Which popular female singer's real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta?
And the answer: Lady Gaga.
Born in New York in 1986, Lady Gaga is an American singer, songwriter, and actress known for her powerful vocals and flamboyant costumes. Her stage name is derived from the 1984 song "Radio Ga-Ga" by the band Queen.
Germanotta began her music career early in life. By the time she was a teenager, the soon-to-be pop star was already performing in New York City clubs, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. Germanotta tried her hand at studying music at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, yet dropped out to manage her own career after just two years.
Soon after leaving college, Germanotta began to reinvent and design her image as a musician. Highly influenced by eccentric, unabashed musical greats such as Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, the over-the-top style came to meet glam rock, and ultimately created the iconic image of Lady Gaga. In 2008, Gaga began to rise to prominence with her highly popular album The Fame, featuring hit singles such as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". The album was later reissued to include the EP The Fame Monster (2009), which yielded the successful singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro". Her successive number one Billboard hits made Lady Gaga the first artist in the 17-year history of that chart to have four number ones from a debut album.
Yet, Gaga still had heights left to conquer. 2010 proved to be one of the best years for the up-and-coming artist, with a sold out concert tour, Chicago music festival Lollapalooza headliner slot, and record-setting 20,000 person audience at NBC's Today Show. She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s most powerful women, and capped off 2010 by being named Billboard magazine’s artist of the year.
Having sold 124 million records as of 2014, Gaga remains one of the world's best-selling music artists and the only female artist to achieve four singles that sold at least 10 million copies globally. Her accolades include 12 Grammy Awards, 18 MTV Video Music Awards, 16 Guinness World Records, awards from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and recognition as Billboard's Artist of the Year (2010) and Woman of the Year (2015).
Learn more about Gaga here.