Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa

Raised in New York's private Catholic school circuit and with a background in musical theater, Stefani Germanotta knew that being a pop star as herself would be an uphill struggle. When she went to NYU's Tisch school, she developed a self-conscious pop-singer persona in the vein of Madonna and Gwen Stefani (and with flashes of glam metal and Michael Jackson), and Lady Gaga (named after a Queen song) was born.


GaGa's debut album, The Fame, was released in 2008, and her status as both a self-conscious pop starlet and as a genderbender with a lot to say about femininity and queer culture instantly set her apart from Britney Spears and other late-'90s pop stars. The Fame went platinum within a year (a rare accomplishment in the MP3 age), ultimately becoming the best selling digital album ever by a solo artist. The album also racked up Grammys and critical plaudits along the way, with just about every single, from "Poker Face" to "Just Dance" to "Papparazzi," becoming a hit, as well. The Fame Monster, originally intended to be added to a deluxe album of The Fame, became a separate second album in 2009, with tracks like "Bad Romance" and "Telephone" also becoming hits. The controversial video for the latter drew particular attention.

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