Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name, Lady Gaga, is an American singer and songwriter. Raised in New York City, Gaga, elder of two sisters, primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart. She briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career and started to perform in the rock music scene of Manhattan's Lower East Side. By the end of 2007, she was signed with Streamline Records. Employed as a songwriter for the record company, she captured the attention of recording artist Akon who, recognizing her vocal abilities, signed her to his label Kon Live Distribution.
Gaga came to prominence following the release of her debut studio album The Fame in 2008, which received generally favorable reviews from critics. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", were number-one singles and the album itself reached the number-one spot on nine record charts worldwide. Gaga embarked on the Fame Ball Tour in order to promote the album. Following it in late 2009, she released an extended play, The Fame Monster, which spawned the international hit singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone" and "Alejandro". In order to promote the EP, she embarked on the eighteen-month long Monster Ball Tour, which became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Her second album Born This Way was released in 2011, topping the charts on several major markets and spawning international chart-topping singles including "Born This Way", "Judas" and "The Edge of Glory". Aside from being a recording artist, Gaga has also involved herself with humanitarian causes and LGBT activism.
In her songwriting and performances, Gaga takes influence from glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as dance-pop artists like Michael Jackson and Madonna. Gaga has sold an estimated 23 million albums and 64 million singles worldwide, which makes her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has won numerous awards, including Grammy Awards and MTV awards, among others, as well as two consecutive appearances on Billboard magazine's Artists of the Year (scoring the definitive title in 2010); regular placements on lists composed by Forbes; and an appearance on the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
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