
    Jason Merritt / Getty Images
    Slideshow (27) Katy Perry
  3. Gael Cooper 1970's Items
    Scott Eklund / Red Box Pictures
    Slideshow (28) 'Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?'

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