Lady Gaga was born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, and her birth name made many people wonder if she actually comes from Italy.
Lady Gaga isn’t an Italian citizen but identifies as an Italian American because both of her parents originate from Italy. She takes deep pride in her Italian roots and enjoys discussing her heritage during interviews and talk show appearances.
Stick around to learn more about Lady Gaga’s family history and devotion to her Italian roots.
Lady Gaga’s Parents
Lady Gaga has gone by many names throughout her career but was born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her parents Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta are both of Italian descent, but they were born and raised in the US.
The singer’s father Joseph Germanotta was born in New Jersey but eventually moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He worked as an internet entrepreneur and even started his own company that installs Wi-Fi in hotel chains.
Lady Gaga’s mother Cynthia Germanotta grew up in a small town in West Virginia and used to work as a telecommunications executive for Verizon. The singer is close to both of her parents, and they’re involved with her nonprofit Born This Way Foundation.
The Germanottas had to work hard to afford their Upper West Side duplex, and her piano lessons didn’t come cheap either. Lady Gaga credited her parents for helping her establish a very strong work ethic and encouraging her to work hard for the things she wanted in life.
The singer grew up in a supportive household, but that didn’t make her immune to bullying. Her unusual last name and eccentric look made her stand out at school, and other kids often made fun of the way she dressed and talked – but this only made her stronger.
Italian and Proud
Lady Gaga didn’t grow up in Italy and wasn’t constantly surrounded by the Italian culture but is very proud of her heritage. She talks about being Italian so frequently that people started joking about it and posting hilarious compilations on YouTube.
She repeatedly described herself as “a strong Italian woman” and “an Italian girl from New York”. While filming A Star is Born, Lady Gaga learned her co-star Bradley Cooper also has Italian roots, and their bond became even stronger after this discovery.
Lady Gaga is keeping her love for Italy alive by cooking Italian food in her spare time. Her father even owns an Italian restaurant in New York called Joanne Trattoria, and he published a book of classic Italian recipes in 2016.
The “Born This Way” singer discussed her heritage more times than we can count, but her Italian isn’t perfect. She knows some basic phrases but struggles when it comes to having coherent conversations with native Italian speakers.
Her devotion to her Italian roots was also questioned because she ditched her birth name Stefani Germanotta and decided to perform under the moniker Lady Gaga. Her stage name is a reference to the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga”, and she adopted it because she wanted to reinvent herself.
True to Her Roots?
Lady Gaga’s devotion to her Italian roots has been questioned on several occasions – and not only because she doesn’t speak Italian and uses a stage name that hides her true identity.
The singer’s paternal great-grandparents immigrated to the US from a small town called Naso in Sicily. Carmen Caliò, municipal secretary of Naso, called out Lady Gaga for failing to pay a visit to this town while in Italy.
“If it is true that Lady Gaga has such a strong connection to Sicily, she should visit Naso. Maybe she should care more about her village of origin if she is truly tied to her roots,” said Caliò.
It’s been reported that some of Gaga’s Italian cousins came from Sicily to Milan to see her perform during the “Joanne World Tour” in 2018. She paid tribute to her grandparents who left Italy during her show and said that being there makes her feel she’s made them proud.