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Lady Gaga performing in .
Birth name | Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Born | March 28, 1986 (1986-03-28) (age 23)
Origin | , United States
Occupation(s) | , , ,
Years active | 2006–present
(2007 - 2008)
(2008 - present), , Streamline,
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), who performs under the Lady Gaga, is an , , and . She began her career as a songwriter for established artists, including , , and , as well as American singer and producer . After Akon recognized that Gaga also had vocal talent, he signed her to a joint deal with his own label, , and then she started to work on her own new material for her debut album.
Gaga released her debut album in 2008, which she explained was "about how anyone can feel famous". To date, the album has spawned the international number one hit singles "" (nominated for at the ) and "". Gaga has been influenced by such as and as well as pop singers like and .
Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in , to Joseph Germanotta, an and his wife Cynthia, a telecommunications assistant. both of whom are . As a child, she attended the private . 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 , 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 as a , penning songs for pop acts such as the . After she moved out of her parents' house, Gaga started performing downtown, in the 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. Speaking to her father's reaction to her drug use and performance in burlesque shows, "He couldn't look at me for a few months...I was in leather thongs, so it was hard for him—he just didn't understand."
Gaga got her when the compared her vocal style to that of , and took the name Gaga from the 1984 single "". It was Fusari who helped her to write some of her early hits, including "Disco Heaven", "Dirty Ice Cream", and "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich".
2007: Career beginnings
Gaga was originally signed to when she was 19 years old; it happened after the 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.
Lady Gaga (left) and at their weekly party New York Street Revival and Trash Dance.
She was spotted a couple of years later by the music executive Vincent Herbert and signed to in January 2008. Impressed by her ear for melody and knack for spotting a great hook, various acts ('s label, as well as , , and ) have hired her as a songwriter. Gaga also sparked the interest of Interscope's Chairman in early 2007. He offered her a label deal via Streamline/Interscope and partnered her with 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, .
Throughout 2007, Lady Gaga collaborated with the similarly named , and , 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.