May 16, 2011 / 1:22 PM / 6 years ago

Factbox: Lady Gaga, pop talent wrapped in flamboyant fashion

(Reuters) - Flamboyant pop star Lady Gaga ditched the music and switched to the media on Monday with a stint as a guest editor at the London headquarters of the global free newspaper network Metro.

Here are some facts about the meat dress-wearing Lady Gaga

* LIFE DETAILS:

-- Her real name is Stefani Germanotta and she was born on March 28, 1986 in New York.

-- Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of four. She attended a private Catholic school, studying music and performing. She held her first public performance at the age of 14 in a New York nightclub.

-- The inspiration for her name, she has attributed to the Queen song, "Radio Ga Ga."

-- She was granted early admission to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts at the age of 17. She studied music and worked on her songwriting skills but later withdrew to find creative inspiration.

* ROAD TO FAME:

-- In 2007, Lady Gaga began work at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other groups on the label, including Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, and The Pussycat Dolls.

-- R&B singer Akon discovered Gaga while she was performing a burlesque show she called, "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue," which she had created to make a name for herself.

-- In 2007 and 2008, Lady Gaga wrote and recorded her debut album, "The Fame." The record received positive reviews and had popular success in the United States. With the help of her own creative team, "Haus of Gaga," the performer also began to make a name for herself internationally.

-- Lady Gaga dominated the 30th BRITs in February 2010 becoming the first international act to do so for five years.

-- She won a trio of awards at the British pop music industry's flagship ceremony picking up awards for international female solo artist, international breakthrough act and best international album for "The Fame," winning every category in which she was nominated.

* RECENT HAPPENINGS:

-- In the 2011 Grammy Awards in February Lady Gaga stole the limelight by arriving encased in a giant egg, and crawling out of it to perform her new single "Born This Way." Away from the ceremony in Los Angeles, the singer made headlines by saying in a pre-recorded TV interview that she used marijuana and whiskey to help write her songs. Gaga won three of the six awards she was nominated for -- one for her album "The Fame Monster" and two for her song "Bad Romance."

-- Last month the singer who likes to court controversy, released "Judas," the latest track off of the new album "Born This Way." "The Red One-produced 'Judas' carried echoes of her biggest hits, 'Bad Romance' and 'Poker Face,' and found her pushing religious boundaries over a pummeling breakdown," said Billboard.

-- "Born This Way" became the fastest-selling single ever on Apple's iTunes store worldwide, racking up more than one million downloads in five days, Apple said in February. -- Gaga last month revealed in her latest YouTube video, called Gagavision no. 42, that she has continued to be hands on with her material.

"I graphic-designed the 'Judas' single cover myself," she said. "I photographed the image with my cell phone for texture."

Sources: Reuters/biography.com

Writing by David Cutler; London Editorial Reference Unit

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