Happy birthday, Lady Gaga: From provocative performer to a serious artist

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Lady Gaga, the likely heiress to the Queen of Pop crown, turns 30 today. The American singer and songwriter is best known for her jaw-dropping performances and outrageous sense of fashion, as well as her social activism.
Queen Elizabeth II trifft Lady Gaga Blackpool England
Pop icon Lady Gaga was born in New York State on March 26, 1986 as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Her talent for music became evident early on, when she started to play the piano, aged 4. But her parents soon noticed that Little Stefani wanted more than just tickling the ivories for pleasure. Perhaps she was "born this way."
A performance fit for a Queen
Since the beginning of her career Lady Gaga has been known for her extravagant costumes and lavish style. When she performed for Queen Elizabeth II in Blackpool in 2009, she appeared to have toned down her look as best she could. Wearing a red PVC outfit, featuring a 20ft-long cloak with an Elizabethan-style collar, she played a "floating" piano, suspended in the air on giant stilts.
When Lady Gaga took the stage at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards jaws dropped.She wore an outfit that appeared to be made of raw meat. Although many said she did it for the attention, Lady Gaga had a message: "If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat."
Cross-dressing for LGBT rights?
Lady Gaga's apparent lack of restraint continued at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011. She appeared as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone. Like many of her performances before she used this one to raise awareness about LGBT rights. It wasn't the first time Gaga performed as Jo. She had posed for Vogue Japan as Calderone before; she had also dressed up as Jo for the cover of her single "You and I."
In 2014, Gaga collaborated with American jazz legend Tony Bennett on their collaborative jazz Album, "Cheek to Cheek." It became Gaga's third consecutive number-one record in the United States. The album went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. It was reportendly inspired by Bennett and Gaga's desire to introduce American Songbook standards to a younger generation.
The next step in Gaga's career was to star in American Horror Story: Hotel. It was the fifth season of the Horror series, which ran from October 2015 to January 2016. Lady Gaga played the role of Elizabeth, the owner of the hotel. She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film for her performance. Gaga has recently announced that she will return for the sixth season.
Oscars 2016
Lady Gaga performed The Star-Spangled Banner, the US national Anthem, at the Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, kicking off the historic match between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. Wearing a bright red suit and swanking blue nails as well as American flag-themed platform shoes, Gaga’s performance drew compliments from many in the sports community and on social media.
At the 58th annual Grammy Awards Lady Gaga, who had long named the Starman as her greatest influence (she even dressed as Ziggy Stardust during her "Fame" album days), performed a medley of David Bowie's greatest hits to honor his legacy. Nile Rodgers, who had produced Bowie's 1983 "Let's Dance" album, served as the tribute's musical director.
Gaga's performance of "Til It Happens to You," a song about sexual assaults on college campuses, which was featured in the documentary "The Hunting Ground," is widely regarded as her strongest performance so far. With tears in her eyes Lady Gaga struggled to perform the song at the 88th Academy Awards, as 50 sexual assault survivors marched onstage for the finale, earning her a standing ovation.
Author: Rachel Baig
Golden Globes 2016
Her career in show business started in the early 2000s, when she engaged in writing pop songs for internationally acclaimed artists like Britney Spears, the Pussycat Dolls, and Black Eyed Peas' singer Fergie. Soon thereafter, Gaga decided to enter the music market in her own name with her debut album "The Fame."
Tracks like "Poker Face" and "Just Dance" hit the radio charts, reaching platinum sales in no time. But Lady Gaga isn't only about music. The persona she created transcends music and represents artistic values beyond catchy tunes and provocative lyrics. Her dress sense, make-up and hair styles fill headlines and sometimes case debate, as was the case when she appeared in her infamous meat dress at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
An ever-changing work of art
More than an artist, Lady Gaga is a self-professed, ever-changing work of art herself, which is not to say that comparisons between her and Madonna, the reigning "Queen of Pop" don't flatter her. But in addition to Madonna, Gaga has cited such figures of pop culture as David Bowie, Donatella Versace and the "Married… with children" TV-series character Peggy Bundy to be among artistic influences.
Gaga has also proved her acumen for social media, with 57.6 million followers on Twitter making her one of the hottest brands online. In less than ten years, Lady Gaga has prevailed as one of the greatest names in pop music - without ever really making tabloid headlines. If she retired today, she would still have several VMA awards, six Grammys and one Golden Globe to count among her laurels - among others.
But she's far from even taking a time-out; recently she took to Twitter, speaking out against wasting water and took a plunge in ice-cold Lake Michigan to raise awareness about Special Olympics.
Author: Kristina Reymann-Schneider / ss
Date: 02.04.2016
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