The Monster Ball is the second concert tour by Lady Gaga to promote The Fame Monster, her sophomore album. The tour was officially announced on October 15, 2009, after her joint concert tour with rapper Kanye West, titled "Fame Kills", was suddenly canceled. Described by Gaga as "the first-ever 'pop electro opera'", The Monster Ball Tour began four days after the release of The Fame Monster.
Initially, hip-hop artist Kanye West and Lady Gaga had plans to launch a joint tour together. Fame Kills: Starring Lady Gaga and Kanye West was confirmed in September, 2009, as a concert tour that West and Gaga would co-headline. In the aftermath of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West made a public statement that he would take a break from the music industry following the media and public reaction to his outburst during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for winning the moonman for "Best Female Video". Nevertheless, the complete schedule for the tour was released, with the tour set to begin on November 10, 2009, in Phoenix, Arizona. Shortly afterwards, the tour was officially canceled without any explanation. Gaga addressed the situation at Billboard's annual Women in Music luncheon where she cited creative differences as the reason for the tour's cancelation. In an interview she stated, "[Kanye] is going to take a break, but the good news is, I am not."
After ensuring the public that she would be embarking on a solo tour in lieu of the defunct tour, Gaga officially announced The Monster Ball Tour on October 15, 2009. The tour had originally been planned to debut in London in early 2010, but was rescheduled, and launched on November 27, 2009, in Montreal, QC. Rapper, Kid Cudi, and singer, Jason Derülo, were confirmed as the supporting act for the tour. While Cudi was confirmed to be supporting Gaga from the beginning of the tour, it was reported that Derülo would join the tour beginning on December 16, 2009. Cudi was kicked off of the tour after the December 14th show due to inappropriate behavior towards a fan. The official poster for the tour features Gaga in her signature Versace 676 sunglasses and what she has dubbed "The Orbit", which she first wore on the October 3, 2009 edition of Saturday Night Live. The contraption was designed by Nasir Mazhar in collaboration with Gaga's own creative production company, Haus of Gaga.
Fans who met Gaga after various shows confirmed that she will be releasing a 3D movie of the tour. This is one of the reasons behind the 3-D glasses included in the Super Deluxe version of The Fame Monster. On March 4, 2010, GagaDaily announced via Twitter: “The Monster Ball DVD is going to be released and it will be in 3D!” On March 8, 2010, a rep from Interscope Records released the following statement to MTV News: “there are talks about a 3D concert and DVD in the near future.”
On Febuary 14, 2011, while on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Gaga announced that there will be an HBO special of the concert. The program was filmed during Gaga's February 21-22 shows at Madison Square Garden and will be titled "Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden." HBO confirmed that the special will air on May 7, 2011 and will be directed by Laurieann Gibson.
Gaga teamed up with Terry Richardson after the photoshoot for Vogue magazine. Richardson wanted to photograph Gaga during her offstage presence, document what she did when she wasn't performing.
[Terry] wanted to do a book about the 'Monster Ball.'He wanted to shoot me backstage, not onstage, and look at who I am offstage. He's on the bus with me. He just follows me everywhere. He'll photograph me when I'm changing - those quick changes during the show.
And sometimes I'll have to pee during the show, and I'm always screaming, 'Terry, get out!' And he'll be saying, 'It's so beautiful. You're so punk!' If only my fans knew I was peeing in a beer cup backstage.
The Virgin Call Gag is a part of The Monster Ball (North American dates only) where Lady Gaga call one of her fans from the audience. Fans have to fill the form available on the Lady Virgin website and the winner will be selected during the show. The prize for those who got called was a seating shift to the mosh pit.