Born This Way is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga, released on May 23, 2011, by Interscope Records. The album is a follow-up to her internationally-successful albums The Fame (2008) and The Fame Monster (2009). As co-producer of every track on the album, Gaga collaborated with numerous producers, including RedOne and Fernando Garibay, with whom she had previously worked, and newcomers such as DJ Snake, DJ White Shadow, Jeppe Laursen, Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Clinton Sparks. She also included artists like E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons and Queen guitarist Brian May on tracks from the album.
The music of Born This Way stems from the synthpop and dance-pop oriented styles of her previous albums, yet it incorporates different forms of instrumentation which have not been used on her previous releases; electronic rock and techno are examples. It also includes a broader range of various musical genres such as opera, heavy metal, disco, house and rock and roll while its lyrical topics include sexuality, religion, freedom, feminism, and individualism. Despite dividing opinion amongst some religious and conservative commentators, the album was well received by music critics; points of acclaim went to the varying musical styles in the album and Gaga’s vocals. However, others felt Gaga was trying too hard to please everyone through the album’s self-empowerment message. Several publications included the album in their year-end critic lists. Born This Way received three Grammy Award nominations, including Gaga’s third consecutive nomination for Album of the Year.