Despite some of her outrageous fashion choices, Lady Gaga has always just been about the music.
Born in March 1986, the New York native (given name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) learned piano by the age of four, wrote her own songs by 13 and dropped out of New York University at 19 to pursue music full-time. She signed with Def Jam Records in 2005 but was dropped from the label three months later. To continue to make a name for herself earning the nickname of “Gaga” that music producer Rob Fusari gave her after Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” in comparing her vocal talent to the band’s iconic front-man Freddie Mercury she performed in burlesque dance clubs in the Lower East Side.
Interscope Records eventually picked her up, and her debut album, The Fame, came out in August 2008. A slew of No. 1 dance hits followed, including “Poker Face,” in which Lady Gaga confronts her bisexuality. In November 2009, she released her second studio album The Fame Monster with eight new tracks — including her fifth No. 1 hit “Bad Romance” — originally meant for the re-release of The Fame.
In July 2010, Lady Gaga became the first living person on Facebook to have 10 million “fans.”