Biography: Lady Gaga
“Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are”. These are the inspiring words of Lady Gaga, one of the biggest names in music today. Of course, Lady Gaga isn’t her real name. On the 28th of March 1986 in Yonkers, New York, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was brought into this world by Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta. Stefani, now known as Lady Gaga, has always shown a strong passion for music and has aspired to become a great musician ever since she was little. She has met both praises and criticisms throughout her career and yet she still moves on and continues to reach out to people. Lady Gaga has been an influence to people through her meaningful songs and intense fashion sense.
Growing up in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Lady Gaga has demonstrated the passion for music. She taught herself to play the piano by ear as early as four years old. By the age of eleven, Lady Gaga was accepted into the Julliard School in Manhattan which is one of the most prestigious schools of music and arts. Although this was a great opportunity for her, Lady Gaga chose to attend the Convent of the Sacred Heart instead, a private Catholic school in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Her love for musical theatre made her join school musicals and even portrayed lead roles. Like any other teenager in high school, Lady Gaga had insecurities. She was ridiculed for being different and this made her feel like she didn’t fit in. This didn’t prevent her from studying music and performance, writing her first ballad when she was thirteen and carrying out her first ever performance at a club in New York when she was fourteen. When she was 17, Lady Gaga was one of only 20 talented students in the world to be granted early admission to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. There, she continued to study music and art, and practiced her songwriting skills. Two years later, she withdrew from school in order to focus on her musical career and discover more creative inspiration. By doing so, she worked three jobs, including being a go-go dancer, in order to get by living on her own. Since Lady Gaga “wanted to try something different and unique, she decided to do something provocative in the music scene by being an exhibitionist, theatrical performer” (“Lady GaGa Biography”). Her early teen years showed how much talent she had and how she strived to be different and better herself to achieve her dreams. In 2005, Lady Gaga was signed by Def Jam Records but she switched to writing more upbeat pop songs to try something new which cost her to get dropped just a few months after signing. This fueled her to perform on her own and to start experimenting with fashion. Lady Gaga has “attributed the inspiration for her name to the Queen song, ‘Radio Ga-Ga’” (“Lady Gaga Biography.com”). This shows that Lady Gaga was not only talented, she was creative as well. At the age of 20, Lady Gaga worked at Interscope Records as a songwriter. Only a year after working as a songwriter for other artists on the label such as the Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears, Lady Gaga was on her way to becoming one of the world’s biggest pop stars.
Moreover, Lady Gaga worked her way up from a striving songwriter to an international pop sensation. She was discovered by Akon and was signed to his label right after being impressed by her vocal abilities. In 2007, she recorded The Fame, her debut album, which was then released in August 2008. She achieved fame not only domestically but also internationally from The Fame and she became a major force in the music industry within a short period. However, this was just the beginning of Lady Gaga’s career. After receiving success and positive reviews, her album sold more than twelve million records worldwide and reached number two in the United States and number one in six other countries. The Fame was nominated for Album of the Year and her songs swept the world within a few months and reached out to millions of fans. Through March to September 2009, Lady Gaga went on The Fame Ball Tour, her first worldwide concert tour. During those six months of traveling the world, she wrote her second album The Fame Monster which was released in November of that year. This album earned her a second nomination for Album of the Year and it also received a total of six nominations and won for Best Pop Vocal Album. Achieving similar success as her debut album, The Fame Monster gave Lady Gaga the opportunity to go on The Monster Ball Tour, her second worldwide concert tour. The tour was one of the highest grossing concert tours of all time earning over $227.4 million. She received so much praises and recognition that “she was asked to open the tour for Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert series before the legendary pop singer died” (“Lady GaGa Biography”). Lady Gaga has been successful throughout her career because of her talent, not to mention she doesn’ consider herself as a celebrity; she believes that she is a musician. In addition, On May of 2011, Lady Gaga released her third album Born This Way which sold over a million copies within the first week of release. On the other hand, although Lady Gaga’s rise to fame seems smooth sailing, she had many people criticizing her image and trying to bring her down. After the release of the music video of one of her songs, the Catholic League then “attacked her for her alleged use of blasphemy” (“Lady GaGa Biography”). Her music videos are controversial and catch the attention of many. Although people find her message controversial, Lady Gaga still shows her dedication towards spreading it worldwide despite all the criticism. She highlights that people have no right to bring other down because everyone was born different from each other and just the way they were supposed to be.
Furthermore, the list of awards and achievements that Lady Gaga has earned throughout her career is as long as the heels that she wears. As of March of last year, she has received about 200 nominations and has won over 90 awards. She was named Queen of Pop in 2011 by Rolling Stone and she is the first artist to have a billion views on YouTube. Besides her successful career in music, Lady Gaga has helped various charities and has been an inspiring influence to her millions of fans. She donated all the proceeds of one of her concerts and her profits from her online store to the victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010. She has launched a line of lipstick and donated all the proceeds to MAC Cosmetics’ campaign to fight against HIV and AIDS. Last year, she started the Born This Way Foundation, her own non-profit organization which focuses on issues such as anti-bullying and self confidence. Lady has influenced millions of people throughout her career. She finds news ways to publicize herself and her strategy is paying off. Lady Gaga’s “next move is anyone’s guess –trying to predict her future would be as futile as trying to read her poker face” (“Lady Gaga rollingstone.com”). Lady Gaga doesn’t focus on what people expect from her; instead they expect something unexpected from her. People admire her love for fashion and her ability to use it to enhance her performance. It is obvious that Lady Gaga likes to dress –in bubbles, blood, and even meat. With the help of Haus of Gaga, her own creative team, Lady Gaga doesn’t fail to come up with eye-popping and unusual outfits which demonstrate distinctiveness and individuality. Moreover, a large group of Lady Gaga’s fans are from the gay community. She has attributed most of her success to the support of her gay fans, and “relates to her misfit fans because she felt like a freak growing up” (“Lady Gaga rollingstone.com”). She is criticized for being different and she knows what many teens go through facing discrimination and prejudice. She has become a great advocate for lesbians and gays, revealing her bisexuality in her popular song “Poker Face”. Lady Gaga pushes people to become who they wanted to be. She supports everyone and is against discrimination against people who chose to express themselves in a different manner.
Overall, Lady Gaga has been a great influence to people worldwide because of her popular and upbeat music, her extreme yet controversial fashion style, as well as how much she gives back to humanity. She sets an example that anyone can be whoever they want to be if they put enough effort into it. Also, she gives people the confidence to be who they are no matter what disapproval they may get from other people.