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Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) (born 1986) is an American singer, songwriter and actress - mainly characterized by a flamboyant and provocative stage behavior.
Born and raised in New York City, where she lives, Gaga primarily studied at a Roman Catholic all-girl elementary school and later attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She soon began performing in the rock music scene of Manhattan's Lower East Side. By the end of 2007, record executive and producer Vincent Herbert signed her to his label Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. Initially working as a songwriter at Interscope Records, her vocal abilities captured the attention of recording artist Akon, who also signed her to Kon Live Distribution, his own label under Interscope.
Gaga rose to prominence with her August 2008 debut album, The Fame, which was a critical and commercial success. The record included the international number-one tracks "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". In November 2009, her extended play, The Fame Monster, was released to a similar reception, and produced the hit singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro". Its accompanying Monster Ball Tour became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Gaga's second album, Born This Way, was released in May 2011 and topped albums charts in most major markets. It generated chart-topping songs "Born This Way", "Judas", and "The Edge of Glory". After taking a sabbatical for a hip injury, Gaga's third album Artpop was released in November 2013 and became her second number one album in US.
Influenced by David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Queen, Gaga is recognized for her flamboyant, diverse, and outré contributions to the music industry through her fashion, performances, and music videos. As of November 2013, she had sold an estimated 24 million albums and 125 million singles worldwide and her singles are some of the best-selling worldwide. Her achievements include five Grammy Awards and 13 MTV Video Music Awards and was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
Outside of her musical career, she is a prominent LGBT activist.
Gaga began playing the piano at the age of four, wrote her first piano ballad at thirteen, and started to perform at open mic nights by the age of fourteen.
While she traveled the globe, she wrote The Fame Monster, an EP (extended play) of eight songs released in November 2009. Each song, dealing with the darker side of fame from personal experience, is expressed through a monster metaphor. The Fame Monster garnered a total of six nominations at the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Her single "Alejandro" (April 2010) paired Gaga with fashion photographer Steven Klein for a controversial music video – critics complimented its ideas and dark nature but the Catholic League attacked Gaga for her alleged use of blasphemy. Despite the controversy surrounding her music videos, it made Gaga the first artist to gain over one billion viral views on video-sharing website YouTube.
Gaga released her second studio album, Born This Way, on May 23, 2011. Described as a marriage of electronic music with metal, rock 'n' roll, pop and anthemic style melodies with sledge-hammering dance beats and referred to as an album "about what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid," Gaga characterized it as "something so much deeper than a wig or lipstick or a fucking meat dress" and, upon hearing it, Akon remarked that she is taking music to the "next level." Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its range of different styles and her vocals. Born This Way sold 1.108 million copies in its first week in the US, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in more than 20 other countries.
Gaga made her screen debut in Robert Rodriguez's project Machete Kills, providing the role of La Chameleón. The picture, released on October 11, 2013, was poorly received critically and commercially. Her performance earned her a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.
In early 2015, the singer is set to perform the first ever concert in space as part of Zero G Colony, a three-day music festival. She will travel via Spaceport America, the world's first commercial spaceport, in New Mexico, and the event will feature a mix of entertainment and cutting-edge technology. Gaga will be the grand finale.
Gaga grew up listening to artists such as The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Whitney Houston, and Elton John, who all significantly influenced her. She also cited heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath as her favorite musicians.
While Chris Molanphy from Rolling Stone named Gaga the "Queen of Pop" in a ranking published by the magazine in 2011 (between 15 artists, such as Adele and Britney Spears), public reception of Gaga's music, fashion sense and persona are mixed. Her status as a role model, self-esteem booster for her fans, trailblazer and fashion icon who breathes new life into the industry is by turns affirmed and denied. Gaga's albums have received mostly positive reviews and critics have pointed out her unique place in pop music, the need for new movements in popular culture, the attention Gaga brings to modern social issues, and the inherently subjective nature of her art.
Besides her career in music, Gaga has also contributed to various charities. For natural disasters, Gaga has helped various relief efforts.
In October 2012, Gaga was reported to have met the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, at the Ecuadorean embassy in London. On October 9, 2012, Yoko Ono gave Gaga and four other activists the LennonOno Grant for Peace in Reykjavík, Iceland.
On November 6, 2012, Gaga pledged to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Gaga also contributes in the fight against HIV and AIDS, focusing on educating young women about the risks of the disease.
Gaga is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights worldwide. She attributes much of her early success as a mainstream artist to her gay fans and is considered a gay icon. Early in her career she had difficulty getting radio airplay, and stated, "The turning point for me was the gay community." She thanked FlyLife, a Manhattan-based LGBT marketing company with whom her label Interscope works, in the liner notes of The Fame.
In an interview with Britain’s Daily Star in 2009, Lady Gaga admitted that she’s confused about her sexuality and suggested she might be bisexual.
Source and more information: Wikipedia article Lady Gaga
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