Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta , who performs under the stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and musician. She began her career as a songwriter for some of pop music's biggest stars, including Fergie, Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears and New Kids on the Block, as well as American singer and producer Akon. After Akon recognized that Gaga also had vocal talent, he signed her to a joint deal with his own label, Kon Live Distribution, and then she started to work on her own new material for her debut album.
Lady Gaga is known for her unique style, which makes us like her for standing out in a sea of Tinseltown blonde bombshells. Her individual flare, paired with her killer vocals, makes for quite the pretty package. She's often photographed wearing eccentrically revealing clothing, and has been known to forgo pants altogether.
Having learned piano by ear at the age of four, Gaga went on to write her first piano ballad at 13 and began performing at open mic nights by the age of 14. At the age of seventeen she gained early admission to the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied music. She honed her writing skills by composing essays and analytical papers focusing on topics such as art, religion and socio-political order. However, she withdrew from New York University. At age 20, she began working for Interscope Records as a songwriter, penning songs for pop acts such as the Pussycat Dolls. After she moved out of her parents' house, Gaga started performing downtown, in the Lower East Side club scene with bands Mackin Pulsifer and SGBand. Wanting to differentiate herself from the rock and roll typical of the scene, she chose to focus instead on pop music.
Gaga got her stage name when the music producer Rob Fusari compared her vocal style to that of Freddie Mercury, and took the name Gaga from the Queen song, "Radio Ga-Ga". It was Fusari who helped her to write some of her early hits, including "Disco Heaven", "Dirty Ice Cream", and "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich".
Gaga was originally signed to Def Jam when she was 19 years old; it happened after the record executive L. A. Reid heard her singing down the hallway from his office. However Gaga states Reid never met with her. "I used to wait outside his office for hours, hoping he'd take meetings with me about my songs, but it never happened." Reid dropped Gaga from the label after three months.
She was spotted a couple of years later by the music executive Vincent Herbert and signed to Interscope in January 2008. Impressed by her ear for melody and knack for spotting a great hook, various acts (Akon's Konvict label, as well as Fergie, Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears and New Kids on the Block) have hired her as a songwriter. Gaga also sparked the interest of Interscope's Chairman Jimmy Iovine in early 2007. He offered her a label deal via Streamline/Interscope and partnered her with singer-songwriter Akon. It was Akon, who, upon hearing her sing a reference vocal for one of his tracks, recognized that Gaga also had vocal talent. Akon ultimately convinced Jimmy Iovine to sign her to a joint deal with his own label, Kon Live Distribution.
Throughout 2007, Lady Gaga collaborated with the similarly named Lower East Side Rock DJ, go-go dancer and performance artist Lady Starlight, who helped Gaga create her onstage fashions. The pair began playing gigs at downtown club venues like Mercury Lounge, The Bitter End, and Rockwood Music Hall, with their live performance art piece, "Lady Gaga and The Starlight Revue". Billed as "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque RockShow", their act was a low-fi tribute to 1970's variety acts. In August 2007, Lady Gaga and The Starlight Revue were invited to play at American music festival Lollapalooza, where they shocked audiences with their wild performance. The show was critically acclaimed and their performance received rave reviews
By 2008, Gaga had relocated to Los Angeles, working closely with her record label to finalize her debut album The Fame. "The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous," she explains. "Pop culture is art. It doesn’t make you cool to hate pop culture, so I embraced it and you hear it all over The Fame. But, it’s a sharable fame. I want to invite you all to the party. I want people to feel a part of this lifestyle." For this album, Gaga also stated she "married" a lot of different genres: "from Def Leppard drums and handclaps to metal drums on urban tracks." Gaga started to work with a collective called the "Haus of Gaga," who collaborate with their muse on clothing, stage sets and sounds. "In this industry, you get a lot of stylists and producers thrown at you, but this is my own creative team, modeled on Warhol's Factory. Everyone is under 26 and we do everything together." The Fame received mostly positive reviews from critics, according to the music review aggregation of Metacritic, it has received an average score of 71 out of 100. Times Online described the album as "a fantastic mix of Bowie-esque ballads, dramatic, Queen-inspired midtempo numbers and synth-based dance tracks that poke fun at celebrity-chasing rich kids." The album's lead single, "Just Dance", was released on April 8, 2008 and has reached number one in seven countries. One of those countries was the US, where "Just Dance" started to receive radio airplay in October, and hit number one in 2009, becoming Gaga's first US number-one single. The second single, "Poker Face", was released on September 29, 2008 and has reached number one in nearly twenty countries, including almost all major music markets in the world. "Poker Face" became Gaga's second consecutive number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 2009
The Fame peaked at number one in Canada and Ireland and four in Australia. Afterward "Haus of Gaga" turned their focus further upon the US market with Gaga going on her first ever concert tour with fellow Interscope pop group, the reformed New Kids on the Block. Gaga started her stint with New Kids on the Block in Los Angeles on October 8, and continued through the end of November. She appeared as a featured guest on the song "Big Girl Now" from their new album, The Block. In late October, Gaga released The Fame in the US, where it debuted at number seventeen on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 24,000 units, and has thus far peaked at number four. On December 5, 2008, Gaga was added to the BBC Sound of 2009 longlist, which features the best rising music stars. Gaga was confirmed as the support act for Pussycat Dolls on their Europe and Oceania arena dates from January until May 2009. The tour started in Aberdeen, Scotland on January 18, and ends in Perth, Australia on May 30.
