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Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga was once upon a time just a New York-based aspiring singer-songwriter who had landed a deal with Interscope after working on demos with producer Rob Fusari for a couple of years and a failed deal with Def Jam, from which she had been dropped.

By the summer of 2008 very few people outside of the music industry knew who Lady Gaga was, when her record label launched her debut album on August 19, 2008 in Canada without knowing that it would soon go on to become a Pop phenomenon.

When we look back at Lady Gaga’s debut, we can all remember this girl singing and dancing on stage with her weird fashions and costumes, but a lot of what made Lady Gaga who she is today also comes down to the music. She introduced herself on the music scene with one of the strongest Pop albums in a while and she basically had the whole package: the hits, the mysterious aura, the fascinating personality and the talent that distinguished all of the great ones that came before her.

Since then, Lady Gaga has remained a force in Pop music with her successful Born This Way album, ever-strange ARTPOP project, a foray into Jazz Standards alongside Tony Bennett, her mostly acoustic singer-songwriter album Joanne, an Academy Award for her #1 single, “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, and even earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the process.

Lady Gaga has gained her rightful spot in culture, no matter what her detractors may think.

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