The Short Story: Lady Gaga
March 28, 1986
Yonkers, New York
Her hit songs
; her flashy and eccentriccostumes and makeup
Was signed to Def Jam Records at age 19 but dropped three months later; has 6tattoos including a peace symbol and German script; considers Donatella Versace her muse;refers endearingly to her fans as "monsters"
2009 MTV Video Music Awards: Best New Artist,
; Best Special Effects,
; Best Art Direction,
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (known as Lady Gaga) was born in Yonkers, New York onMarch 28, 1986 to Joseph and Cynthia Germanotta. She was the oldest child in the ItalianAmerican family. Gaga learned to play the piano at age 4 and wrote her first ballad by age 13.Though she was accepted to Julliard School in NYC, she chose to go to Convent of the SacredHeart instead. After high school, she attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.She studied songwriting and music before dropping out to concentrate on her career.A couple years after she left school, Lady Gaga was signed to Def Jam Records at age 19. Just afew months later she was dropped. She then began performing in NYC on the Lower East Sidewith different bands including SGBand and Mackin Pulifer. She also started performing in burlesque shows.During this time, Lady Gaga was introduced to music producer Rob Fusari who thought her voice stylings were similar to Freddy Mercury of Queen. He started calling her Lady Gaga after Queen's song
Radio Ga Ga
. She adopted it as her stage name.