Born This Way is the second full-length studio album (and third major release) by American recording artist Lady Gaga that was 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 collaborated, 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. It also incorporates a broader range of several musical genres like opera, heavy metal, disco 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. Additionally, several publications included the album in their year-end critic lists. Born This Way received three Grammy Award nominations, including her third consecutive nomination for Album of the Year.
Internationally successful, Born This Way debuted in the top five spots in every major market, including the Billboard 200. In the United States, Born This Way sold 1.108 million copies in its first week – the largest first week album sales in five years – while the album's four singles – "Born This Way", "Judas", "The Edge of Glory", and "You and I" – went on to chart in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. "Born This Way" became the fastest-selling single in iTunes history and the promotional track "Hair" charted in sixteen countries. Gaga has performed songs from the album on different occasions, including at prominent award ceremonies including the 53rd Grammy Awards and the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as in other events and television appearances. As of October 2011, worldwide sales of the album have exceeded 8 million copies.