This year can be marked as the year of the celebrated return of Lady Gaga into the pop culture fold. With her latest album, Joanne, she delivered a personal piece that marked a stylistic turn from her earlier work. Along with her revved up Joanne dive bar tour, the singer returned to the American Horror Story franchise and made her political presence known in her campaigning for Hillary Clinton. All things considered, it's been a banner year for her. We might be able to consider Gaga's performance at the American Music Awards on Sunday night to be the victory lap. But what song did she actually choose to perform at the awards show? It's been a mystery for ever since her performance was announced, but now we finally know.
Choosing to perform "Million Reasons" ensured that Gaga's performance at the awards ceremony was nothing short of beautiful. We know that her body of work is extensive, but performing "Million Reasons" from Joanne struck just the right notes. She kept her performance very low-key, choosing a simple set — an open field and a starry sky — and rocked a cowgirl outfit and bare feet. By keeping it acoustic, she once again showed us that the real power of her performance is in her voice. It was undeniable as she brought the house down on Sunday night at the AMA's.
Joanne has been a boundary-breaker of an album, if only because it has covered so many topics that leave fans more connected than ever to Gaga herself. "Come To Mama" is a song that discusses the need for boundless unity and love in this uncertain world, with the singer styling herself as the titular mother figure. "Hey Girl" is a pure feminist anthem about women lifting up and loving each other. "Joanne" is a soft, '70s-inspired folk ode about her aunt. "Perfect Illusion," which may or may not be about her ex-fiancé Taylor Kinney, celebrates the pain and pleasure of things seen and unseen.
That's only a small run-down of a portion of Joanne, but in doing so it becomes evident rather quickly that Joanne is one of the best albums of 2016.
While a little unexpected, "Million Reasons" was the absolute best choice for Gaga to perform at the AMAs. A truly heartfelt song, it showcased the absolute best parts of Gaga and reminded us why she is truly one of the most talented musicians working today.