- 10:05 AM, Aug 22
Lady GaGa, who was born Joanne Stefani Germanotta on March 28, 1986 in New York City, showed a strong passion in music since she was a little. She used to sing along her mini plastic tape recorder to Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper's hits. There was also a point in her childhood where she turned to sounds performed by The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. By age four, she had taught herself to play piano by ear. When she was a teenager, she penned her first song and played in front of public for the first time during an open mic night at New York's Bitter End with a band she formed.
GaGa's music career was started through a performance in the Lower East Side club scenes. There, she found herself among singers who wrote the same style of songs. Wanting to try something different and unique, she decided to do something provocative in the music scene by being an exhibitionist, theatrical performer. "Everybody did the same s**t, super-boring. I wanted to do something that was original and fresh," she said during an interview.
It was after her band disbanded that big ideas were conceived. She worked with music producer Rob Fusari who was searching a female singer for a new band. Together they worked on electronic songs and sent them to music industry bosses, including Antonio "L.A." Reid. When she was 19, GaGa signed a deal with Def Jam Records but was dropped three months later. Yet, she didn't let her premature disappointment overthrow her.
GaGa met Lady Starlight who helped mold her on-stage persona. As a duo act of "Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow", these two gained the attention for their low-fi tribute to 1970s variety acts. They were invited to perform at 2007 Lollapalooza music festival and earned positive reviews. GaGa continued building her fan base by performing at local shows. Fusari sent the songs they have worked on to producer Vincent Herbert who eventually signed her to Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records, in 2007.
From here, GaGa worked her way up from a songwriter for other artists to a performing artist. Interscope's producer Jimmy Iovine offered her a label deal via Streamline/Interscope and partnered her with singer/songwriter Akon, who recognized her vocal talent. "When we were working, Akon would say, 'Get in the booth and cut these vocals,' and he'd always tell me I could