Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ( STEF-?n-ee JUR-m?-NOT-?; born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her image reinventions and musical versatility.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986, at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, to an upper middle class Catholic family. Both of her parents have Italian ancestry, and she also has more distant French-Canadian roots. Her parents are Cynthia Louise (néeBissett), a philanthropist and business executive, and Internet entrepreneur Joseph Germanotta, and she has a younger sister named Natali. Brought up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Gaga said in an interview that her parents came from lower-class families and worked hard for everything. From age 11, she attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a private all-girls Roman Catholic school. Gaga described her high school self as "very dedicated, very studious, very disciplined" but also "a bit insecure". She considered herself a misfit and was mocked for "being either too provocative or too eccentric".
I don't know exactly where my affinity for music comes from, but it is the thing that comes easiest to me. When I was like three years old, I may have been even younger, my mom always tells this really embarrassing story of me propping myself up and playing the keys like this because I was too young and short to get all the way up there. Just go like this on the low end of the piano ... I was really, really good at piano, so my first instincts were to work so hard at practicing piano, and I might not have been a natural dancer, but I am a natural musician. That is the thing that I believe I am the greatest at.
In a 2014 interview, Gaga said she had been raped at age 19, for which she later underwent mental and physical therapy. She has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which she attributes to the incident, and credits support from doctors, family and friends with helping her. In 2021, Gaga gave additional details about her rape, including that "the person who raped me dropped me off pregnant on a corner at my parents' house because I was vomiting and sick. Because I'd been being abused. I was locked away in a studio for months."
2005-2007: Career beginnings
In 2005, Gaga recorded two songs with hip-hop singer Melle Mel for an audio book accompanying Cricket Casey's children's novel The Portal in the Park. She also formed a band called the SGBand with some friends from NYU. They played gigs around New York and became a fixture of the downtown Lower East Side club scene. After the 2006 Songwriters Hall of Fame New Songwriters Showcase at The Cutting Room in June, talent scout Wendy Starland recommended her to music producer Rob Fusari. Fusari collaborated with Gaga, who traveled daily to New Jersey, helping to develop her songs and compose new material. The producer said they began dating in May 2006, and claimed to have been the first person to call her "Lady Gaga", which was derived from Queen's song "Radio Ga Ga". Their relationship lasted until January 2007.
Fusari and Gaga established a company called Team Lovechild, LLC to promote her career. They recorded and produced electropop tracks, sending them to music industry executives. Joshua Sarubin, the head of Artists and repertoire (A&R) at Def Jam Recordings, responded positively and, after approval from Sarubin's boss Antonio "L.A." Reid, Gaga was signed to Def Jam in September 2006. She was dropped from the label three months later and returned to her family home for Christmas. Gaga began performing at neo-burlesque shows, which according to her represented freedom. During this time, she met performance artist Lady Starlight, who helped mold her onstage persona. The pair began performing at downtown club venues like the Mercury Lounge, The Bitter End, and the Rockwood Music Hall. Their live performance art piece, known as "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue" and billed as "The Ultimate Pop Burlesque Rockshow", was a tribute to 1970s variety acts. They performed at the 2007 Lollapalooza music festival.
In late 2007, Gaga met with songwriter and producer RedOne. She collaborated with him in the recording studio for a week on her debut album, signing with Cherrytree Records, an Interscope imprint established by producer and songwriter Martin Kierszenbaum; she also wrote four songs with Kierszenbaum. Despite securing a record deal, she said that some radio stations found her music too "racy", "dance-oriented", and "underground" for the mainstream market, to which she replied: "My name is Lady Gaga, I've been on the music scene for years, and I'm telling you, this is what's next."
2008-2010: Breakthrough with The Fame and The Fame Monster
During this era, Gaga ventured into business, collaborating with consumer electronics company Monster Cable Products to create in-ear, jewel-encrusted headphones called Heartbeats by Lady Gaga. She also partnered with Polaroid in January 2010 as their creative director and announced a suite of photo-capture products called Grey Label. Her collaboration with her past record producer and ex-boyfriend Rob Fusari led to a lawsuit against her production team, Mermaid Music LLC.[a] At this time, Gaga was tested borderline positive for lupus, but claimed not to be affected by the symptoms and hoped to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
2011-2014: Born This Way, Artpop, and Cheek to Cheek
In February 2011, Gaga released "Born This Way", the lead single from her studio album of the same name. The song sold more than one million copies within five days, earning the Guinness World Record for the fastest selling single on iTunes. It debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 1,000th number-one single in the history of the charts. Its second single "Judas" followed two months later, and "The Edge of Glory" served as its third single. Both reached the top 10 in the US and the UK. Her music video for "The Edge of Glory", unlike her previous work, portrays her dancing on a fire escape and walking on a lonely street, without intricate choreography and back-up dancers.
