"Applause" is a song by American singer Lady Gaga from her third studio album, ARTPOP (2013). It was released as the album's lead single by Interscope Records on August 12, 2013. Written and produced by Gaga, DJ White Shadow, Dino Zisis and Nick Monson, additional songwriters included Martin Bresso, Nicolas Mercier, Julien Arias and William Grigahcine. "Applause" was inspired by the cheering of her fans, which kept her motivated during the months she toured with the Born This Way Ball in pain, before cancelling it due to a hip injury. It is an electropop and Eurodance song built around synthesizers and hi-NRG beats, with lyrics addressing how Gaga is dependent upon her fan's adoration and how she lives to perform.
The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its catchy chorus and favorably compared it to the material featured on Gaga's debut album, The Fame (2008). "Applause" achieved worldwide commercial success in a variety of major music markets. In the United States, the song became Gaga's twelfth top-ten (and ninth top-five) single when it peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed in the top 10 of the Hot 100 for fourteen consecutive weeks and sold over 2,580,000 copies, as of April 2015. "Applause" has been certified three-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
An accompanying music video directed by photographer duo Inez and Vinoodh was released on August 19, 2013 and broadcast on jumbo-screens across Times Square. The video received positive reviews from critics, who saw it as a profile of the artist herself and noted references to German Expressionist cinema and Andy Warhol. To promote the record, Gaga opened the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards with a performance of the song in which she dissected her career through several on-stage wardrobe changes. Many other notable live performances followed, including ones on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, as well as during Gaga's residency show at Roseland Ballroom and on the artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.