One of the most well-known celebrities today is Lady Gaga. She walked into the spotlight in 2008, and now 4 years later she is followed by millions of “little monsters,” (what Gaga fan’s call themselves) and is ranked as one of the top moneymakers, grossing more than 25 million dollars in 2011 alone. Lady Gaga is not only a pop star; she is a humanitarian, equal right’s activist, fashion icon, and artist. Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986. She was born and raised in New York City. Gaga was raised Roman Catholic and attended the Covent of the Sacred Heart private all-girls school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. At the age of 17, Gaga’s mother encouraged her to apply for the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21), which is a musical theatre training conservatory at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. CAP21’s mission is “CAP21 is dedicated to creating new work, developing new talent and building new audiences. CAP21 replenishes the American musical theatre by training the next generation of performers and infusing the entertainment industry at large with talent and source material. The goal is to create programs that achieve substantial and lasting contributions to the future of the arts.” (CITE) CAP21 landed Gaga many auditions and even spots on t.v. shows, such as MTV’s Boiling Points, and HBO’s The Sopranos. Gaga felt out of place at Tisch, and thought she could do better on her own, saying “Once you learn how to think about art, you can teach yourself," (CITE)
In her second semester, when she was 19, Gaga withdrew from CAP21 to pursue being a “rockstar”. Her father agreed to pay her rent for a year, and if she was unsuccessful she would re-enroll to Tisch. Gaga moved into a small apartment on the Lower East Side. She started the Stefani Germanotta Band with friends from NYU, and started playing in local bars like The Bitter End in Greenwich Village and the Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side. Eventually the small band was introduced to music producer Joe Vulpis and recorded two albums, Words and Red and Blue in 2005. In 2006, the band played at the Songwriters Hall of Fame New Songwriters Showcase at the Cutting Room in NYC. Musician, Wendy Starland, heard Gaga sing and introduced her to producer Rob Fusari, who produced R&B songs for Destiny’s Child and Will Smith. The Stefani Germanotta Band eventually disbanded, and Gaga continued working with Fusari.
Rob Fusari compared Gaga’s vocal harmonies to those of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. Everytime he would see Gaga he would skip saying hello, and start singing “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen. Fusari sent Gaga a text that was supposed to say “Radio Ga Ga” but predictive text changed it to “Lady Ga Ga” and that was the beginning of Lady Gaga.
Fusari and Gaga began a company called Team Lovechild and recorded and produced electropop tracks and sent them to major music industry employees. The head of A&R at Def Jam Recordings responded she was “unusual and provocative” and the head of Def Jam, Anotonio “L.A.” Reid signed Gaga in September of 2006. She was dropped three months later, which left Gaga in a stage of devastation which she mirrors in the 2011 single “Marry the Night.”
After being dropped from Def Jam, Gaga went through an experimental stage. She started trying different drugs, performing at bars dressed in little more than a bikini, go-go dancing to Black Sabbath and singing songs about oral sex. It was during this time Lady Gaga met two of the most important people in her life. She began dating a heavy metal drummer, Luc Carl. The relationship between Gaga & Luc Carl inspired the majority of Gaga’s music. It was a long term relationship that started two weeks after being dropped from Def Jam and ended sometime in 2010. She befriended performer Lady Starlight, who helped her mold her on-stage character. Gaga and Starlight performed at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival...
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