Just who is Lady Gaga? Where did she come from, and what’s up with the name “Gaga”?
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Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986, as the oldest child to Italian American parents Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta, and is a native to New York City. From an early age, as a little girl, Lady Gaga would love to sing along with Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Beatles, Queen, David Bowie and Rolling Stones recordings. When Lady Gaga was only 4, she learned how to play the piano by ear. When she was 13 she had already begun to compose her own music, including a piano ballad. By the time she turned 14, she was playing in a number of clubs in New York’s Lower East Side. In her late teens she attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
One of the more interesting aspects of Lady Gaga’s stardom is that she became famous in a very old fashion way. That is she started out by playing in clubs all around New York city, and was a tireless self-promoter. She didn’t become famous by winning a reality television show like American Idol, or by being selected and heavily promoted by a record label. Indeed she garnered her fame by hard work and determination. After moving out from her parent’s house, Lady Gaga began to experiment with drugs while being heavily involved in the club scene of New York. All the while she was working to perfect her performance. It was also during her club performances that Lady Gaga began to develop her sense of theatrical stage presence – including using hair spray set on fire – as a flashy stage device.
Originally Lady Gaga was signed with the Def Jam Recordings Label at the young age of only 19. Unfortunately that contract only lasted 3 months before she was dropped. Though her talent management company she was introduced to RedOne, who is also known as Nadir Khayat, a Moroccan – Swedish songwriter and Producer with connections to Akon. RedOne co produced one of the original early GaGa songs, a mash-up remix of Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” which was retitled “Boys, Boys, Boys”.
The birth of the “Lady Gaga” name can be traced back to when famous Music producer Rob Fusari thought that her vocal sound was very close to the vocal style of Freddie Mercury. Everytime he would see her he would begin to sing the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga”. This kept up for a while until one day when Fusari text messaged her, and tried to send her a message which read “Radio Ga Ga” but instead read “Lady Ga Ga”. The name stuck, and Stefani became Lady GaGa.
Besides her flamboyant performances and costumes, Lady Gaga also makes headlines with her sexuality by admitting that she is in fact bisexual. Indeed her top of the chart hit “poker face” is actually about her own struggles with being with a man while fantasizing that she was with a woman.
Lady Gaga’s performance style has been described as a mixture of electro-pop, rock, dance-pop and disco. Lady Gaga’s performances have a certain performance art flair as well, featuring over the top costumes and visual tricks which transform her performance focus from her singing to her performance art. There is nothing on the music scene close to Lady Gaga, and she shows every potential of becoming the next Madonna or Prince.
Image by Domain Barnyard via Flickr