Born in March 1986, the New York native (given name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) learned piano by the age of 4, 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 moniker “Gaga,” after Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga,” from a music producer who compared her vocal talent to the band’s frontman 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 Gaga confronted her bisexuality. The Grammy winner went on to release Born This Way in May 2011, Artpop in November 2013 and Joanne in October 2016.
Gaga tried her hand at acting in 2016’s American Horror Story: Hotel, winning a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Elizabeth. The singer hit the big screen alongside Bradley Cooper in the actor’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born, in October 2018.
As for her love life, the Oscar nominee was engaged to Taylor Kinney until their split in July 2016 after five years together. She moved on with Christian Carino in February 2017, but they called off their engagement two years later.