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Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born: March 28, 1986 (1986-03-28) [age 34]), better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She is known for her unconventionality, provocative work and visual experimentation. Gaga began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a music career. When Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where Akon helped her sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own label KonLive Distribution in 2007. She rose to prominence the following year with her debut album, the electropop record The Fame, and its chart-topping singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), featuring the singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro", was also successful.

Gaga's second full-length album, Born This Way (2011), explored electronic rock and techno-pop. It peaked atop the US Billboard 200 and sold more than one million copies in the country in its first week. Its title track became the fastest selling song on the iTunes Store with over a million downloads in less than a week. Gaga experimented with EDM on her third studio album, Artpop (2013), which reached number one in the US and included the single "Applause". Her collaborative jazz album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek (2014), and her soft rock-influenced fifth studio album, Joanne (2016), also topped the US charts. During this period, Gaga ventured into acting, playing leading roles in the miniseries American Horror Story: Hotel (2015–2016), for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, and the critically acclaimed musical drama A Star Is Born (2018). She also contributed to the latter's soundtrack, which received the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and made her the first woman to achieve five US number one albums in the 2010s. Its lead single, "Shallow", earned Gaga the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Having sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles as of January 2016, Gaga is one of the world's best-selling music artists. Her achievements include several Guinness world records, nine Grammy Awards, and awards from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. She has been declared Billboard's Artist of the Year and Woman of the Year, and included among Forbes's power and earnings rankings. She was ranked number four on VH1's Greatest Women in Music in 2012 and second on Time's 2011 readers' poll of the most influential people of the past ten years. She is known for her philanthropy and social activism, including her work related to LGBT rights, and for her nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on empowering youth and preventing bullying.

Life and Career

1986-2004: Early Life

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986 at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, to a Catholic family. Both of her parents have Italian ancestry, and she also has more distant French-Canadian roots. Her parents are Cynthia Louise (née Bissett), a philanthropist and business executive, and Internet entrepreneur Joseph Germanotta, and she has a younger sister, Natali. Brought up in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Gaga said in an interview that her parents came from lower-class families and worked hard for everything. From age 11, she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private all-girls Roman Catholic school. Gaga described her high school self as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure". She considered herself a misfit and was mocked for "being either too provocative or too eccentric".

Germanotta began playing the piano at age four when her mother insisted she become "a cultured young woman". She took piano lessons and practiced through her childhood. The lessons taught her to create music by ear, which she preferred over reading sheet music. Her parents encouraged her to pursue music, and enrolled her in Creative Arts Camp. As a teenager, she played at open mic nights. Germanotta played the lead roles of Adelaide in the plays Guys and Dolls and Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Regis High School. She also studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for ten years. Germanotta unsuccessfully auditioned for New York shows, though she did appear in a small role as a high school student in a 2001 episode of The Sopranos titled "The Telltale Moozadell". She later said of her inclination towards music:

I don't know exactly where my affinity for music comes from, but it is the thing that comes easiest to me. When I was like three years old, I may have been even younger, my mom always tells this really embarrassing story of me propping myself up and playing the keys like this because I was too young and short to get all the way up there. Just go like this on the low end of the piano ... I was really, really good at piano, so my first instincts were to work so hard at practicing piano, and I might not have been a natural dancer, but I am a natural musician. That is the thing that I believe I am the greatest at.

In 2003, at age 17, Germanotta gained early admission to Collaborative Arts Project 21, a music school at New York University (NYU)'s Tisch School of the Arts, and lived in an NYU dorm. She studied music there, and improved her songwriting skills by writing essays on art, religion, social issues and politics, including a thesis on pop artists Spencer Tunick and Damien Hirst. She withdrew from school during the second semester of her sophomore year, in 2005, to focus on her music career. That year she also played an unsuspecting diner customer for MTV's Boiling Points, a prank reality television show.

In a 2014 interview, Gaga said she had been raped at age 19, for which she underwent mental and physical therapy. She has post traumatic stress disorder that she attributes to the incident, and says that support from doctors, family and friends has helped her.

