Lady GaGa is an American singer and songwriter. She started working for Interscope Records when she was 20 years old, writing songs for Pussycat Dolls, among others.
Lady GaGa: Childhood & Early Career
Lady GaGa was born in Yonkers, New York. Her parents are Italian and she attended a private school, the Catholic Convent of the Sacred Heart. Previous pupils of the school include Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton and Caroline Kennedy.
She started to learn piano as a young child and wrote her first ballad when she was 13 years old. By 14, she was performing at open mic nights and at 17, she earned early admission as a music student to the Tisch School of Arts at New York University. She is one of only 20 people in the world to have ever done so.
Lady GaGa performed in a number of bands, such as SGBand and Mackin Pulsifer, playing venues on the Lower East Side. She soon decided to break away from rock ‘n’ roll music, and began performing in burlesque shows.
Lady GaGa got her name when the producer Rob Fusari compared her vocal style to that of Freddie Mercury and took the nickname from the Queen song ‘Radio GaGa’. It was Fusari that helped her to write some of her early hits, including ‘Disco Heaven’, ‘Dirty Ice Cream’ and ‘Beautiful, Dirty, Rich’.
Lady GaGa: Breakthrough
Lady GaGa was briefly signed to Def Jam but the working relationship was terminated after just a few months. In 2008, she was signed to Interscope Records. She has been contracted to write songs for a number of high profile pop acts, including Britney Spears, New Kids On the Block and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas.
Akon recognized Lady GaGa’s vocal talent when she laid down guide vocals for tracks that she had written for one of his acts. Akon introduced her to RedOne, who produced her debut album. The first track that they produced together was a mash-up of AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’ and Mötley Crüe’s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’.
In 2007, Lady GaGa performed her act Lady GaGa and The Starlight Revue – with performance artist Lady Starlight – at the Lollapalooza festival.
The following year, GaGa moved to Los Angeles and worked on the completion of her debut album, The Fame. She works with a collective of artists, clothes designers, stage designers and sound artists, under the collective name ‘Haus of GaGa’.
The first single to be released from The Fame was ‘Just Dance’, which reached number one in five different countries. This was followed with ‘Poker Face’, which went one better and reached number one in six countries. Lady GaGa’s first concert tour was with the newly-reformed New Kids On The Block.