With Times Online, she stated that her love of fashion came from her mother, who was "always very well kept and beautiful". Gaga has also said she channels Versace in everything she does and considers Donatella Versace as her muse in many ways. "She's iconic and powerful, yet people throw darts at her. She's definitely provocative." Melissa Magsaysay of Los Angeles Times reported that Gaga could be Donatella's doppelgänger. Magsaysay stated "her aversion to wearing a top and bottom at the same time ... swigging champagne and being fanned by oily men in Speedos [is] very Donatella-esque". Gaga has her own creative production team called "Haus of Gaga" which she handles personally which create some of her fashion, props on stage and hair.
Towards the end of 2008, comparisons were made between the fashion sense of Gaga and American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera, noting similarities in their styling, hair and make-up. Aguilera later claimed she was "completely unaware of this person" and even "didn't know if it [Gaga] is a man or a woman". Afterward Gaga released a statement where she welcomed the comparisons because the media attention had provided useful publicity. "She's such a huge star and if anything I should send her flowers, because a lot of people in America didn't know who I was until that whole thing happened. It really put me on the map in a way." However, she later added that she doesn’t just want to be remembered for the "Christina Aguilera scandal" and that "nobody can copy me, because I can’t be copied."
Do you feel like you're embracing your real self through the music?
Yeah, I think that I really discovered who I am over the years. I realized the girl that I was so desperately trying to hide away from everyone, the girl that was always made fun of, she's actually everyone's favorite. So now she just lives, breathes, works, makes music and prospers throughout the planet.
Do you write a lot, in general?
I used to write a lot of essays and analytical art papers. I was really into writing pieces about art, religion and social order. I'd look at pop art and politics and write essays. I don't do that anymore, but I still think in that way. I applied that same kind of reckoning to the album. The album doesn't say one thing or another about fame. It explores the different, shocking orifices of fame.
What artists do you love?
Andy Warhol, Damian Hearst, Jackson Pollock and Helmut Newton. Warhol gutted pop culture like a fish. It's not my intention to make fun of pop culture; it's my intention to review it.
1. "Fringe" (1 episode, 2009)
- Bad Dreams (2009) TV episode (performer: "Starstruck" (uncredited))
2. "The Inbetweeners" (2 episodes, 2009)
- Will's Birthday (2009) TV episode (writer: "Just Dance") (performer: "Just Dance")
- Work Experience (2009) TV episode (writer: "Poker Face") (performer: "Poker Face")
3. "Dancing with the Stars" (2 episodes, 2009)
- Round Four (2009) TV episode ("Poker Face" (uncredited))
- Round 1: Part 1 (2009) TV episode ("Just Dance" (uncredited))
4. "Gossip Girl" (3 episodes, 2008-2009)
- Remains of the J (2009) TV episode (performer: "Money Honey" (uncredited))
- The Serena Also Rises (2008) TV episode (performer: "Poker Face" (uncredited))
- Summer Kind of Wonderful (2008) TV episode (performer: "Paparazzi" (uncredited))
5. "Chuck" (1 episode, 2009)
- Chuck Versus the Broken Heart (2009) TV episode (performer: "Love Game" (uncredited))
6. "No disparen al pianista" (1 episode, 2009)
- Episode #2.3 (2009) TV episode (performer: "Just Dance")
7. "Dollhouse" (1 episode, 2009)
- Ghost (2009) TV episode (performer: "Just Dance" (uncredited))
8. Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) (performer: "Fashion")
9. "Ugly Betty" (2 episodes, 2008)
- Bad Amanda (2008) TV episode (performer: "Fashion" (uncredited))
- When Betty Met YETI (2008) TV episode (performer: "Poker Face (Instrumental)" (uncredited))
10. "90210" (1 episode, 2008)
- That Which We Destroy (2008) TV episode ("Just Dance" (uncredited))
Awards and nominations
2009 "Just Dance" (with Colby O'Donis) Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording Nominated
2009 "Poker Face" MTV Australia Awards for Best Video Nominated
Herself MTV Australia Awards for Breakthrough Nominated
Birth name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Assets:Incredible body, great voice
Vices:Freakishly Deep Voice, no talent.
Genre(s) Pop, electronic
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician, DJ, Go-Go dancer
Instrument(s) Vocals, piano, synthesizer
Years active 2006–present
Label(s) Def Jam (2007)