2005-2007: Career Beginnings

In 2005, Gaga recorded two songs with hip-hop singer Melle Mel for an audio book accompanying Cricket Casey's children's novel The Portal in the Park. She also formed a band called the SGBand with some friends from NYU. They played gigs around New York and became a fixture of the downtown Lower East Side club scene. After the 2006 Songwriters Hall of Fame New Songwriters Showcase at The Cutting Room in June, talent scout Wendy Starland recommended her to music producer Rob Fusari. Fusari collaborated with Gaga, who traveled daily to New Jersey, helping to develop her songs and compose new material. The producer said they began dating in May 2006, and claimed to have been the first person to call her "Lady Gaga", which was derived from Queen's song "Radio Ga Ga". Their relationship lasted until January 2007.

Fusari and Gaga established a company called Team Lovechild, LLC to promote her career. They recorded and produced electropop tracks, sending them to music industry executives. Joshua Sarubin, the head of Artists and repertoire (A&R) at Def Jam Recordings, responded positively and, after approval from Sarubin's boss Antonio "L.A." Reid, Gaga was signed to Def Jam in September 2006. She was dropped from the label three months later and returned to her family home for Christmas. She began performing at neo-burlesque shows, which according to her represented freedom. During this time, she met performance artist Lady Starlight, who helped mold her onstage persona. The pair began performing at downtown club venues like the Mercury Lounge, The Bitter End, and the Rockwood Music Hall. Their live performance art piece, known as "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue" and billed as "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow", was a tribute to 1970s variety acts. They performed at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival.

Having initially focused on avant-garde electronic dance music, Gaga began to incorporate pop melodies and the glam rock style of David Bowie and Queen into her songs. While Gaga and Starlight were performing, Fusari continued to develop the songs he had created with her, sending them to the producer and record executive Vincent Herbert. In November 2007, Herbert signed Gaga to his label Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, established that month. Gaga later credited Herbert as the man who discovered her. Having served as an apprentice songwriter during an internship at Famous Music Publishing, Gaga struck a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV. As a result, she was hired to write songs for Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, Fergie, and The Pussycat Dolls. At Interscope, musician Akon was impressed with her singing abilities when she sang a reference vocal for one of his tracks in studio. Akon convinced Jimmy Iovine, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M, to form a joint deal by having Gaga also sign with his own label KonLive, making her his "franchise player".

In late 2007, Gaga met with songwriter and producer RedOne. She collaborated with him in the recording studio for a week on her debut album, signing with Cherrytree Records, an Interscope imprint established by producer and songwriter Martin Kierszenbaum; she also wrote four songs with Kierszenbaum. Despite securing a record deal, she said that some radio stations found her music too "racy", "dance-oriented", and "underground" for the mainstream market, to which she replied: "My name is Lady Gaga, I've been on the music scene for years, and I'm telling you, this is what's next."

2008-2010: Breakthrough with The Fame and The Fame Monster

By 2008, Gaga had relocated to Los Angeles to work extensively with her record label to complete her debut album, The Fame, and to set up her own creative team called the Haus of Gaga, modeled on Andy Warhol's Factory. The Fame was released on August 19, 2008, and reached number one in Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK, as well as the top five in Australia and the US. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", reached number one in the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK. The latter was also the world's best-selling single of 2009, with 9.8 million copies sold that year, and spent a record 83 weeks on Billboard magazine's Digital Songs chart. Three other singles, "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", "LoveGame" and "Paparazzi", were released from the album; the last one reached number one in Germany. Remixed versions of the singles from The Fame, except "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", were included on Hitmixes in August 2009. At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, The Fame and "Poker Face" won Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Dance Recording, respectively.

Following her opening act on the Pussycat Dolls' 2009 Doll Domination Tour in Europe and Oceania, Gaga headlined her worldwide The Fame Ball Tour, which ran from March to September 2009. While traveling the globe, she wrote eight songs for The Fame Monster, a reissue of The Fame. Those new songs were also released as a standalone EP on November 18, 2009. Its first single, "Bad Romance", was released one month earlier and went number one in Canada and the UK, and number two in the US, Australia and New Zealand. "Telephone", with Beyoncé, followed as the second single from the EP and became Gaga's fourth UK number one. Its third single was "Alejandro", which reached number one in Finland, and attracted controversy when its music video was deemed blasphemous by the Catholic League. Both tracks reached the top five in the US. The video for "Bad Romance" became the most watched on YouTube in April 2010, and that October, Gaga became the first person with more than one billion combined views. At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, she won eight awards from 13 nominations, including Video of the Year for "Bad Romance". She was the most nominated artist for a single year, and the first female to receive two nominations for Video of the Year at the same ceremony. The Fame Monster won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, and "Bad Romance" won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.

