These days it's safe to say that the costume makes the pop star. It's a critical part of her visual branding, but it's also a practical component of her live show--when thousands of people flock to see one 5-foot-something woman on a huge stage, it behooves her to wear horns, boom boxes, oscillating bras, and a 16-foot pleather train. Girl's gotta get noticed!
And noticed they are--it seems for the last few years that each pop star outdoes the last. Ladies like Gaga, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj (not to mention Rihanna, Ke$ha and many more) keep upping the ante. What's next--a singer who performs exclusively upside-down in right-side-up outfits?
Though the quantity of outlandish looks has grown of late, the idea isn't anything new. Our new icons took inspiration from David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, the men of KISS and, of course, Madonna. Stage costumes are the final result of months of planning and careful architecture by a team of talented costume designers--and we're so glad they continue to be so outrageous.
Check out our gallery of the 88 craziest stage getups through history, and tell us if we missed anyone.