Her first manager said 13 to 14 year old Stefani Germanotta had to pluck up the courage to go up onstage for an open mic.
Outlandish singer Lady GaGa overcame crippling shyness to launch her career as a world famous pop star, according to her first manager. Bob Leone says he first met the "Just Dance" hitmaker at an open mic night when she was 13 or 14 years old and went by her given name, Stefani Germanotta.
He worked with GaGa for several years and managed her for six months in 2006, overseeing her transformation. He tells People.com, "It was a very important six months because going into it, she was Stefani, and she was still writing pop music. By the end of that six-month period, she was officially Lady GaGa."
But Leon admits the singer, now famous for her over-the-top ensembles and controversial pop lyrics, started as a timid teen who had to work up the nerve to perform. He explains, "She was painfully shy - very different from who she is now. She came to the open mics with her mother twice before she built up the courage to go onstage."