1986–03: Early life
Gaga was raised Roman Catholic. From age eleven she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private all-girls Roman Catholic school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. She described her academic life in high school as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure": "I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric, so I started to tone it down. I didn't fit in, and I felt like a freak.Gaga began playing the piano at the age of four, wrote her first piano ballad at thirteen, and started to perform at open mike nights by the age of fourteen. She performed lead roles in high school productions, including "Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". She also appeared in a very small role as a mischievous classmate in the television drama series The Sopranos in a 2001 episode titled "The Telltale Moozadell" and auditioned for New York shows without success. She sang in a classic-rock cover band, Mackin Pulsifer, during her freshman year of high school. The band did covers of Led Zeppelin's songs along with Pink Floyd and Jefferson Airplane.
2004–05: Career beginnings
After high school, her mother encouraged her to apply for the Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21), a musical theatre training conservatory at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. By age seventeen, after becoming one of twenty students to gain early admission, she lived in an NYU dorm on 11th Street. In addition to sharpening her songwriting skills, she composed essays and analytical papers on art, religion, social issues and politics, including a thesis on pop artists Spencer Tunick and Damien Hirst. She also tried won the part of an unsuspecting diner customer for MTV's Boiling Points, a prank reality television show.
In 2005, Gaga withdrew from CAP21 at 19, in the second semester of her sophomore year, deciding to focus on her musical career. Her father agreed to pay her rent for a year, on the condition that she re-enroll at Tisch if unsuccessful. "I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate shit until somebody would listen," she remembers. Settled in a small apartment on Rivington Street towards the summer of 2005, Gaga recorded a couple of songs with hip-hop singer Grandmaster Melle Mel, for an audio book accompanying the children's book The Portal in the Park, by Cricket Casey.She also began a band called the Stefani Germanotta Band with some friends from NYU – guitarist Calvin Pia, bassist Eli Silverman, drummer Alex Beckham and booking manager Frank Fredericks – in September of that year. The band played a mixture of songs: some self-penned alongside classic rock numbers like Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er (song)|D'yer Mak'er". Playing in bars like the Greenwich Village's The Bitter End and the Lower East Side's the Mercury Lounge, the band developed a small fan base and caught the eye of music producer Joe Vulpis. Soon after arranging time in Vulpis' studio in the months that followed, SGBand were selling their extended plays Words and Red and Blue (both 2005) at gigs around New York while becoming a local fixture of the downtown Lower East Side club scene.
2006–07: Artistic development
SGBand reached their career peak at the 2006 Songwriters Hall of Fame New Songwriters Showcase at The Cutting Room in June where Wendy Starland, a musician, appeared as a talent scout for music producer Rob Fusari. Starland informed Fusari – who was searching for a female singer to front a new band – of Gaga's ability and contacted her. With SGBand disbanded, Gaga traveled daily to New Jersey to work on songs she had written and compose new material with the music producer. While in collaboration, Fusari compared some of her vocal harmonies to those of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. It was Fusari who helped create the moniker Gaga after the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga". Gaga was in the process of trying to come up with a stage name when she received a text message from Fusari that read "Lady Gaga." She texted back, "That's it," and declared, "Don't ever call me Stefani again.
Although the musical relationship between Fusari and Gaga was unsuccessful at first, the pair soon set up a company titled Team Love Child in which they recorded and produced electropop tracks and sent them to music industry bosses. Joshua Sarubin, the head of A&R at Def Jam Recordings, responded positively and vied for the record company to take a chance on her "unusual and provocative" performance. After having his boss Antonio "L.A." Reid in agreement, Gaga was signed to Def Jam in September 2006 with the intention of having an album ready in nine months. However, she was dropped by the label after only three months – an unfortunate period of her life that would later inspire her treatment for the music video for her 2011 single "Marry the Night". Devastated, Gaga returned to the solace of the family home for Christmas and the nightlife culture of the Lower East Side.
She became increasingly experimental: fascinating herself with emerging neo-burlesque shows, go-go dancing at bars dressed in little more than a bikini in addition to experimenting with drugs. During this time, she met performance artist Lady Starlight, who helped mold her on-stage persona. Starlight explained that, upon their first meeting, Gaga wanted to perform with her to songs she had recorded with Fusari. Like SGBand, the pair soon began performing at many of the downtown club venues. Their live performance art piece was known as "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue" and, billed as "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow", was a low-fi tribute to 1970's variety acts. Soon after, the two were invited to play at the 2007 Lollapalooza Music festival in August that year.While Gaga and Starlight were busy performing, producer Rob Fusari continued to work on the songs he had created with Gaga. Fusari sent these songs to his friend, producer and record executive Vincent Herbert. Herbert was quick to sign her to his label Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, upon its establishment in 2007.
