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Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga BTW Ball Antwerp 02.jpg
Lady Gaga in September 2012
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta

(1986-03-28) March 28, 1986 (age 36)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • producer
  • philanthropist
  • actress
Net worth US$275 million
Musical career
Origin New York City, United States
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • synthesizer
  • piano
  • drums
Years active 2001–present
  • Def Jam
  • Cherrytree
  • Kon Live
  • Interscope
  • Streamline
Associated acts Tony Bennett

Lady Gaga (born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, born March 28, 1986) is an American recording artist, activist, record producer, businesswoman, fashion designer, philanthropist, and actress. She has a contralto vocal range. Her albums are The Fame, The Fame Monster, Born This Way, Artpop, Cheek to Cheek, and Joanne. She has won various Grammys and BRIT Awards. She got her stage name from the song "Radio Ga Ga" by the band Queen. She won a Golden Globe Award for her acting role in the television series American Horror Story: Hotel in 2016.

Life and career

1986–2004: Early life

Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in New York City, New York on March 28, 1986. She is the oldest child of Joseph Germanotta, an internet businessman, and Cynthia (née Bissett). She has a younger sister named Natali, who is a fashion student. Lady Gaga is of Italian and French Canadian ancestry. She learned to play piano at the age of four. She wrote her first piano song at 13. She started performing live by age 14. At the age of 11, Gaga went to the Convent of the Sacred Heart. This is a private Roman Catholic school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Her family wasn't rich. She has said that her parents "both came from lower-class families, so we've worked for everything – my mother worked eight to eight out of the house, in telecommunications, and so did my father." In high school, Gaga played lead roles in Guys and Dolls and in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Gaga said her high school life was "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined". She also said that it was "insecure". She said in an interview that, "I didn’t fit in, and I felt like a freak."

Gaga was 17 when she went to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She lived in a NYU dorm on 11th Street. She studied music. She helped to write essays on art, religion, social issues and politics. Gaga felt that she was more creative than some of her classmates. "Once you learn how to think about art, you can teach yourself," she said. By the second semester of her sophomore year, she left school to focus on her musical career. Her father agreed to pay her rent for a year, if she agreed to go back to Tisch if she failed.

2005–07: Career beginnings

In 2005, Gaga began a band called the Stefani Germanotta Band. The band played in bars.

2008–10: The Fame and The Fame Monster

Gaga started her creative team, the Haus of Gaga, in 2008. On August 19, 2008, her first album The Fame was released. Her debut album spawned the hit singles "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis), "Poker Face", "LoveGame", and "Paparazzi". The first two singles became number-one hits for Gaga in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and several other countries. Gaga's follow-up EP, The Fame Monster, was released on November 18, 2009 and contained the singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" (featuring R&B singer Beyoncé), and "Alejandro". They became hits worldwide, with all seven of these songs peaking within the top ten of the US Billboard Hot 100, and the first six singles managed to reach number one on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40/Pop Songs chart.

2011–14: Born This Way, Artpop, Cheek to Cheek, and other endeavors

Gaga released her second studio album, Born This Way, on May 23, 2011. Before that, Gaga released the song of the same name on February 11, 2011. The song debuted at number 1 in America, becoming her third number-one single there. Born This Way became Gaga's first number-one album in the United States, selling over one million copies there in its first week. Following the song "Born This Way", the singles "Judas", "The Edge of Glory", and "Yoü and I" reached the top ten in the US. The album's final single, "Marry the Night", became a top-thirty hit there.

In 2012, Gaga bought 55 items from an auction for Michael Jackson's possessions. She also released her first fragrance, Fame. The liquid of the perfume isblack but sprays clear, which is "like the soul of fame."

On November 6, 2013, Artpop was released and became Gaga's second American number-one album. The song "Applause" was released as Artpop's lead single and reached number 4 in the US and Canada, while peaking within the top ten around the world. "Do What U Want" featuring R&B singer R. Kelly was released as the album's second single, peaking at number 13 in America and number 3 in Canada. Gaga released the third single, "G.U.Y.", in March 2014. It has peaked at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In September 2014, Gaga released a collaborative album with jazz artist Tony Bennett titled Cheek to Cheek. Two singles have been released, "Anything Goes" and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love".

2015–present: Engagement, American Horror Story: Hotel, and The Hunting Ground

In 2015, Gaga was supposed to be the artist to perform the first concert in space; however, this never came into fruition. Gaga became engaged to her boyfriend, actor Taylor Kinney, over the weekend of Valentine's Day, 2015.

Throughout that year, Gaga toured with Tony Bennett to promote Cheek to Cheek. Gaga also starred in the FX series, American Horror Story: Hotel. She is working with producer RedOne again for her fifth studio album.

At the end of 2015, Gaga released the single "Til It Happens to You", co-written with songwriter Diane Warren (who has written songs for Céline Dion, Cher, and Aerosmith, among others) for the documentary The Hunting Ground. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media, along with an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

For her role in American Horror Story, Gaga won a Golden Globe Award in 2016. Gaga performed the National Anthem of the United States at Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.

Public image

Fashion and style

Lady Gaga in Rome
Rome, 2011

Gaga has a striking fashion sense. The New York Post said her early look was like "a refugee from Jersey Shore" with "big black hair, heavy eye makeup and tight, revealing clothes." Gaga has naturally brown hair. She bleached her hair blonde so she wouldn't look like Amy Winehouse.

LGBT fans

Much of Gaga's early success is due to her gay fans. She is often called a "rising gay icon." Early in her career she had trouble being played on the radio, and stated, "The turning point for me was the gay community. I've got so many gay fans and they're so loyal to me and they really lifted me up. They'll always stand by me and I'll always stand by them. It's not an easy thing to create a fanbase."


Studio albums EPs/Reissues Remix albums Soundtracks
  • The Fame (2008)
  • Born This Way (2011)
  • Artpop (2013)
  • Cheek to Cheek (with Tony Bennett) (2014)
  • Joanne (2016)
  • Chromatica (2020)
  • The Fame Monster (2009)
  • A Very Gaga Holiday (2011)
  • The Remix (2010)
  • Born This Way: The Remix (2011)
  • A Star Is Born (2018)

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