Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (/ /; born March 28, 1986), known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at theConvent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She began performing in the rock music scene of Manhattan's Lower East Side, and was signed with Streamline Records by the end of 2007. During her employment as a songwriter for the record company, her vocal abilities captured the attention of recording artist Akon, who signed her to his label Kon Live Distribution.
Lady Gaga came to prominence as a recording artist following the release of her debut album The Fame (2008), which was a critical and commercial success that topped charts around the world and included the international number-one singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". After embarking on theThe Fame Ball Tour, she followed the album with The Fame Monster (2009), which spawned the worldwide hit singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro". The album's success allowed her to embark on the eighteen-month long Monster Ball Tour, which later became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Her most recent album Born This Way (2011) topped the charts of most major markets and generated more international chart-topping singles, including "Born This Way", "Judas" and "The Edge of Glory". Besides her musical career, she involves herself with humanitarian causes andLGBT activism.
Influenced by David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Queen, Lady Gaga is recognized for her flamboyant, diverse and outré contributions to the music industry through her fashion, performances and music videos. She has sold an estimated 23 million albums and 64 million singles worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time and her singles are some of the best selling worldwide. Her achievements include five Grammy Awards and 13MTV Video Music Awards. Lady Gaga has consecutively appeared onBillboard magazine's Artists of the Year (scoring the definitive title in 2010), ranked fourth in VH1's list of 100 Greatest Women in Music, is regularly placed on lists composed by Forbes magazine and was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. In 2012, Gaga was ranked at number four on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, grossing more than $25 million.
After simmering for many months, rumors of Gaga's intersexuality burst out big-time this past week when a YouTube video was posted showing a little "something extra" peeking out from under Gaga's miniskirt during a June 2009 performance in Glastonbury, England. The quality of the video is too poor to tell precisely what
'It's not something I'm ashamed of,' Gaga purportedly says
The video was soon followed by a statementattributed to the singer in which she supposedly declared her proud intersexuality: "It's not something that I'm ashamed of, just isn't something that I go around telling everyone. Yes. I have both male and female genitalia, but I consider myself a female. It's just a little bit of a penis and really doesn't interfere much with my life."
Lady Gaga's management dismissed both the rumor and the fabricated quote in an actual statement to ABC News. "This is completely ridiculous," the statement said.
BACKGROUND: What is a hermaphrodite?
The word hermaphrodite comes from Hermaphroditus, the name given to the son of the ancient Greek gods Hermes and Aphrodite. According to mythology, Hermaphroditus was so loved by the nymph Salmacis that she prayed they could be united as one person — and literally got her wish. The two were transformed into one being who was both male and female.
First used as such in the 15th century, hermaphrodite is an all-but-obsolete medical term (clinicians now prefer intersex) for a set of conditions characterized mainly by genitalia which are either "ambiguous" (i.e., not clearly male or female) or at odds with the subject's chromosomal gender. Depending on the specific symptoms, hermaphroditism / intersexuality may be the result of a genetic anomaly or a hormonal excess or deficiency during gestation. It has been estimated that as many as 1 in 2,000 children born in the United States are diagnosed with ambiguous external genitalia, of whom a very small percentage undergo "sex reassignment" surgery in infancy.
The Education of Lady GaGa:
Born March 20, 1986, Stefani Germanotta attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart school in New York. As a teenager she began writing songs and playing open mic nights at clubs in Manhattan. While in high school she performed in a wide range of dramatic plays and musicals. At the age of 17, Stefani was admitted to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Making a Name in the Underground:
Through her club connections in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Stefani Germanotta met and began working with producer Rob Fusari in 2006. It was Fusari who helped create the stage name Lady GaGa with inspiration from Queen's classic hit "Radio GaGa." It is a reference to sharing the flamboyant spirit of Queen's Freddie Mercury. Lady GaGa also joined forces with DJ / performance artist Lady Starlight, and the pair made a name for themselves with such stage projects as Lady GaGa and the Starlight Revue.
The Sound of Lady GaGa:
Unlike many of her counterparts in the Lower East Side club scene, Lady GaGa turned away from rock to pop music as her primary inspiration. She takes her inspiration from a wide variety of influences including the Cyndi Lauper music from her childhood, 70's variety shows, disco, andMadonna.
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