In 2009, Gaga spent a record 150 weeks on the UK Singles Chart and became the most downloaded female act in a year in the US, with 11.1 million downloads sold, earning an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. The Fame and The Fame Monster together have since sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. This success allowed Gaga to start her second worldwide concert tour, The Monster Ball Tour, and release The Remix, her final record with Cherrytree Records and among the best-selling remix albums of all time. The Monster Ball Tour ran from November 2009 to May 2011 and grossed $227.4 million, making it the highest-grossing concert tour for a debut headlining artist. Concerts performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City were filmed for an HBO television special, Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Gaga also performed songs from her albums at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance, the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, and the 2010 BRIT Awards. Before Michael Jackson's death, Gaga was set to take part in his canceled This Is It concert series at the O2 Arena in the UK.

During this era, Gaga ventured into business, collaborating with consumer electronics company Monster Cable Products to create in-ear, jewel-encrusted headphones called Heartbeats by Lady Gaga. She also partnered with Polaroid in January 2010 as their creative director and announced a suite of photo-capture products called Grey Label. Her collaboration with her past record producer and ex-boyfriend Rob Fusari led to a lawsuit against her production team, Mermaid Music LLC. At this time, Gaga was tested borderline positive for lupus, but claimed not to be affected by the symptoms and hoped to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

2011-2014: Born This Way, Artpop, and Cheek to Cheek

In February 2011, Gaga released "Born This Way", the lead single from her studio album of the same name. The song sold more than one million copies within five days, earning the Guinness World Record for the fastest selling single on iTunes. It debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 1,000th number-one single in the history of the charts. Its second single "Judas" followed two months later, and "The Edge of Glory" served as its third single. Both reached the top 10 in the US and the UK. Her music video for "The Edge of Glory", unlike her previous work, portrays her dancing on a fire escape and walking on a lonely street, without intricate choreography and back-up dancers.

Born This Way was released on May 23, 2011, and debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.1 million copies. The album sold eight million copies worldwide and received three Grammy nominations, including Gaga's third consecutive nomination for Album of the Year. Born This Way's following singles were "You and I" and "Marry the Night", which reached numbers six and 29 in the US, respectively. While filming the former's music video, Gaga met and started dating actor Taylor Kinney in July 2011, who played her love interest. She also embarked on the Born This Way Ball tour in April 2012, which was scheduled to conclude the following March, but ended one month earlier when Gaga canceled the remaining dates due to a labral tear of her right hip that required surgery. While refunds for the cancellations were estimated to be worth $25 million, the tour grossed a total of $183.9 million globally.

In 2011, Gaga also worked with Tony Bennett on a jazz version of "The Lady Is a Tramp", with Elton John on "Hello Hello" for the animated feature film Gnomeo & Juliet, and with The Lonely Island and Justin Timberlake on "3-Way (The Golden Rule)". She also performed a concert at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia that year to promote Born This Way and to celebrate former US President Bill Clinton's 65th birthday. In November, she was featured in a Thanksgiving television special titled A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, which attracted 5.7 million American viewers and spawned the release of her fourth EP, A Very Gaga Holiday. In 2012, Gaga guest-starred as an animated version of herself in an episode of The Simpsons called "Lisa Goes Gaga", appeared in the documentary films The Zen of Bennett and Katy Perry: Part of Me, and released her first fragrance, Lady Gaga Fame, followed by a second one, Eau de Gaga, in 2014.

Gaga began work on her third studio album, Artpop, in early 2012, during the Born This Way Ball tour; she crafted the album to mirror "a night at the club". In August 2013, Gaga released the album's lead single "Applause", which reached number one in Hungary, number four in the US, and number five in the UK. A lyric video for Artpop track "Aura" followed in October to accompany Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, where she plays an assassin named La Chameleon. The film received generally negative reviews and earned less than half of its $33 million budget. The second Artpop single, "Do What U Want", featured singer R. Kelly and was released later that month, topping the charts in Hungary and reaching number 13 in the US. Gaga removed the song from all streaming platforms in 2019 in the light of allegations made against Kelly sexually abusing several women; Gaga apologized for ever collaborating with him. Artpop was released in November 2013 to mixed reviews. Helen Brown in The Daily Telegraph criticized Gaga for making another album about her fame and doubted the record's originality, but found it "great for dancing". The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, and sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide as of July 2014. "G.U.Y." was released as the third single in March 2014 and peaked at number 76 in the US.

