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One of the most successful, buzzed-about singers in all of music turns 26 years young today. Happy birthday to Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga!

The only question is how the New York native will celebrate.

From urging fans to donate money to victims of the Japanese earthquake to using her star power to promote gay rights and denounce bullying, she’s never been one to rest on her laurels – even during as self-imposed media blackout.

Lady Gaga at SAGs

This year promises to be quieter for Gaga following 2011’s release of her smash hit sophomore album Born This Way, but don’t expect her to fade away.

Not by a long shot.

Love Lady Gaga or hate her, there’s no debate over the impact this artist has had on the industry, and her immense popularity with fans is unquestioned.

Naked or clothed, with or without makeup, dressed like a slab of meat or a rumored hermaphrodite, we love us some Gaga. And we’re clearly not alone.

Here’s wishing her a happy 26th birthday, and hoping for much more entertainment in the years go come. Here are some favorite recent Lady Gaga pics: