The Fame Monster is the third extended play (EP) and second major release by American recording artist Lady Gaga. Released on November 18, 2009, the album’s eight songs were initially intended to be part of a re-release of Gaga’s debut album The Fame. However, Gaga announced that the new songs would be available as a standalone album, as she thought the re-release was too expensive and that, as the piece represents a separate conceptual and musical body of work, it does not need the songs of The Fame to support it. A Super Deluxe Fame Monster pack containing the two releases as well as additional merchandise, including a lock of her wig, was released on December 15, 2009.
The album deals with the darker side of fame, as experienced by Gaga over the course of 2008–09, while travelling around the world. They are expressed through a monster metaphor. Gaga compared the feel of her debut album and The Fame Monster with the Yin and yang concept. Cover artwork was done by Hedi Slimane and has a gothic look which Gaga had to convince her record company to allow her to shoot. The composition takes its inspiration from Gothic music and fashion shows. Contemporary critics gave the album positive reviews, with the majority of them complimenting the songs “Bad Romance”, “Telephone” and “Dance in the Dark”.
In some countries, the album charted together with The Fame. In other countries – such as the United States, Canada and Japan – it charted as a separate album. The Fame Monster has reached the top of the charts in Australia, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland and the United Kingdom, while reaching the top ten in other major markets. “Bad Romance” was released as the album’s first single, topping the Canadian, United Kingdom and Irish charts, while reaching number two in Australia, United States and Sweden.
Further singles released were “Telephone” and “Alejandro” with both of them reaching the top ten in the United States and the United Kingdom. Gaga embarked on The Monster Ball Tour to promote the album. The tour started on November 27, 2009 and will continue through May 2011. On February 13, 2011, the album and its songs received three Grammy Awards; the set as a whole was nominated for Album of the Year and won for Best Pop Vocal Album.