Carly Lane
Updated Mar 28, 2015 @ 10:45 am

Today our Lady Gaga turns 29. Can you believe she’s not even 30 and she’s already sold over 27 millions albums, won 6 Grammys and elevated the concept of pop star style to outrageous levels of artistic expression? Not too shabby. The thing about Gaga is that you never know what to expect, but you know she’ll deliver—whether she’s crooning with Tony Bennett at the Grammys or reviving the The Sound of Music at the Oscars.

That Oscar performance, in particular, made everyone stop and take notice of her all over again. It was perfectly understated — no dancing, no props. Just Gaga, the music, and an audience watching in awe. (It was the most tweeted moment during the telecast.)

Sure, she blew everyone away with her vocal performance, but mother monster has always been phenomenal and inspiring on stage — a representation of a true artist. In celebration of all things Gaga (and because it’s her birthday!), we thought we’d take a look at some of her other most memorable performances. Please observe:

Who could forget Gaga’s entrance — cocooned in a giant egg, before she proceeds to hatch and give what was unquestionably one of the best parts of the night? The moment when she strides over to the piano to hammer down a few chords is absolutely priceless. It’s a reminder that when you’re watching a Gaga performance, she brings the energy from start to finish, and you’re left feeling pretty breathless as a result. (Watch the performance here.)

Once again, Gaga proves that a simple, stripped rendition of her song packs just as much of a punch as the ones backed by an entire band. The emotion with which she sings is pretty impossible to deny or ignore, and “Speechless” is one of those songs that leaves you with a lump in your throat while you’re trying to sing along. I watch Lady Gaga in a pair of jeans playing the piano all night and be completely content with that. (Watch the performance here.)

This was Gaga’s big comeback performance after being sidelined due to hip surgery in February 2013, and when she took the stage in August, there was no denying that we were all happy to have her back. From the first few notes of the song, her eyes are enough to pull you in. From then on, it’s a whirlwind of perfectly timed costume changes and flawless dance moves. This is Gaga the performer, and you’d better hold on for the ride. (Watch the performance here.)

Even though she was wearing a spinning apparatus, it didn’t stop her from taking a seat at the piano and delivering a flawlessly live performance on SNL. Every time I want to direct someone to a Gaga moment when they start to question her talent, I pick this one. You can’t argue with this. It’s irrefutable, and her glowing tribute to the city she grew up in, at the end of the medley, is enough to make any New Yorker proud. (Watch her performance here.)

Look, Gaga’s had a great year, a slew of great years. And we can expect a lot more from her at 29. She even Instagrammed some wise words about her birthday yesterday, writing: “Thank you 28, every year I get a little tougher. A little stronger. Even if at first I feel weary, or weaker. Beautiful life always challenges us to see that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of who we are. I’m just getting started. I gotta a whole lotta fight left in me.”

We believe it and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

(Featured image via, via, via, via, via)