Lady GaGa’s real name is Stefani Germanotta the oldest child of Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta.
She grew up poor
Her Dad is an Italian American Internet entrepreneur and her mother was a telemarketer who worked 12 hours a day out of the house. They were not a wealthy family but had to work hard for everything.
Germanotta started playing the piano at age four and wrote her first piano ballad at age 13. At age 14 she began performing on open mike nights. A private Roman Catholic school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (Convent of the Sacred Heart) was were she attended school.
Gaga was considered eccentric
On an Interview Germanotta explains that her academic life in high school was “very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined” but also “a bit insecure.” She said she used to get made fun of for either being too provocative or too eccentric, so she started to tone it down a bit. A former classmate of her referred to Germanotta as being an “expressive, free spirit”
She would not take money from family
Germanotta earned an early admission to the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts at age 17. She lived in a NYU dorm on 11th street. She improved her songwriting skills and studied music. She felt that she was more creative than some of her classmates and is quoted as having said, “Once you learn how to think about art, you can teach yourself” She withdrew from school to focus on her musical career by the second semester of her sophomore year. Her father agreed to pay for her first year’s rent if she would return to school if she was not successful. However, she stated that she left her entire family; got the cheapest apartment she could find and ate shit until somebody would listen. She didn’t want to take money from her family but wanted to make it on her own.
Gaga’s Career beginnings
At age 19 Gaga signed up with Def Jam Recording but dropped them three month afterwards. Gaga performed with Lady Starlight at Lollapalooza in 2007. She met songwriter and producer “RedOne” shortly after that and the first song she produced was “Boy Boys Boys” inspired by Motley Crew’s “Girls Girls Girls!”
After moving into an apartment on the Lower East Side, Gaga recorded a couple songs with Grandmaster Melle Mel a hip hop singer for an audio accompanying the children’s book “The Portal in the Park” by Cricket Casey. She also started the Stefani Germanotta Band with a few friends from NYU. At a studio under a liquor store in New Jersey they recorded an EP of their ballads.
How she got the name Lady Gaga
Her music producer Rob Fusari who helped her write some of her earlier songs came up with the name “Lady Gaga” by mistake. He helped create the name Gaga after the Queen song “Radio GaGa.” Everyday when Stef came to the studio he started singing “Radio Ga Ga,” her theme song, instead of saying, Hello. Then one day Fusari typed Radio Gaga in a text message to her and it did an autocorrect and changed Radio to “Lady.” Germanotta was in the process of trying to come up with a stage name and when she received the text message from Fusari that read “Lady Gaga,” she liked it and said, “Don’t ever call me Stefanie again!”
After that she was known as Lady Gaga. During 2007 Gaga worked with “Lady Starlight” (a performance artist) who helped create her on stage fashions. Her first album “The Fame” was finalized after moving to Los Angeles in 2008. The two of them began playing gigs at downtown clubs like the Mercury Lounge, The Bitter End, and the Rockwood Music Hall. Their live performance was known as “Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue.”
Though in the beginning Gaga was influenced by avant-garde and electronic dance music, she found her musical forte when she began to integrate pop melodies and the age old glam rock of David Bowie and Queen into her music.
Gaga wrote songs for the “Pussycat Dolls” before getting her own record deal and releasing “The Fame” with its hits “Poker Face,” “Just Dance,” and “Beautiful Dirty Rich.”
She gets discovered
Fusari sent the songs he produced with Gaga to his friend, producer and record executive Vincent Herbert. Herbert quickly signed her to his label “Streamline Records.” Gaga credited Hubert as the man who discovered her.
She spells her name Gaga or GaGa, depending on her mood. In a 2009 report from the “Times of London,” it was written that “she works with a collective called Haus of GaGa, who collaborate with their muse on clothing, stage set and sounds.”