Lady Gaga is the subject of the 8th post in my ongoing series on the artists for whom we have been privileged to provide custom stage curtains and other soft goods. What a fascinating artist she is – I have really enjoyed researching and learning more about her rise to superstardom.
Lady Gaga was born Stefani Germanotta in New York City in 1986. She was musical from an early age, learning to play piano beginning at age six, writing music at age 13, and making her public performance debut at 14. She was also a good student, spending 1 1/2 years at NYU studying drama and performance, before leaving to focus on her musical career.
Initially she performed under her given name, primarily with a self-titled band, the Stefani Germanotta Band, started with several musician friends from NYU. However, by 2006, the band had disbanded, and Stefani had begun performing as a solo artist under the stage name Lady Gaga. Initially, Gaga was thrilled to be signed DefJam Recordings, but she was devasted to be dropped from the label just three months later. However, despite this diappointment, the time period was one of growth for her, as she began to further develop her onstage persona, with the help of performance artist Lady Starlight, with whom she performed at the 2007 Lollapalooza festival. In 2007, Lady Gaga was one of the first artists signed to Streamline Records. She also signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV, writing songs for Britney Spears and Pussycat Dolls, among others.
Her first album, The Fame, was released in 2008 to critical and commercial success, making the top one in several countries, including the UK, and the top 5 in the United States and many other countries. The album produced several hit singles, including Just Dance, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording, and Poker Face, which won the Grammy award in that same category. Lady Gaga was also awarded the Rising Star award for 2009 by Billboard magazine. 2009 was also the year of her first worldwide tour, The Fame Ball Tour.
Gaga’s second album, The Fame Monster, was released in late 2009, focusing on the theme of the dark side of fame. As with her first album, The Fame Monster was a critical and commercial success. The album produced several hit singles, including Telephone (a duet with Beyonce), and was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2011. Her third album, Born This Way, was released in May 2011, onced again topping the charts. Lady Gaga’s songs and albums have been nominated for nearly 250 awards in the United States and abroad, and have won 120 of those.
Lady Gaga has become known as much for her persona as for her music. Her provocative costumes, including the famous “Meat Dress,” can be both outrageous and thought-provoking. She is outspoken advocate for the LGBT community, and inspires fierce loyalty from her fans, called “Little Monsters.”
We were honored to be asked to create a multi-media cutdrop for Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball Tour” in 2009. The piece included digitally printed elements, LED lights, and smoke lines – really cool!