Lady Gaga, Who is She
Who is Lady Gaga
First, her given name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her father is Joseph Germanotta, an Italian-American & Internet entrepreneur, and Cynthia Germanotta (nee Bissett), a telecommunications professional, is her mother. Her parents are still married to one another and by all accounts Ms. Germanotta has had an excellent childhood.
On March 28, 2010 she is all of twenty-three years old and is the first artist in a decade to debut four number one hits on a single album. The last time this happened was with the Jackson 5.
Her parents state that at four years of age she picked up the piano...by ear. At eleven she wrote her first ballad. At fourteen she was wowing audiences with her singing talents on "open mike" nights and at seventeen she won admission to the Tish School of the Arts. This made her one of only twenty students that year to gain admission to this prestigious school.
At nineteen she began working for Def Jam Records when the CEO, L.A. Reid, heard her singing in the hall of his building. After three months Def Jam dropped her, but introduced her to RedOne (a subsidiary) where she began songwriting.
Her Performance Name
Ms. Germanotta claims to have gotten the name Lady Gaga from a song by Freddy Mercury called "Radio Ga Ga." Rob Fusari, a record producer, thought her singing style resembled that of Freddy's. You can actually see that in the first video "Wonderful" below.
In a text message to Ms. Germanotta, Fusari was comparing her style to Freddy Mercury's singing in the song "Radio Ga Ga." He was sending her a message about the song and the texting software corrected the word "Radio" to "Lady." When Ms. Germanotta got the text message it read, in part, "Lady Ga Ga" and she adopted it as her stage name.
She's been compared to many people, least of which are the very personalities she says she's inspired by. Lately, she's been compared to Madonna. Possibly due to her latest video "Alejandro." In this video she appears briefly wearing a red nun's habit.
This claim completely ignores the fact that she was brought up in a Catholic household and attended Covent the Sacred Heart Catholic school at eleven. Clearly her religious upbringing has some influence on her current work.
I find it odd that, considering the type of music she is most known for, that she has not been compared to Kylie Minoque. Or from a fashion standpoint, that she has not been compared to Cyndie Lauper.
Lady Gaga claims as primary influences both David Bowie and Freddy Mercury of Queen. This last, and her outspokenness on issues of equality, has endeared her to the Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender (LGBT) Community where her popularity remains solid. She has spoken out at the National Equity March and complemented Ellen DeGeneres as "an inspiration for women and for the gay community."
In fact Lady Gaga gives this group credit for elevating her to her current level of recognition.
She also credits Donatella Versace as the influence of her fashion style.
In this year Lady Gaga and a friend named Lady Starlight were performing the "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow" in the clubs Mecury Lounge, The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall. Someone in the audience recommended the pair to the Lallapaloza organizers in 2007 where the duo astounded the crowd with a combined song, dance, and burlesque number.
No video of this entire performance seems to be available, but an outtake of Lady Gaga singing at that show is below.
Early Lady Gaga
She's written for Fergie, Brittany Spears and the Pussycat Dolls.
Despite what seems like a short career Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) has been playing music for nineteen years, writing songs for twelve and performing live for nine. She's managed to take her first two singles to number one.
Even though she is quite young, I think we've just seen the first layer of Lady Gaga. Yes, for now she is a pop queen of sorts with the addition of what many see as an odd fashion sense. But I think, given what I now know, that Lady Gaga will go through many interpretations of herself for many years to come.
I can't wait to see what she comes up with.
Lady Gaga Quotes
"I don't care what people think about me, I care what they think about themselves."
On her fashion:
"I don’t consider my own clothing to be outrageous... The truth is that people just don’t have the same references that I do. To me it’s very beautiful and it’s art, and to them it’s outrageous and crazy."
"Fame for me is not external, it’s internal. So I’ve been famous for a long time."
On her Art and Music:
"I have found that my work has to be both deep and shallow … All of my songs have meaning, all of my clothing has iconography buried into it. But by the same token, it's just as special if you look at it in its shallowest form. A quick moment of melody, a beautiful dress. People think, "Gaga's so sweet", or "Gaga sucks". The point is that it's memorable. For commercial art to be taken seriously as fine art is a very unusual and difficult task. I think that a lot of people don't get it and a lot of people don't know what to make of me. And, you know what? I'm OK with that."
"My ideas about fame and art are not brand new … We could watch Paris is Burning, we could read The Warhol Diaries, we could go to a party in New York in 1973 and these same things would be being talked about. I guess you could say that I'm a bit of a Warholian copycat. Some people say everything has been done before, and to an extent they are right. I think the trick is to honour your vision and reference and put together things that have never been put together before. I like to be unpredictable, and I think it's very unpredictable to promote pop music as a highbrow medium."
"I am a feminist. I reject wholeheartedly the way we are taught to perceive women. The beauty of women, how a woman should act or behave. Women are strong and fragile. Women are beautiful and ugly. We are soft-spoken and loud, all at once. There is something mind-controlling about the way we're taught to view women. My work, both visually and musically, is a rejection of all those things. And most importantly a quest."
On her Look:
"I don't want to see Bowie in a tracksuit. He never let anyone see him that way. The outlet for my work is not just the music and the videos, it's every breathing moment of my life. I'm always saying something about art and music and fame.That's why you don't ever catch me in sweatpants ."
On an Interview with Alexa on MTV:
Alexa stated that Lady Gaga had four number one hits on her first album. She asked "what do you listen to?" Lady Gaga responded "My fans." Alexa went on to ask: "When did you know you'd made it?" Lady Gaga responded "I still don't know I've made it." Alexa asked: "What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?" Gaga stated: "No matter how successful you become, and no matter how many people love you, you only have one set of parents."
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