Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta is a 23-year-old artist. She was born in New York City and had an interest in music from a very early age. She started playing piano at the age of four and was slated for the prestigious Julliard by the age of 11 but instead accepted an early admission to the distinguished music program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Despite her already impressive credentials, she dropped out of school to pursue her dream and started to perform in the underground club scene, making a name for herself from her outrageously provocative costumes and burlesque performances.
Stefani was finally able to release a few songs through varied recording companies but her epidemically catchy single “Just Dance” was her breakout performance in 2009. Stefani, or better known as her glamorous stage name, Lady Gaga, had finally found some mainstream success although some people still shrugged her off as a one-hit wonder. However, Lady Gaga kept her momentum with later popular songs such as “Poker Face,” “Love Game,” “Paparazzi” and most recently, “Bad Romance” and has since proved that she is sensation that needs to be reckoned with.
Many critics see her music as nonsensical dribble with lyrics that include overly-excessive innuendos such as “bluffin’ with my muffin” and “disco stick.” They see her music as just another American pop phase that will soon fade away once people find someone more interesting.
Others think that her bizarre wardrobe is just a publicity stunt and that her personality is too weird and freaky. Lady Gaga is constantly surrounded by controversy as people are still extraordinarily curious despite being uncomfortable with her shockingly unfamiliar artistic expression. The most well-known controversy has been whether or not Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite and other various aspects of her sexual history. Although she has somewhat avoided the question with obscure answers, she has been perfectly honest with her fans, letting them know that they should not be concerned about such minor details but rather focus on her creative products and ambiguity as an artist for all audiences.
Her devotion to her music can been seen by her award-winning albums and ingenuity as a musician who is willing to shock her audience with her seemingly natural ability to meld art with melodies.
Despite all the praise and scrutiny that Lady Gaga has encountered in the past year, she has declared herself as a music artist, first and foremost. In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, she was asked the question, “Just who is Lady Gaga?” She answered, “Well, I am a songwriter, [...] a performance artist, [...] a daughter [and] an Italian girl from New York.” She continued opening up by stating that all she really was was a girl “with a dream” with the ambition to match it. Lady Gaga sincerely added that one of the reasons why she makes music is that she wants to help her fans by “free[ing] them of their fears [of being different] and make them feel like they can create their own space in the world.”
On Sept. 13, 2009, I fell in love with Lady Gaga. She appeared on the stage of MTV’s Video Music Awards with her latest single “Paparazzi.” Looking like a beautifully deranged angel dressed in white, she belted out her song while dancing feverishly among a “Phantom of the Opera” inspired set. She then proceeded to play the piano with such talented grace as she placed her legs on top of the keys and rolled her eyes backwards. Grabbing the microphone, she started to approach the screaming fans, when all of a sudden, she started to bleed. Looking down, she wiped the blood onto her face and sang even louder. I watched in awe and gasped as I saw her performing with such raw and unadulterated passion. Her voice grew with a raspy and achingly beautiful vibrato and I literally felt the chills run across my skin. I crawled closer the screen until my face almost touched hers and knew that this woman had something in her that nobody would ever be able to take away.
Ever since then, I have utterly been obsessed with Lady Gaga and her ability to express herself without any limitations or regard to others. Her dedication, passion, talent (she is one of the few artists that can actually sing live acoustically and have the guts to do so), courage, artistic ability and love for music has made her completely deserving of the success she has encountered so far.
Critics may call her shallow, an attention-seeker or a freak. I, however, call her an inspiration to all those who may not exactly fit into the mold that society and others have set out. She is such a beautiful example to those holding onto an impossible dream surrounded by nay-sayers and non-believers. She may be a “freak,” but she is our “freak,” and really in the end, the “freaks” are the ones who shall inherit the earth.