5 times Lady Gaga was extremely good at the piano

4 December 2020, 12:28 | Updated: 4 December 2020, 13:58

Lady Gaga at the Hurricane Relief concert in College Station, Texas
Lady Gaga at the Hurricane Relief concert in College Station, Texas. Picture: Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

She might be better known for her extraordinary mezzo voice and meat-inspired costumes, but Lady Gaga was also once accepted to study piano at Juilliard. Here are her most impressive moments on keys.

From theatrical acoustic versions to a brief flirtation with ragtime, here are Lady Gagas greatest piano performances.

  1. An acoustic piano reading of ‘Paparazzi’

    There’s nothing about this that isn’t brilliant. The dark piano opening toys with us, gradually bringing in the melody of the chorus before launching back into that stilted, staccato accompaniment. Official verdict: miles better than the original.

    Read more: Charlie Puth has perfect pitch, plays jazz piano and is a Rachmaninov stan >

    Lady Gaga - Paparazzi (Live Acoustic)

  2. A brief performance of Scott Joplin’s ‘Maple Leaf Rag’

    This came from a French TV show in 2009, when Lady Gaga was asked to crack out some classical piano on the spot – and she wasn’t even fazed. It might not have been a note-perfect performance, but no other popstar would have dared to do this. She’s a Lady for a reason.

    Read more: Classical singer appraises Lady Gaga’s Oscars performance >

    Lady gaga playing piano ragtime

  3. ‘Joanne’, the piano version

    Gaga’s stripped-down piano version of her 2016 single ‘Joanne’ is slower and far more sombre than the original. The simple piano chords add a wonderful sense of peace to the ballad, which she wrote in memory of her late aunt Joanne Germanotta. Beautiful.

    Lady Gaga - Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?) (Piano Version)

  4. An acoustic performance of ‘Poker Face’

    Gaga plays with us in this acoustic interpretation of ‘Poker Face’. She goes from jumpy staccato rhythms to booming chords, hitting us with those killer mezzo vocals over the top. She even plays with her shoe on the piano at the end, all the while dressed in a fabulously bespoke hat (of course).

    Lady Gaga - Poker Face (Piano Version)

  5. A slowed-down piano version of ‘Bad Romance’

    Lady Gaga is known for her dalliances in classical music, and the music video to her 2009 hit ‘Bad Romance’ begins with Bach’s Fugue in B minor from the Well-tempered Clavier Book I.

    But this piano version is different: it’s slowed-down, and shows off the incredible mezzo tones she has near the top of her range. Gaga, you’re doing what so many pianists and singers should be doing already.

    Read more: The epic Baroque Fugue on a Theme by Lady Gaga >

    Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Acoustic) (Live)