The singer has toured the world. But where did she grow up?
Lady Gaga grew up in Manhattan, New York City, USA. The singer was born and raised here to a financially-comfortable family. The singer now spends most of her time on the West Coast, in her Malibu mansion.
Stick around to find out more about the singer’s upbringing and path to fame.
Lady Gaga’s Formative Years
Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, was born on March 28, 1986, at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York City.
Both of the singer’s parents have Italian heritage. Gaga was fortunate to be born to an upper-middle-class family. Her mother, Cynthia Louise, is a philanthropist and business executive, and her father is Internet entrepreneur Joseph Germanotta.
Gaga and her younger sister Natali were brought up in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The family is Catholic and from age 11, she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, which is a private all-girls Roman Catholic school.
Describing her school, Gaga said it was “very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined.” The singer didn’t always have an easy time at school since she was picked on for “being either too provocative or too eccentric.”
Lady Gaga started playing the piano at the young age of 4 after her mother advised her to become “a cultured young woman.” She also attended a Creative Arts Camp as a child. In her teenage years, Gaga would perform at open mic nights in the city.
Talking about her passion for music, the singer described her affinity towards music coming at a young age:
“I don’t know exactly where my affinity for music comes from, but it is the thing that comes easiest to me.
When I was like three years old, I may have been even younger, my mom always tells this really embarrassing story of me propping myself up and playing the keys like this because I was too young and short to get all the way up there. Just go like this on the low end of the piano.
I was really, really good at piano, so my first instincts were to work so hard at practicing piano, and I might not have been a natural dancer, but I am a natural musician. That is the thing that I believe I am the greatest at.”
When she was 17, in 2003, Lady Gaga got into Collaborative Arts Project 21, a music school at New York University. However, she left school when she was 19 since her career had started to take off.
Trying to Make it in Music
In 2005, Gaga formed the band SGBand with friends from college. They played on the downtown Lower East Side club scene.
In 2006, a talent scout spotted Gaga and recommended her to producer Rob Fusari. The two collaborated to create “Team Lovechild,” which marketed her music.
Fusari also claims to be the first to call her “Lady Gaga,” inspired by the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga.” The pair ended up dating, although the relationship finished in early 2007.
The pair’s marketing was a success since after sending some tracks to Def Jam Recordings, Gaga was offered a record deal. Unfortunately, she was dropped by the label after only three months of being signed, when executives backtracked on their decision.
Gaga revealed that her 2011 song “Marry The Night,” was dedicated to her feelings of despair after being dropped by Def Jam.
Watch the 14-minute music video for “Marry The Night” below.
Lady Gaga also recalled how she felt on the day, saying, “It was one of the worst days of my life and it happened quite quickly, but in my mind, when I think back on that period of my life, it all happened very slow. It is my personal way of seeing things.”
In November of 2007, Gaga was offered another chance at a record deal, this time with Streamline Records. She also got a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV and started writing songs for Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, Fergie, and The Pussycat Dolls.
It was around this time that Gaga started working on her debut album, recording several songs.
Despite having worked with several big names, and a record deal, the singer found that most radio stations were reluctant to give her air time. They would tell her that her music was too “racy” and “underground.”
She would tell them: “My name is Lady Gaga, I’ve been on the music scene for years, and I’m telling you, this is what’s next.”
Gaga released her debut studio album on August 19, 2008—The Fame. The album was phenomenally successful, reaching number 1 in Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the UK, as well as number 2 in the US.