The pop diva, songwriter, and LGBT activist Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986.
Raised in New York City, she was educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and for a brief time at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Playing the piano at the age of 4, Lady Gaga went on to write her first piano ballad at 13. Later in high school, her future as a songstress also appeared bright as she took the lead in performances in school musical productions.
She later attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts to study musical theater, but quickly took to the East Village rock scene performing in local bars and clubs. It wasn't long before she withdraw from the university to pursue her professional career full time.
Signing with Streamline Records as a songwriter, Lady Gaga soon came to the attention of rapper Akon who offered her a contract on his label, Kon Live Distribution. A year later, Stef was now "Lady Gaga" (a name she derived from Queen's hit "Radio Gaga") before launching her debut album, The Fame.
With her music and performance style based on other 80's influences - such as David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Madonna - The Fame was soon topping the charts around the world. gaining a cult while performing such No. 1 hit singles such as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" and gained increasing attention on her highly successful Fame Ball Tour.
Lady Gaga's 4th album, ARTPOP,
was released in November 2013.
In 2009, Lady Gaga followed up with her second album, Fame Monster, topping the charts yet again with worldwide hits such as "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro", followed shortly after with the launch of her Monster Ball Tour, one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time.
Two years later, Lady Gaga was back on top with another mega-hit "Born This Way" from the album of the same name and garnered three Grammy nominations. With an international fan base in the millions (dubbed "my little monsters" by the artist) "Born This Way" also spawned singles such as "Judas" and "The Edge of Glory" again topping the charts.
Throughout the rest of 2011, Gaga was seemingly everywhere -- singing with Tony Bennet in a successful jazz version of "The Lady and the Tramp"; performing at the Bill Clinton 65th birthday celebration (in a blond wig a la Marilyn Monroe); and even starring in a US Thanksgiving television special, "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving."
Kicking off her Born This Way Ball world tour in 2012, Lady Gaga visited every continent except Antartica and repeated her concert tour success with another critically acclaimed on-the-road production. The physically demanding tour was cut short in February 2013, however, when the star announced that she had suffered a torn cartilage in her hip, effectively curtailing personal appearances for the remainder of the year as she recovered.
Staging a comeback in 2013, Lady Gaga released her third album, "ARTPOP" in November of 2013 debuting the first single, "Applause" in August with a first-ever live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.