Going GaGa

Posted on 28 December 2009


The performer known today as Lady GaGa began her life as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986 in New York City.  Of Italian heritage, she was the first child welcomed by Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta.  At the age of 11, having demonstrated a talent for music, her parents considered enrolling her in the prestigious Julliard School of Music in the city of her birth.  Tradition won out and instead, Stefani entered the Convent of the Scared Heart, a private Roman Catholic school, which would prove to have little influence upon her.

Shortly after her thirteenth birthday, the singer with the stoic stage presence wrote her first piano ballad and unveiled it at local talent shows.  Four years later, New York University’s Tisch School of Arts accepted her into their music program, where she improved her songwriting skills.  At the age of 19, she opted out of the program to focus on her career rather than her studies.

Striking out on her own, she performed in clubs on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with Mackin Pulsifer and the SG Band. With a repertoire that highlighted burlesque and a lifestyle that embraced drug abuse, the girl scandalized her father and turned her nose up at her Catholic school education.

Nicknamed GaGa by music producer Rob Fusari in honor of the Queen song, Radio Ga Ga, Stef adopted Lady GaGa as her stage name.   In 2007, she teamed up with Lady Starlight for gigs in New York’s downtown clubs, where the duo was billed as Lady GaGa and the Starlight Revue. Promoting themselves as “The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rock Show,” the pair performed a tribute to variety acts of the 1970’s.  They went on to earn high accolades for their performance at the Lollapalooza music festival.

Finding her niche, Lady GaGa incorporated the music of David Bowie and Queen into her mix, thereby joining the scores of the uninventive claiming to “sample” other artists’ music when in truth, they rip it off.  She also claimed Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Brittany Spears as influences.  Discovered by producer-singer-songwriter and former car thief Akon at Interscope Records, she inked a joint deal with Jim Iovine and Akon’s label, Kon Live Distribution, where Akon dubbed her his franchised player.  Lady GaGa began using her own material to launch her debut album with producer RedOne.  Boys, Boys, Boys was the first song that they produced.

In 2008, she relocated to Los Angeles to finalize her debut album, The Fame.  Its urban tracks combined Def Leppard-like drums with metallic handclaps.  GaGa also collaborated with a collective, called the Haus of GaGa, which selected her clothing, or lack thereof, as well as stage sets and sounds (so much for musical artistry).  The Fame received positive reviews from Metacritic and was described by Times Online as “fantastic.” The CD achieved #1 status in Austria, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland, netting worldwide sales of three million copies. 

Following her success in foreign markets, the Haus of GaGa’s image mavens focused on U.S. audiences.  They double billed GaGa on her first concert tour with her label mates, the newest incarnation of New Kids on the Block (who aren’t kids, by a long shot).  The tour that ran for approximately two months (from October 8th to late November, 2008) led to The Fame Ball Tour of North America.  This kicked off in March 2009 to critical acclaim.  In the immortal words of Captain James Tiberius Kirk, “There is no accounting for some people’s tastes.”

On her World Domination Tour, GaGa opened for the Pussycat Dolls in the U.K. and Australia, where she was well received. One reviewer claimed that she upstaged the headliners. As the Dolls’ chief claim to fame is not their vocalizing but their soft porn stage gyrations, this speaks volumes for GaGa’s performance.  In fact, GaGa’s MTV “Love Game” was banned from Australia’s Network 10 for its sexually explicit imagery.  It’s good to see that there are some morals and musical taste alive somewhere in the world.

GaGa also appeared semi-nude on the May 2009 cover of Rolling Stone’s Hot 100, thus joining the myriad near-bare bods, male and female, that have graced those covers since the early ’90’s.  In that issue, she stated that early in her career, she fell in love with a heavy metal drummer in a New York club, who served as her inspiration while writing music in her later years. She also stated that she was bi-sexual and is inspired by beautiful women.  This revelation makes her male friends uncomfortable and me somewhat doubtful, remembering when Elton John referred to himself as bisexual before stepping fully out of the closet.  In the same interview, GaGa insisted, “I am not using the gay community to look edgy. I’m a free sexual woman and I like what I like.”

After many tours, Lady GaGa received nine accolades at the MTV Video Music Awards.  These include Video of the Year, Best Female Artist, Best Pop Video for Poker Face, Best Direction, Best Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction for Paparazzi.  Following her appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in London earlier this year, she had the honor of meeting Queen Elizabeth II.  I would have paid to have been a fly on that wall.

A far cry from her modest upbringing, the former Stefani Germanotta embodies an old Italian saying used to discuss one’s children.  “Almeno lei non fuma” translates as “At least she doesn’t smoke.” 

This post was written by:

- who has written 267 posts on Write On New Jersey.

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86 Responses to “Going GaGa”

  1. Christeen Hall says:

    Hey. Thank you for great info. I love this blog and Lady Gaga also. Hope she will record some nice album soon!