The Fame era
In January, Gaga and RedOne recorded what will become the first three singles: "Just Dance", "Poker Face" and "LoveGame". Before the album dropped in August, Gaga embarked on a promotional world tour with two female dancers from April to September. By October, she recruted four male dancers to join her on the New Kids on the Block: Live Tour.
Since then, Lady Gaga has been slaying all the people on the world with her beautiful soul and music. Did I mention how hot she is?
Gaga has a total of 5 albums. Well, 6 if you count the one she did with Tony Benett. But I'll only count her solo ones.
The Fame is the debut album by Lady Gaga. The album was first released in Canada on August 19, 2008 by Interscope Records. The main theme of the songs is about how anyone can feel famous like a celebrity. On December 2, 2009, The Fame was nominated for six Grammy Awards and won Best Dance Recording for "Poker Face". The album was nominated for Album of the Year, and won the Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards. On February 26, 2010, The Fame went Diamond (signifying over 10 million albums sold) selling around 16 million copies world wide. On February 16, 2010, it won Best International Album at the 2010 BRIT Awards.
The Fame Monster (stylized as The Fame Mons†er) is the sophomore album but first EP of Lady Gaga, released on November 18, 2009. The album's eight songs were initially intended to be part of a re-release of Gaga's debut album The Fame. However, Gaga announced that the new songs would be available as a stand alone album, as she thought the re-release was too expensive and that, as the piece represents a separate conceptual and musical body of work, it did not need the songs of The Fame to support it. The album received overall positive reviews, although many noted that it was not a significant step forward for Gaga. The album was first announced on June 14 of 2009 at Singtel AMPed launch in Singapore. The album has sold 1,285,000 copies in the United States. The Fame Monster re-release was the best-selling album of 2010, with 5.8 million albums sold worldwide.
Born This Way is the second major release by Lady Gaga, released on May 23, 2011. The writing of the album took place in 2010 during The Monster Ball Tour. Preceding its release, the album's lead single and title track, "Born This Way", debuted on February 11, 2011. In Gaga's own words, the album is "much more vocally up to par with what I’ve always been capable of. It’s more electronic, but I have married a very theatrical vocal to it. It’s like a giant musical-opus theater piece." As of June 1, 2011, Born This Way had become the fastest-selling album worldwide in 2011. With 288,000 copies sold on its first day and 1,108,000 in its first week in the U.S., it has sold more than 1 million copies outside the U.S. The album has also debuted at the top spot in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
ARTPOP is the fourth studio album by Lady Gaga, which was released on November 11, 2013. Gaga first introduced the album as a multimedia project with an application for mobile among other things that would be revealed throughout the album campaign. The album includes production by DJ White Shadow, Madeon, Rick Rubin, Zedd, will.i.am and Gaga herself. The recording of the album began in 2011 while Gaga was on tour promoting "Born This Way" and after the cancellation in 2013 until the second weeks of October. The album's lead single, "Applause," was scheduled to be released on August 19, 2013, and the album along with the app was set to drop on November 11 of the same year. Due to snippets of "Applause" being leaked online prior to its release, Gaga was forced to release the song a week early. On October 7, 2013, the album cover was unveiled on Clear Channel billboards around the world. On October 9, the tracklist of the album was released.
Joanne is Lady Gaga's fifth studio album, it was released on October 21, 2016. The writing of the album has been ongoing since the release of ARTPOP in 2013. Longtime producer and friend, RedOne, posted pictures and teasers about his work with Lady Gaga. For this record, Gaga called in new collaborators like Diane Warren, Beck, Florence Welch, Mark Ronson, songwriter Hillary Lindsey, Father John Misty, Tame Impala's Kevin Parker and Giorgio Moroder. During sessions for the album, Gaga and Warren wrote "Til it Happens to You" for the documentary, The Hunting Ground. Gaga has also teased that her alter ego, Jo Calderone, may appear. On October 2, 2015, Lady Gaga released the song "I Want Your Love" for the 2016 Tom Ford Spring/Summer Womenswear Collection. Gaga also announced the lead single "Perfect Illusion" on Twitter on Wednesday morning, August 17th.
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