- Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in Manhattan New York in 1986.
- She started playing the piano at age 4, and wrote her first piece for the piano at 13. In high school, she performed in school plays, and she studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute for 10 years. At 17, she entered the CAP21, a New York musical training conservatory at NYU. She left during the second semester of her sophomore year in 2005 to focus on a music career.
- In 2005, Lady Gaga recorded two songs with hip hop singer Grandmaster Melle Mel for a children’s audio book. She formed a band, called the Stefani Germanotta Band, and played at gigs around New York. Music producer Rob Fusari learned of her, and helped her develop new songs. Fusari started calling her “GaGa”, and one day texted to her about the Queen song Radio Ga Ga, which his phone auto-corrected to “Lady Gaga.” Germanotta liked it, and started using it as her moniker.
- She produced some electropop demo songs, and she signed with Def Jam Records in September 2006. After 3 months, they dropped her. She was devastated, and went home to the nightlife of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
- Gaga soon met performance artist Lady Starlight, and they began to perform “The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow” together at downtown clubs. They also performed at the 2007 Lollapalooza Festival, winning praise from the critics. Her music evolved to pop melodies in the style of glam rock. Her work was noticed and she was signed to another record label. At first, she was hired to write songs for Britney Spears and New Kids on the Block, but soon her own vocal skills were recognized. By late 2007, she was co-writing songs with other producer/songwriters, working on her debut album.
- In August 2008, that debut album was released – The Fame. It was a huge success, selling over 15 million copies worldwide. Top 10 singles from The Fame were Just Dance (#1), Poker Face (#1), Love Game (#5) and Paparazzi (#6). Poker Face was the biggest selling single of 2009. Gaga won 2 Grammy awards for her work.
- The EP The Fame Monster was released in 2009. It included several other huge singles – Bad Romance, Telephone (featuring Beyonce) and Alejandro. Bad Romance sold 12 million singles worldwide, and Lady Gaga became the first artist to exceed 1 billion views on YouTube. She won 3 more Grammy awards for The Fame Monster.
- In 2010, a remix album was released, which included remixes for the songs from The Fame and The Fame Monster, as produced by various DJs from around the world. It sold over half a million albums, one of the largest selling remix albums ever.
- Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour from November 2009 to May 2011 grossed $227 million and was watched by 2.5 million people. It was described by her as “the first ever pop-electro opera.”
- In 2011, she released her next album, Born This Way. The single of the same name sold 1 million copies in 5 days – at the time, the fastest selling single on iTunes of all time. The album and single both hit #1 on the Billboard charts. The singles Judas, The Edge of Glory and You and I all reached top 10 status.
- Her next 2 albums were ArtPop and Cheek to Cheek. Artpop is similar to her earlier albums in that it heavily features electronic dance music, emphasizing her powerful singing skills. Cheek to Cheek is a significant change, in that it is a jazz album where she sings duets with Tony Bennett. It won a Grammy award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Another album with Bennett, Love For Sale, won a Grammy award in the same category in 2022.
- Today, Gaga is hard at work changing her image. She is performing different music – for example, at the Academy Awards in 2015, she sang a medley of songs from The Sound of Music. Her performance of The Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl 50 was stunning. She was the headliner for the half time show on Super Bowl 51, watched by 117 million people worldwide. The performance earned her an Emmy nomination.
- She is acting, and is involved in fashion endeavors. Her performance as a hotel owner in the FX horror anthology American Horror Story: Hotel earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. It also influenced her last studio album, Joanne, released in 2016. The album is stripped down compared to her earlier pop albums, emphasizing her vocal abilities. The title track led to another Grammy award, for Best Pop Solo Performance.
- In 2018, she starred in the film A Star Is Born. Her musical contributions to the film led to an Academy and Golden Globe award for Best Song (Shallow), and 4 more Grammy awards. In 2021, she won her twelfth Grammy along with Ariana Grande for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for Rain On Me.
- Her philanthropic work is significant. She has given millions to causes, ranging from Haiti and Japan earthquake relief to HIV and AIDS issues to LGBT rights to youth empowerment through her Born This Way Foundation.
- Lady Gaga is provocative, daring, and willing to push the envelope for her creative art. No doubt she’s earned millions of fans because of her trailblazing approach – and because her songs are so good. Here’s the video to Bad Romance – to those of you who haven’t watch Lady Gaga before, I encourage you to watch with an open mind! It is not like anything you’ve seen before!
4 thoughts on “Lady Gaga”
A lot of great dancing memories to Gaga’s music!
Cool to learn a bit of her story. Thanks Mark!
Oh my gosh, I LOVE her! All the times I’ve danced to this song and never watched the video! Had to laugh out loud at the ending!
It is a pretty raunchy video!
Lady Gaga is the greatest musician on Earth presently. Stephanie has a wide range and is wonderful to listen to.