Singer. Born Stefania Gabrielle Germanotta on March 28, 1986, to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta. Germanotta, now known as Lady Gaga, is an international pop star born in Yonkers, New York.
Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of four. At the age of 11, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan, but instead attended a private Catholic school in the city. She continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13 and holding her first performance at the age of 14 in a New York nightclub. The self-dubbed "Lady Gaga" (she has attributed the inspiration for her name to the Queen song, "Radio Ga-Ga") was granted early admission to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts at the age of 17—one of only 20 students in the world to receive the honor of early acceptance. While there, she studied music and worked on her songwriting skills. She later withdrew from school in order to find creative inspiration. To make ends meet, she took three jobs—including a stint as a gogo dancer—while she honed her performance-art act.
In 2005, Lady Gaga was briefly signed by Def Jam Records, but was dropped just months after signing. Being dropped by the label propelled the singer to perform on her own in clubs and venues on New York City's Lower East Side. There, she collaborated with several rock bands, and began her experimentation with fashion.
In 2007, at the age of 20, Lady Gaga began work at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other groups on the label, including Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, and The Pussycat Dolls. R&B singer Akon discovered Gaga while she was performing a burlesque show she called "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue," which she had created to make a name for herself. Impressed, he signed the performer to his label under the Interscope umbrella, Kon Live. Through 2007 and 2008, Lady Gaga wrote and recorded her debut album, The Fame. The record was received positive reviews and popular success in the United States. With the help of her own creative team, "Haus of Gaga," the performer also began to make a name for herself internationally.
Lady Gaga's debut single, "Just Dance," was released to radio in early 2008 to both popular and commercial acclaim. The song was then nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Dance Recording in 2008. The song lost to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," but this didn't keep Gaga from reaching No. 1 on the mainstream pop charts in January 2009. The second single off of her album, "Poker Face," earned Lady Gaga even more success. The song topped singles charts in almost every category, and in almost every country. Both songs were produced by Akon's affiliate RedOne, who co-wrote most of Lady Gaga's album.
Most recently, Lady Gaga opened for the newly reformed New Kids on the Block. She also collaborated with the group on the song "Big Girl Now" from New Kids on the Block's album The Block. She is now headlining on The Fame Ball Tour, and has announced plans to tour with Kanye West in the very near future.