Gaga hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in November 2013, performing "Do What U Want" (with Kelly) and an album cut, "Gypsy". After holding her second Thanksgiving Day television special on ABC, Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular, she performed a special rendition of "Do What U Want" with Christina Aguilera on the fifth season of the American reality talent show The Voice. In March 2014, Gaga had a seven-day concert residency commemorating the last performance at New York's Roseland Ballroom before its closure. Two months later, she embarked on the ArtRave: The Artpop Ball tour, building on concepts from her ArtRave promotional event. Earning $83 million, the tour included cities canceled from the Born This Way Ball tour itinerary. In the meantime, Gaga split from longtime manager Troy Carter over "creative differences", and by June 2014, she and new manager Bobby Campbell joined Artist Nation, the artist management division of Live Nation Entertainment. She briefly appeared in Rodriguez's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and was confirmed as Versace's spring-summer 2014 face with a campaign called "Lady Gaga For Versace".

In September 2014, Gaga released a collaborative jazz album with Tony Bennett titled Cheek to Cheek. The inspiration behind the album came from her friendship with Bennett, and fascination with jazz music since her childhood. Before the album was released, it produced the singles "Anything Goes" and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love". Cheek to Cheek received generally favourable reviews; The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan praised Gaga's vocals and Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune wrote that "Cheek to Cheek serves up the real thing, start to finish". The record was Gaga's third consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200, and won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The duo recorded the concert special Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live!, and embarked on the Cheek to Cheek Tour from December 2014 to August 2015.

2015-2017: American Horror Story, Joanne, and Super Bowl Performance

In February 2015, Gaga became engaged to Taylor Kinney. After Artpop's lukewarm response, Gaga began to redo her image and style. According to Billboard, this shift started with the release of Cheek to Cheek and the attention she received for her performance at the 87th Academy Awards, where she sang a medley of songs from The Sound of Music in a tribute to Julie Andrews. Considered one of her best performances by Billboard, it triggered more than 214,000 interactions per minute globally on Facebook. She and Diane Warren co-wrote the song "Til It Happens to You" for the documentary The Hunting Ground, which earned them the Satellite Award for Best Original Song and an Academy Award nomination in the same category. Gaga won Billboard Woman of the Year and Contemporary Icon Award at the 2015 Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards.

Gaga had spent much of her early life wanting to be an actress, and achieved her goal when she starred in American Horror Story: Hotel. Running from October 2015 to January 2016, Hotel is the fifth season of the television anthology horror series, American Horror Story, in which Gaga played a hotel owner named Elizabeth. At the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, Gaga received the Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film award for her work on the season. She appeared in Nick Knight's 2015 fashion film for Tom Ford's 2016 spring campaign and was guest editor for V fashion magazine's 99th issue in January 2016, which featured 16 different covers. She received Editor of the Year award at the Fashion Los Angeles Awards.

In 2016, Gaga sang the US national anthem in February at Super Bowl 50, partnered with Intel and Nile Rodgers for a tribute performance to the late David Bowie at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, and sang "Til It Happens to You" at the 88th Academy Awards, where she was introduced by Joe Biden and was accompanied on-stage by 50 people who had suffered from sexual assault. She was honored that April with the Artist Award at the Jane Ortner Education Awards by The Grammy Museum, which recognizes artists who have demonstrated passion and dedication to education through the arts. Her engagement to Taylor Kinney ended in July; she later said her career had interfered with their relationship.

Gaga played a witch named Scathach in American Horror Story: Roanoke, the series' sixth season, which ran from September to November 2016. Her role in the fifth season of the show ultimately influenced her future music, prompting her to feature "the art of darkness". In September 2016, she released her fifth album's lead single, "Perfect Illusion", which topped the charts in France and reached number 15 in the US. The album, titled Joanne, was named after Gaga's late aunt, who was an inspiration for the music. It was released on October 21, 2016, and became Gaga's fourth number one album on the Billboard 200, making her the first woman to reach the US chart's summit four times in the 2010s. The album's second single, "Million Reasons", followed the next month and reached number four in the US. She later released a piano version of the album's title track in 2018, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. To promote the album, Gaga embarked on the three-date Dive Bar Tour.

