The name of Lady Gaga is a renowned one in the world of music today. She’s known not just for her music, but other artistic expressions such as her wild and unique costumes. Many of her song lyrics are also provocative and rebellious, resounding with the young generation in a major way. Her vocal talents are also quite strong, with several huge successes under her belt including the songs ‘Born This Way’, ‘Just Dance’, and ‘Bad Romance’.
Lady Gaga will probably go down in history as one of the women who brought several sensitive issues to the fore, especially when it comes to gender equality. She sings and talks about breaking rules, overcoming expression, waging rebellions, and generally reimagining the world. Let’s discuss this woman and her career in more detail below:
Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and she hails from an Italian-American family based in New York City. She started learning music at quite an early age and even performed on stage in various clubs within New York City when she reached her teens.
Her schooling was somewhat conservative, however, as she attended the Covent of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls’ school located in Manhattan. After this, she would start studying music at New York University, more specifically the Tisch School of the Arts. However, she didn’t finish her degree at that prestigious institution and dropped out after two years to start managing her career on her own.
It was after dropping out of university that Germanotta started transforming into the personality that we now know as Lady Gaga. Her style became a combination of glam rock and an extraordinary kind of fashion design.
In the year 2007, Lady Gaga and Lady Starlight, a performance artist, banded tether and made a revue that they dubbed ‘The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow’. In the same year, Lady Gaga was signed on to work with Interscope Records and Akon the singer/rapper. Before this, she was also penning songs and lyrics for famous musicians like Britney Spears, the Pussycat Dolls, and Fergie. After this signing, Lady Gaga started working on her debut album, which was titled ‘The Fame’ and released to the public in 2008.
The Stage Name
The stage name of ‘Lady Gaga’ was derived from ‘Radio Ga Ga’, a song by the band Queen. Her theatrical look and performance essence, however, was modeled most on performers such as David Bowie, especially the Ziggy Stardust phase. She was also inspired by Grace Slick, the New York Dolls, Freddie Mercury, etc.
It wasn’t just the name she chose, however; Lady Gaga is also a complete character that made her own unique place within the world of modern music. She combines edgy and theatrical performance with synthetic dance music, which her brand of fashion is talked about throughout the world. The overall effect is a stunning display of both visuals and sounds
In fact, when Lady Gaga produces her music, she’s also creating her own kind of fashion. Amazing wigs and space-like bodysuits are quite common for her performances. Her creative team, known as ‘Haus of Gaga’, is always at work to come out with more and more distinctive fashions as time goes by.
The first single from Lady Gaga, ‘Just Dance’, was a popular choice for most clubs in Europe as well as America. This song even topped the Billboard Pop Songs chart, while other singles from her debut album also held that honor. These were ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Poker Face’, and ‘Love Game’.
These successes have made Lady Gaga the first-ever artist to get four songs to top this particular chart in the seventeen years it’s been in existence. Needless to say, her debut album was a huge commercial success. It sold around 8 million copies globally at the close of the year 2009. With five Grammy nominations from the same album, there was no doubt that Lady Gaga was well on her way to fame and fortune.
The Grammy nominations including one for Song of the Year for ‘Poker face’ and one for Album of the Year. Lady Gaga received two Grammys that year, one for the Best Dance Recording for ‘poker face’ and one for the Best Electronic/Dance Album for ‘The Fame’.
Lady Gaga also had an opening with Sir Elton John, an event which was one of the most famous elements of the Grammys telecast in 2010. She also received three Brit Awards, which are similar to the Grammys, in February 2010. These included one award for the best album, one for the best breakthrough act, and one for the best international female artist.
The Second Album
Lady Gaga’s second album was titled ‘The Fame Monster’ and came out in the November of 2009. It was originally meant to be a bonus disc but ended up being an album in its own right. The musician’s success continued with this release, as the song ‘Bad Romance’ was instantly another major hit. There were several other singles on this album that provided to be quite popular—these include ‘Telephone’ and ‘Alejandro’. The song ‘Telephone’ featured Beyonce, just another sign of the A-lister that Lady Gaga had become.
As the years wore on, Lady Gaga’s career proved extremely successful. Her concert tours were sold out, and she headlined the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago as well. From performing in open mic nights, she was now playing in front of an audience numbering 20,000 at the NBC Today show.
Forbes magazine eventually listed her as being among the most powerful women in the world, while she was also among the 100 Most Influential People according to Time Magazine. She finished off 2010 by achieving the honor of being ‘Artists of the Year’ for Billboard magazine.
At the Grammy Awards in 2011, Lady Gaga made her entrance inside a huge egg. She then received the awards for the Best Pop Vocal Album for ‘The Fame Monster’ as well as Best Short Form Video for ‘Bad Romance’ and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the same.
The third album by this musician was ‘Born This Way’ and was released in 2011. This release has Lady Gaga going back to the earlier forms of music for her inspiration. Since she was blonde, sang provoking songs, and is a dance-pop performer, Lady Gaga has often been likened to Madonna. In fact, the first two singles on this third album were remarked upon for their similarity to the other artists’ work.
The title track of this album is one that most of us have heard, as it’s a song about self-empowerment much like Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ from 1989. The track ‘Judas’ was a brazen mix of both religious and sexual imagery. Both of these songs were major hits before too long. There were several other popular tracks on this album as well, especially as they featured many prestigious guest appearances. These included Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, and Clarence Clemons from the E Street Band by Bruce Springsteen.
Artpop was released in 2013, but many saw it as a commercial disappointment as compared to the first three albums. The lead single was ‘Applause’, and was quite energetic, and was a chart success in its own right.
The following year saw the release of ‘Cheek to Cheek’, which was a collaborative collection co-recorded alongside Tony Bennett. This recording came on top of Billboard 200 along with several album charts for traditional jazz and other genres. It also received a Grammy for the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
In 2016, Lady Gaga release ‘Joanne’, which didn’t perform too well until the artist herself performed it during the halftime Super Bowl in 2017. Her representation of it brought a lot of positive attention to the track.
Lady Gaga is known for several other projects in addition to her music. For instance, she’s occasionally appeared in several films, with the most notable example being ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ in 2014 and ‘Machete Kills’ in 2013. She played the role of a vampire countess in American Horror Story Hotel Season 5. This was from 2015 to 2016. Her performance here earned her a Golden Globe Award.
In the sixth season of the same series, Lady Gaga again performed quite well. However, she received critical acclaim and even managed to get an Oscar nomination for the lead role in the 2018 remake of ‘A Star Is Born’. She was the co-writer of several songs in that movie along with performing them with Bradley Cooper, who was the director of the movie as well as one of the costars. The movie’s lead single was ‘Shallow’, and it won an Oscar as well as two Grammy awards.
With all this success, it’s safe to say that Lady Gaga has a large and loyal fan following. She’s very outspoken on the issues she believes in especially when it comes to gay rights and same-sex marriage. She was also a speaker at the National Equality March in 2009, so it’s evident where her sympathies and interests lie.
Lady Gaga is no doubt an influential personality these days, whether one listens to her music or not. In her interviews, she says that her aim is to always give something fresh and original to her audience. With her aim to be provocative through her exhibitionist performances, this artist might not appeal to everyone. However, she’s certainly made her mark in the world of music as well as activism and acting, and is likely to continue this way for the near future at least.