“Born This Way” and Beyond: The Inside Story Behind Some of Lady Gaga’s Biggest Hits

“The Edge of Glory” (2011)

For Born This Way‘s third single, released just weeks before the album in full on May 23, 2011, this euphoric electro-rock and disco-inspired track was shared, featuring an instantly iconic saxophone solo from Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band. Clemons would die a month after it dropped at the age of 69.

“Her father’s a big E Street, Bruce Springsteen guy, you know? So she grew up listening to that. And as I started developing the song, she was like, ‘I really want a saxophone solo or really want, you know, [a] solo on this.’ I don’t even know was first: sax, trumpet, whatever. I don’t really remember how that started, but somebody was like, ‘Let’s call Clarence Clemons, man. See what he says.’ And sure as s–t, he came rolling in pretty shortly after,” Blair recalled with a laugh. “We were all like, ‘Wait a minute.’ It was a crazy. I remember I don’t think I said one word that whole day to be honest with you because there’s certain times where you’re standing there and it’s like, ‘What is happening right now?’ I was like, ‘Is this dude really sitting here like eating lunch with me and then he’s just gonna go play a solo here on this thing that we started making or whatever?’

“It’s pretty surreal. And I think that no matter who you are in the world, I don’t care how far up the river you are, you still get excited to work with people and see people and talk to people about their musical journey. We’re all huge fans of him as an individual musician and then also of the band, so somebody just said, ‘Let’s try it.’ And it happened.”

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