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24 Facts: Lady Gaga

2010-03-24 12:39
 
From pre-prubescent piano prodigy to paparazzi slut, gender-bending Grammy-winning global superstar and more. 24 reasons why Lady Gaga is gold.

1. Lady Gaga's birth name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. She was born on March 28, 1986. Yep, that makes her 24 this year and an Aries.

2. She may not have been a Mouseketeer like Britney or Xtina, but Lady G has been playing piano by ear from the age of 4. She also penned her first ballad at 13 and began performing at open mic sessions in New York at the tender age of 14. 

3. She's a Catholic girl, having graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart, a posh Manhattan high school which Paris and Nicky Hilton also attended. Says Gaga on the Hilton girls: "very pretty, and very, very clean. It's impressive to be that perfect all the time. In commercial terms, they've been quite an influence on me".

4. She's a university drop-out. At 19 she quit New York University after her freshman year to pursue music full time. "I thought I could teach myself about art better than the school could," she later told Elle magazine. Working as a waitress and designing her own stage outfits by day, Gaga starts populating her CV: in 2007 she teamed up with performance artist Lady Starlight to perform a lo-fi tribute to 1970s variety acts called "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow".

5. She signed her first major label deal with Def Jam Recordings when she was 19. Legend has it that Island Def Jam Music Group Chairman and CEO L. A. Reid happened to hear her belting out a ballad in the hallway oustide his office. After three months, she was dropped by Def Jam. After signing a deal with Interscope Records on her 20th birthday her debut single "Just Dance" scorched up the Billboard hot 100 charts to # 1. Gaga's reposte to Elle magazine: "I write about what I know: sex, pornography, art, fame obsession, drugs, and alcohol". Boy, L.A. must be kicking himself.

6. She's always been a thoroughly postmodern pop princess: an early collaboration with producer RedOne was a mash-up inspired by Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls" and AC/DC's "T.N.T." called "Boys Boys Boys"!

7. Her name is a shout out to Queen's 80s smash hit "Radio Ga Ga". The idea popped into her head after she received a text message from then music producer Rob Fusari stating "Lady Gaga". Turns out his predictive text messaging was misfiring: the original message he wanted to send was "Radio Ga Ga".

8. She writes or co-writes all her own tracks. "Just Dance", the first single off her debut album, The Fame scored a Best Dance Recording Grammy nomination, but lost to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." Second single "Poker Face" was a # 1 hit in almost 20 countries across the globe.

9. She's paid her dues. Her first concert tour was with Interscope label mates, the recently reformed pop boy band, New Kids on the Block.

10. She loves taking her clothes off. Gaga's many 'wardrobe malfunctions' include appearing semi-nude, wearing only plastic bubbles, on the cover of the annual 'Hot 100' issue of Rolling Stone in May 2009. You can also ogle some shockingly sexy photos from her latest photo shoot here.

11. The music video for her international third single, "LoveGame," was banned by the Australian channel Network Ten, who refused to play the video reasoning that it contained sexually explicit imagery.

12. She's addicted to ink. Her six pack of (known) tattoos included a peace symbol inspired by John Lennon and the following quote from German poet Rainer Maria Rilke: "In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?"

13. She's a dedicated follower of fashion, often giving the flamboyant Donatella Versace a shout out in interviews. Musically Gaga cites David Bowie, Queen and Madonna as influences. 

14. She's a 100% bottle blonde. A natural brunette, she's often said that she bleached her hair because she was sick 'n tired of being mistaken for rehab doll, Amy Winehouse.

15. Given her penchant for pop provocation, it's hardly brain science she's been compared to Madonna. In an interview with the Daily Record's John Dingwall in 2009 she stated: "I don't want to sound presumptuous, but I've made it my goal to revolutionise pop music. The last revolution was launched by Madonna 25 years ago."

16. Like Madonna, Lady G. is also a gay icon. She hailing Ellen DeGeneres for being "an inspiration for women and for the gay community"when she guested on bsher show in May 2009. She also says that the October 11, 2009 National Equality March rally on the national mall was "the single most important event of her career." As she exited, she left with an exultant "Bless God and bless the gays!" At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards she gave a simialr acceptance speech for Best New Artist a month earlier.

17. She's not intersexual. But she is bisexual. She says as much on "Poker Face" off The Fame, which is about her bisexuality. "The fact that I'm into women, they’re all intimidated by it. It makes them uncomfortable. They're like, 'I don’t need to have a threesome. I'm happy with just you'" she told Rolling Stone magazine.

18. She's performed for the biggest Queen of them all. On December 11, 2009, she met and sang the song "Speechless" for Queen Elizabeth II of England.

19. She's the biggest thing to hit music since Madonna. She was nominated for no less than nine awards at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards winning the award for "Best New Artist" while her single "Paparazzi" won two awards for "Best Art Direction" and "Best Special Effects." In October 2009, Gaga received Billboard magazine's Rising Star of 2009 award.

20. Gaga was nominated for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Dance Recording for her single "Poker Face", winning the last of the three. The Fame itself had been nominated for Album of the Year and won the Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album.

21. She's a record breaker. When "Telephone", the second single from The Fame Monster, reached number one on Billboard's Pop songs chart, and became Gaga's and Beyoncé's sixth number one on the chart, it tied them with Mariah Carey.

22. She's a charity worker. Gaga donated all of her proceeds from the January 24 show earlier this year, to Haiti disaster relief. Her pledge? An impressive $500,000.

23. She has also been very proactive with raising awareness about the risk of HIV/AIDS. Along with Cyndi Lauper, Gaga teamed up with MAC AIDS Fund's VIVA Glam campaign, which raised over $160 million to fight against AIDS and HIV, and bring awareness about the disease to women around the world. All proceeds from a purchase of a VIVA Glam lipgloss or lipstick go directly towards the fund to aid those infected with the disease.

24. She's getting sued. Ex-bassist, Tommy Kafafian claims that he hasn't been paid any royalties for co-writing "Disco Heaven" with the multiplatinum-selling Grammy winner back in 2006. Earlier this month, on March 19, 2010, former boyfriend and producer Rob Fusari sued Gaga's production company Mermaid Music LLC, claiming that he was entitled to a 20% share of its earnings.

sources: People Magazine, Rolling Stone online, Times Online, wikipedia.

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