“’The Fame’ is about how anyone can feel famous. 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." Lady GaGa
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Lady GaGa garnered rave reviews for her debut album, “The Fame,” which spawned the internationally smash hit singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face.” Previously, this theatrical dance-pop performer had written songs for such artists as Akon, Fergie, and Britney Spears, as well as The Pussycat Dolls and New Kids on the Block.
“Writing a record is like dating a few men at once. You take them to the same restaurants to see if they measure up and at some point you decide who you like best. When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind blowing, irresponsible, condom-less sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time.” Lady GaGa
This 5' 1" up-and-coming singer, who has been influenced by David Bowie, Queen, Madonna, and Michael Jackson, is known for her platinum blond hair and futuristic outfits. She is also a former go-go dancer who collaborated with Lower East Side Rock DJ, go-go dancer and performance artist Lady Starlight.
“I was the arty girl, the theatre chick. I dressed differently and I came from a different social class from the other girls. I was more of an average schoolgirl with a cork.” Lady GaGa
Childhood and Family:
“My grandmother is basically blind, but she can make out the lighter parts, like my skin and hair. She says, 'I can see you because you have no pants on.' So I'll continue to wear no pants so that my grandma can see me.” Lady GaGa
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 20, 1986, in Yonkers, New York, Lady GaGa got her current stage name from the song "Radio Ga-Ga" by Queen. The older daughter of Italian-American Joseph, an Internet entrepreneur, and Cynthia, a telecommunications assistant, GaGa has one younger sister. She attended the private Catholic School Convent of the Sacred Heart, an exclusive all-girls school in Manhattan which Nicky and Paris Hilton also attended.
About the Hilton sisters, GaGa recalled, “Paris and Nicky Hilton went to my school. They're very pretty and very, very clean. It's impressive to be that perfect all the time. In commercial terms, they've been quite an influence on me.”
At the age of four, GaGa first learned the piano by ear, and at 13, she wrote her first piano ballad. By the age of 14, she began performing at open mic nights, and at 17, she was one of twenty people in the world to have gained early admission to the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied music. She later withdrew from the New York University and had relocated to Los Angeles by 2008. She came out as bisexual in 2008.
“I'm really free-spirited about love and sexuality, which I think is apparent in my music and even the visuals, which are all very androgynous. But the minute you say something about who you are, people think you're just playing the 'edgy card' and that's not what I want people to think of me as. I want them to think fashion, pop culture, avant-garde, fearless; the girl who brought the straight boys into the gay club.” Lady GaGa
“I always loved rock and pop and theater. When I discovered Queen and David Bowie is when it really came together for me and I realized I could do all three. I look at those artists as icons in art. It’s not just about the music; it’s about the performance, the attitude, the look. It’s everything and that is where I live as an artist and that is what I want to accomplish.” Lady GaGa
Throughout 2007, Lady Gaga collaborated with Lower East Side Rock DJ, go-go dancer and performance artist Lady Starlight playing gigs at a number of downtown club venues. In August 2007, the pair was invited to play at the American music festival Lollapalooza, where they shocked audiences with their wild performance. The show was critically praised and their performance received rave reviews. GaGa also worked in the Lower East Side club scene performing then-hits like "Beautiful Dirty Rich." When she was 19 years old, she was originally signed to Def Jam, but was dropped after three months.
“I did this the way you are supposed to. I played every club in New York City and I bombed in every club and then killed it in every club and I found myself as an artist. I learned how to survive as an artist, get real, and how to fail and then figure out who I was as singer and performer. And, I worked hard.” Lady GaGa
In early 2008, GaGa was hired by Interscope music executive Vincent Herbert to write songs for such artists as Akon, Fergie, and Britney Spears. She also wrote for The Pussycat Dolls and New Kids on the Block. During this time, singer-songwriter and record producer Akon recognized GaGa’s vocal talent. He subsequently signed her to a joint deal with his own label, Kon Live Distribution.
GaGa soon began to work on her own material for her debut album, “The Fame,” in which she is credited for writing all the songs. The album's lead single, "Just Dance," was released on April 8, 2008, and topped over ten worldwide charts, including the U.S. Pop 100 and Hot 100. It also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 81st annual Grammy Awards, which was held in 2009. The next single, "Poker Face," was an even greater success and rose to #1 in twenty countries. It also received an MTV Australia Award nomination for Best Video. Released on August 19, 2008, the album, which also spawned the follow-up singles "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)," "Paparazzi," and "LoveGame," rose to #4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. It also topped U.S. Billboard Magazine's "Electronic Albums Chart." The album has since been certified gold.
Meanwhile, GaGa also sang at the Winter Music Conference in March 2008 and performed on the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance.” She then appeared at the Miss Universe 2008 pageant in July. In September, she made a guest appearance on MTV's “The Hills,” costarring Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, Whitney Port and Audrina Patridge.
In March 2009, GaGa embarked on a major tour supporting the album “The Fame” called “The Fame Ball Tour.” She has also donated tickets and her time to raise money for Odyssey Charter School and elementary schools in Los Angeles affected by budget cuts.
Next, GaGa will join the Pussycat Dolls in May 2009 for an Australian tour.
"When I'm writing music, I'm thinking about the clothes I want to wear on stage. It's all about everything altogether, performance art, pop performance art, fashion. For me, it's everything coming together and being a real story that will bring back the super-fan. I want to bring that back. I want the imagery to be so strong that fans will want to eat and taste and lick every part of us." Lady GaGa
GaGa, whose current fashion icons include Donatella Versace, Sharon Stone, Casino, and Grace Jones, designs and makes many of her stage outfits. She has also started working with a collective called the "Haus of Gaga," who collaborates with her 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." Lady GaGa