Teaming up with Bowie's longtime friend, musical director Nile Rodgers, for the performance, Gaga hit all of the music legend's biggest songs. She sang a mashup that included, in order, "Spade Oddity," "Changes," "Ziggy Stardust," "Suffragette City," "Rebel Rebel," "Fashion," "Fame," the bass lick of "Under Pressure," "Let's Dance," and "Heroes."
The tribute dramatically opened up with a close-up on Gaga's face, which was made up to look just like the Aladdin Sane cover. Images were projected over her face, including Bowie's iconic lightning bolt, a creepy, crawly spider, and the sun. The "digital skin" technology from Intel helped the pop star adorn many different looks in one performance in real time.
Marc Jacobs designed Gaga's entire tribute look. During "Changes," she wore a light pink cape covered in Japanese letters that two dancers ripped open to reveal a glittery ivory jumpsuit embellished with silver sequins -- which she accessorized with a light peach feather, metallic organza and boa -- as dazzling astronauts floated on a screen behind her.
Even cooler? Her keyboard felt like a creation from outer space, an animatronic instrument that moved like a robot.
Despite how varied Bowie's musical history is, the entire performance felt cohesive, even as Gaga transitioned from tunes as different as "Fame" and "Let's Dance," with both sounding as if the British singer himself was on stage.
Gaga wrapped up the set with a show-stopping performance of "Heroes," with Bowie's face projected behind her. It was the perfect track to complete the stunning tribute.
Not only did Gaga do Bowie proud, she also gave us one of the most high-energy performances of the night.
During the performance, Gaga was joined on stage by a few of her closest pals, including Lady Starlight.
"My best friend, performance partner and Haus of Gaga member for ten years now! Lady Starlight, she flew out with the rest of the house for our Bowie Tribute," Gaga shared on Instagram last week. "Being super fans of his is what brought us together and bonded us over the years. She transformed herself for as long as I've known her into many of his looks, but this is my favorite."
Gaga devoted the entire night to the man who fell to Earth. The 29-year-old singer arrived to the GRAMMYs in a magical, bold blue Marc Jacobs coat-dress and neon orange hair that clearly paid homage to Ziggy Stardust.
It seems that Bowie has been on Gaga's mind quite a bit over the last few days, as she got a tattoo of his face in the wee hours of Sunday morning. She documented the entire inking process on Snapchat.
The Recording Academy first announced news of her performance earlier this month, dubbing the moment an "experiential tribute."
"We had already booked Lady Gaga on this year's show, but when David passed -- almost in a single moment -- we knew we had to change direction," GRAMMYS executive producer Ken Ehrlich said in a statement. "We immediately spoke and agreed that she should be the one to honor David. She's perfect for it. So I reached out to Nile and, before long, we were on our way to creating what we believe will not only make a great GRAMMY moment, but one befitting of David."
Bowie died on Jan. 10 at age 69 after a battle with cancer. After news of Bowie's death broke last month, Gaga took to her social media accounts to mourn the loss of the music icon.
Monday's performance marks Gaga's fourth appearance on the GRAMMYs, at which she was also nominated alongside Diane Warren for Best Song Written For Visual Media for "Til It Happens To You" from The Hunting Ground, a GRAMMY that wound up going to John Legend and Common for their song "Glory" from the film Selma.