Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) is an American pop singer-songwriter with a net worth of $110 million, according to Celebrity Networth.com. According to paywizard.org she will earn an additional $62 Million this year from record, merchandise and concert ticket sales. If she had become a public company in 2008, shareholders would be reaping a bonanza.
Lady Gaga’s stage name is a reference to rock band Queen’s song Radio Ga Ga. She began her rise to fame performing in the rock music scene of New York City’s Lower East Side in 2003. Known for her outrageous fashion choices as much as her performing ability, Lady Gaga says her fashion influence is Donatella Versace.
Lady Gaga has said her music and fashion is inspired by glam rock artists such as Queen and David Bowie, and pop singers such as Britney Spears, Madonna, and Michael Jackson, and that fashion inspires her songwriting and performances.
Lady Gaga began playing piano at age four, writing her first piano ballad at 13, and at 14 began performing at local “open mike nights.” In 2003 she attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied music. While there she improved her songwriting skills by composing papers focusing on such topics as religion, social issues, art, and politics. She later signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. During her early years at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists. Later, rapper Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, signed her to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.
Lady Gaga’s debut album, The Fame, was released on August 19, 2008, reaching number one in Austria, Germany, the UK, Canada, and Ireland, and reached the top-ten in numerous countries worldwide; in the United States the album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, topping Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart. The album produced the hit singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” and she embarked on her first tour The Fame Ball Tour.
In 2010 OK! Magazine reported that Lady Gaga demanded $250,000 for her May 5 performance on American Idol — and got it. She catapulted to No. 4 on Forbes’ 2010 ranking of the richest and most powerful actors, actresses and musicians, following Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé and James Cameron (Numbers 1, 2 and 3 respectively). Her successful marketing strategies have drawn 10.4 million fans to her Facebook page.
Lady Gaga’s second studio album The Fame Monster produced the global chart-topping single “Bad Romance”, leading to The Monster Ball Tour for the album. Her third album, Born This Way, comes out May 23rd and is sure to be supported by a tour. Its lead single "Born This Way", achieved the number-one spot in countries worldwide and was the fastest-selling single in iTunes history, selling one million copies in five days.
Reflecting on Lady Gaga's influence on modern culture and her rise to global fame, sociologist Mathieu Deflem of the University of South Carolina organized a course in the Spring of 2011 titled "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame" with the objective of unraveling "sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga with respect to her music, videos, fashion, and other artistic endeavors."