Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) is an American singer, songwriter and actress who rose to game with her debut album The Fame (2008), which was a critical and commercial success.
She is known for her self-empowering messages, fashion and live performances. She initially performed in theatre, appearing in high school plays, and studied at CAP21 through New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before dropping out to pursue a musical career.
After leaving a rock band, participating in the Lower East Side's avant garde performance art circuit, and being dropped from a contract with Def Jam Recordings, Gaga worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
There, recording artist Akon noticed her vocal abilities and helped her to sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own KonLive Distribution.
Her debut album The Fame (2008) was a critical and commercial success which produced global chart-topping singles such as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". A follow-up EP, The Fame Monster (2009), was met with a similar reception and released the successful singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro".
Outside of her music, she is noted for her philanthropic endeavours and social activism, including LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.
In 2015 she had a starring role in the fifth season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story: Hotel.