  2. Pat Luzar says:

    Your sentiments stream so well and are so concise and to a degree that I hope to achieve.

  3. Author says:

    Thanks to all who have commented on this article I do like to know if I have reached a sympathetic ear as I do my work, once again Thank you!

  4. Telma Klages says:

    This is awful, if only she would just leave the popular music scene.

  5. Rudolf Mino says:

    Couldn’t be written any better. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Quijas says:

    Hey, I love what you posted. Thanks!

  7. Jenn says:

    I truly love Lady Gaga. Contrary to most products called artists out there Gaga really has talant. Her performances and costumes are all top notch. Can’t wait to go to her concert soon again.
    Love Jenn

  8. Bohin says:

    I love her music. Can’t wait for her next album.

  9. Brett Creacy says:

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  10. Bellville says:

    I was very pleased to find this site and wanted to thank you for this great read!!

  11. Audrey Phillips says:

    Like Lady Gaga, David Bowie has some really eccentric personality but i like his style of music. he is a good actor too..~*

  12. MLN says:

    Hey this is a great story. I’m going to email this to my buddies. I stumbled on this while surfing for some rock lyrics, I’ll be sure to visit regularly. thanks for sharing.

  13. Inge Clemmens says:

    Awesome post, hey I found this story while googling for this specific subject. Thanks for sharing I’ll tell my friends about this too

  14. Francis Osnoe says:

    I love her music, and her sense of style is so chic!

  15. Alexis Kitner says:

    I Absolutely adore her cds, big supporter of Lady Gaga and after loving her first few singles I bought The Fame and then, The Fame Monster, this has got some wonderful tracks, I would say this is one of my favorite cds.

  16. Jenn says:

    I love Madonna. She’s a talented performer. Her shows and costumes are all top notch. Can’t wait to go to her concert soon again.


  17. Norine Miosek says:

    Hello. Great job. This is a great story. Thanks!

  18. RR says:

    Wow – Ladygaga is so stupid.

  19. Arletha Kleefisch says:

    I love her music, and her sense of style is soo hot!

  20. Home Alarm Guy says:

    Michael was truly our icon. It’s really sad that we will never see this great performer ever again. My prayers go out to his family on this one year anniversary of his passing. I hope that doctor gets his medical license revoked.

  21. Fabian says:

    I am a huge fan of Lady Gaga. I really admire what Lady Gaga has done in her explosive career. She is bold enough to wear wild hair styles with outfits to match, and is a positive influence on today’s young people. She is encouraging teens to be different and to not follow the crowd like other artist! More people should look at her for who she is as person rather than “Lady Gaga” the performer.

  22. Alejandra De La Casino says:

    Saw a link to this post over at Reddit. Thanks for posting it.

  23. Jeff says:

    Great work!

  24. Mitchell Devino says:

    I really like and appreciate your blog post. Thanks Again.

  25. Jackson Arch says:

    This is my first time reading your blog, but I can already tell you that I love it! Keep up the great work!

  26. Augustina Bonne says:

    I have come accross many different articles/Posts saying very good and awful things about this Musician…but if we put all the private life style choices behind…you can not deny the quality and skill of the Music..its just brilliant

  27. Alfredo Cardani says:

    I like Lady GaGa. I think she will be around for a long time. Did you know that she gets many of her outfits at a sacramento thrift store? Ya, she really does! I love her outfits. Of course, she doesn’t buy all of her clothes at consginment stores, but a lot of her stuff is vintage clothing. She looks marvelous regardless of where she buys her clothing!

  28. Lorine Kander says:

    Lady Gaga is so amazing. I couldn’t stop searching info and stuff about her

  29. Mel Schmauder says:

    This post is very cool, I will get back to read new posts in future, keep posting!

  30. Kieran Adams says:

    when i hear about David Bowie, it reminds me of Vanilla Ice. ~.~

  31. Pete Widrick says:

    Great read. Thanks for the info!

  32. lw says:

    This is wonderful. You have hit every point. I laughed out loud at some of them¡­.it is me. I needed a jolt. Thank you from my heart.

  33. Gregory Despain says:

    I carnt believe a number of of the internet sites I have been taken to from stumblupon (precisely currently this specific blog) I was seeking to spend a few tremendously dreary hours away looking for Michael Jackson blogs, when stumbleupon landed me right here. What a marvelous site you have got Im so thrilled to have seen it I have just passed the previous twenty mins running through a few of your articles or blog posts, and have furthermore bookmarked some of them. I will defiantly be back again in order to read a bit more when i have abit more time.

  34. Murray Jakes says:

    lady gaga is so extremely hot, we just absolutely love LADY GAGA .

  35. Rider says:

    I adore her music, and her sense of clothing is so hot!

  36. reddit says:

    Thanks for this insightful article. Whatever happened to Lady Gaga anyway?

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