In October Lady GaGa released her third album Joanne, which debuted at number one on the US Billboard chart, topping off an already incredible year for the singer.

From winning a Golden Globe to paying a remarkable tribute to David Bowie at the Grammy awards, 2016 saw Gaga cement her place as one of the decade’s most important artists, while she continued to blaze her own trail in the music industry.

Lady Gaga on the red carpet at the 2016 Fashion AwardsLady Gaga on the red carpet at the 2016 Fashion Awards

In 2015 Gaga had landed her first major acting role, playing The Countess in ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ and she was determined to make an impression. Just months later she saw her dreams come true when she accepted the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.

Holding back the tears during her speech, Gaga declared: "I wanted to be an actress before I wanted to be a singer….I'm truly speechless. I truly am truly speechless. Thank you so much.”

Lady Gaga Golden GlobesGaga kisses her Golden Globe

Then in February, dressed in a red spangled suit, Gaga took center stage at Super Bowl 50 to sing the national anthem. But it was a week later that Gaga took on what was probably the hardest performance of her career, paying tribute to the late David Bowie at the Grammy Awards.

Bowie’s death the month prior had shaken the music industry, but for Gaga his passing was even more personal. “I feel like my whole career is a tribute to David Bowie,” Gaga had told NPR after the ceremony.

Lady Gaga GrammysGaga paid tribute to Bowie with a career-spanning performance at the Grammys

During her tribute she powered through ten of Bowie's most iconic songs, from ‘Space Oddity’ to ‘Heroes’. The performance was also laced with special effects, as she channelled the late singer in an orange wig and white jumpsuit.

While it wasn’t to every Bowie fan’s taste (some preferred Lorde’s stripped back performance of ‘Life on Mars’ at the Brit Awards), Gaga’s tribute reminded us all of the legacy Bowie left behind and the doors he had opened to allow performers like Gaga to merge art and music on stage.

Lady Gaga wearing a skimpy outfitGaga's yet to leave behind the daring outfits

In March Gaga delivered a very different, but just as emotional performance at the Academy Awards. Her song, ‘Til It Happens to You’ had been nominated for Best Original Song after its use in documentary The Hunting Ground, about sexual assault on collage campuses.

Introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, Gaga performed with only a piano for accompaniment and was joined on stage a group of sexual-assault survivors.

Lady Gaga seen at the 2014 AMA'sGaga rocks and all white outfit back in 2014

Gaga, herself a survivor of sexual assault, has since become a powerful voice for fellow survivors, after opening up about the trauma and chronic pain she still suffers as the result of an attack at age 19.

She later got a group tattoo with the 50 men and women who had joined her onstage on Oscar night. “I ended up getting the tattoo because it was what they said to me that made me feel the pain was lessening,” she said about the inking. “My healing process has now begun because I’ve told somebody and I know I’m not alone.”

Lady Gaga singing on stage at the Victoria Secret show in ParisLady Gaga singing on stage in 2016 at the Victoria Secret show in Paris

In September Gaga finally released ‘Perfect Illusion’, her first single from Joanne. Many fans thought the song addressed her recent and abrupt split from fiancé Taylor Kinney, who she had been dating since 2011, but Gaga later confirmed it wasn’t a direct response to the relationship’s demise.

Joanne, Gaga’s fifth studio album, marked a new, more stripped back sound than her previous work. Lyrically, the album was intensely personal, with Gaga naming it after her father’s sister Joanne, who had died before the singer was born.

Lady Gaga pulling off a Dolly Parton-esque lookJoanne has a distinct country music influence

“I wanted to do the things that made me fall in love with music in the first place,”  Gaga told Yahoo about the writing of Joanne. “This transition in my career is me embarking on a new journey with Joanne in my heart, and I’m hoping I can connect with the world on a deeper level.”

Wherever Gaga’s journey takes her next, 2016 has show the world the true artist that lies behind the costumes and wigs. Gaga is now most definitely back and with her Super Bowl half time performance coming in February, fans already have plenty to look forward over the next 12 months.