Gaga performed as the headlining act during the Super Bowl LI halftime show on February 5, 2017. Her performance featured a group of hundreds of lighted drones forming various shapes in the sky above Houston's NRG Stadium—the first time robotic aircraft appeared in a Super Bowl program. It attracted 117.5 million viewers in the United States, exceeding the game's total of 113.3 million viewers. The performance led to a surge of 410,000 song downloads in the United States for Gaga and earned her an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Special Class Program category.CBS Sports included her performance as the second best in the history of Super Bowl halftime shows. In April, Gaga headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. She also released a standalone-single, "The Cure", which reached the top 10 in Australia. In August, Gaga began the Joanne World Tour, which she announced after the Super Bowl LI halftime show. Gaga's creation of Joanne and preparation for her halftime show performance were featured in the documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, which premiered on Netflix in September. Throughout the film, she was seen suffering from chronic pain, which was later revealed to be the effect of a long-term condition called fibromyalgia. It resulted in Gaga canceling the last ten shows of the Joanne World Tour, which ultimately grossed $95 million from 842,000 tickets sold.

2018-Present: A Star Is Born, Enigma, and Upcoming Eighth Studio Album

In March 2018, Gaga supported the March for Our Lives gun-control rally in Washington, D.C., and released a cover of Elton John's "Your Song" for his tribute album Revamp. Later that year, she starred as a struggling singer named Ally in Bradley Cooper's critically acclaimed musical romantic drama A Star Is Born, a remake of the 1937 film of the same name. The film follows Ally's relationship with singer Jackson Maine (played by Cooper), which becomes strained after her career begins to overshadow his. Cooper approached Gaga after seeing her perform at a cancer research fundraiser; a fan of Cooper's work, Gaga agreed to the project due to its portrayal of addiction and depression. A Star Is Born premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in August 2018, and was released worldwide in October. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian described it as "outrageously watchable" and wrote that "Gaga's ability to be part ordinary person, part extraterrestrial celebrity empress functions at the highest level". Time's Stephanie Zacharek similarly highlighted her "knockout performance" and found her "charismatic" without her usual makeup, wigs and costumes. Alongside her nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress, Gaga received the Critics' Choice and National Board of Review awards for the role.

Gaga and Cooper co-wrote and produced most of the songs on the soundtrack for A Star Is Born, which she insisted they perform live in the film. Its lead single, "Shallow", performed by the two, was released in September and has reached number one in various nations including Australia, the UK and the US. The song earned Gaga an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Original Song, as well as the Grammys for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media. The soundtrack contains 34 tracks, including 19 original songs, and received generally positive reviews; Mark Kennedy of The Washington Post called it a "five-star marvel" and Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian termed it an "instant classics full of Gaga's emotional might". Gaga received a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music for her work on the album. Commercially, the soundtrack debuted at number one in the US, making Gaga the first woman with five US number one albums in the 2010s, and breaking her tie with Taylor Swift as the most for any female artist this decade; Swift tied with her again in 2019. It additionally topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK. As of June 2019, the soundtrack had sold over six million copies worldwide. In October, Gaga announced her engagement to talent agent Christian Carino whom she had met in early 2017. They ended the engagement in February 2019.

Gaga signed a two-year residency, named Lady Gaga Enigma, to perform at the MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas. The residency consists of two types of shows: Enigma, which focuses on theatricality and includes the singer's biggest hits, and Jazz and Piano, which involves tracks from the Great American Songbook and stripped-down versions of Gaga's songs. The Enigma residency show opened in December 2018 and the Jazz and Piano in January 2019, with the residency due to last until May 2020. Gaga launched her first, vegan makeup line, Haus Laboratories, in September 2019 exclusively on Amazon. Consisting of 40 products, including liquid eyeliners, lip glosses and face mask sticker, it reached number-one on Amazon's list of best-selling lipsticks. She has also started working on her sixth studio album, and was seen in recording studios with producers like Boys Noize, DJ White Shadow, BloodPop, and Sophie. In October, she announced that the album would be titled Adele, with several news outlets taking the announcement as a joke.

Gaga is next committed to portray Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted of hiring a hitman to murder her ex-husband and former head of the Gucci fashion house Maurizio Gucci, in an upcoming film directed by Ridley Scott.

This page was created by JakCooperThePlumber on November 5, 2019.

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