Gaga promoting Born This Way with performances in Sydney, Australia
Born This Way was released on May 23, 2011, and debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 1.1 million copies. The album sold eight million copies worldwide and received three Grammy nominations, including Gaga's third consecutive nomination for Album of the Year.Rolling Stone listed it among "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" in 2020.Born This Ways following singles were "You and I" and "Marry the Night", which reached numbers six and 29 in the US, respectively. While filming the former's music video, Gaga met and started dating actor Taylor Kinney in July 2011, who played her love interest. She also embarked on the Born This Way Ball tour in April 2012, which was scheduled to conclude the following March, but ended one month earlier when Gaga canceled the remaining dates due to a labral tear of her right hip that required surgery. While refunds for the cancellations were estimated to be worth $25 million, the tour grossed $183.9 million globally.
Gaga began work on her third studio album, Artpop, in early 2012, during the Born This Way Ball tour; she crafted the album to mirror "a night at the club". In August 2013, Gaga released the album's lead single "Applause", which reached number one in Hungary, number four in the US, and number five in the UK. A lyric video for Artpop track "Aura" followed in October to accompany Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, where she plays an assassin named La Chameleon. The film received generally negative reviews and earned less than half of its $33 million budget. The second Artpop single, "Do What U Want", featured singer R. Kelly and was released later that month, topping the charts in Hungary and reaching number 13 in the US.Artpop was released on November 6, 2013, to mixed reviews. Helen Brown in The Daily Telegraph criticized Gaga for making another album about her fame and doubted the record's originality, but found it "great for dancing". The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, and sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide as of July 2014. "G.U.Y." was released as the third single in March 2014 and peaked at number 76 in the US.
In February 2016, Gaga sang the US national anthem at Super Bowl 50, partnered with Intel and Nile Rodgers for a tribute performance to the late David Bowie at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, and sang "Til It Happens to You" at the 88th Academy Awards, where she was introduced by Joe Biden and was accompanied on-stage by 50 people who had suffered from sexual assault. She was honored that April with the Artist Award at the Jane Ortner Education Awards by The Grammy Museum, which recognizes artists who have demonstrated passion and dedication to education through the arts. Her engagement to Taylor Kinney ended in July; she later said her career had interfered with their relationship.
Gaga played a witch named Scathach in American Horror Story: Roanoke, the series' sixth season, which ran from September to November 2016. Her role in the fifth season of the show ultimately influenced her future music, prompting her to feature "the art of darkness". In September 2016, she released her fifth album's lead single, "Perfect Illusion", which topped the charts in France and reached number 15 in the US. The album, titled Joanne, was named after Gaga's late aunt, who was an inspiration for the music. It was released on October 21, 2016, and became Gaga's fourth number one album on the Billboard 200, making her the first woman to reach the US chart's summit four times in the 2010s. The album's second single, "Million Reasons", followed the next month and reached number four in the US. She later released a piano version of the album's title track in 2018, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance. To promote the album, Gaga embarked on the three-date Dive Bar Tour.
Gaga performed as the headlining act during the Super Bowl LI halftime show on February 5, 2017. Her performance featured a group of hundreds of lighted drones forming various shapes in the sky above Houston's NRG Stadium--the first time robotic aircraft appeared in a Super Bowl program. It attracted 117.5 million viewers in the United States, exceeding the game's 113.3 million viewers. The performance led to a surge of 410,000 song downloads in the United States for Gaga and earned her an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Special Class Program category.CBS Sports included her performance as the second best in the history of Super Bowl halftime shows. In April, Gaga headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. She also released a standalone-single, "The Cure", which reached the top 10 in Australia. In August, Gaga began the Joanne World Tour, which she announced after the Super Bowl LI halftime show. Gaga's creation of Joanne and preparation for her halftime show performance were featured in the documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, which premiered on Netflix that September. Throughout the film, she was seen suffering from chronic pain, which was later revealed to be the effect of a long-term condition called fibromyalgia. In February 2018, it prompted Gaga to cancel the last ten shows of the Joanne World Tour, which ultimately grossed $95 million from 842,000 tickets sold.
2018-2020: A Star Is Born, Enigma, and Chromatica
In March 2018, Gaga supported the March for Our Lives gun-control rally in Washington, D.C., and released a cover of Elton John's "Your Song" for his tribute album Revamp. Later that year, she starred as struggling singer Ally in Bradley Cooper's musical romantic drama A Star Is Born, a remake of the 1937 film of the same name. The film follows Ally's relationship with singer Jackson Maine (played by Cooper), which becomes strained after her career begins to overshadow his. It received acclaim from critics, with a consensus that the movie had "appealing leads, deft direction, and an affecting love story". Cooper approached Gaga after seeing her perform at a cancer research fundraiser. An admirer of Cooper's work, Gaga agreed to the project due to its portrayal of addiction and depression.A Star Is Born premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, and was released worldwide that October. Gaga's performance was acclaimed by film critics, with Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian labeling the film "outrageously watchable" and stating that "Gaga's ability to be part ordinary person, part extraterrestrial celebrity empress functions at the highest level";Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine similarly highlighted her "knockout performance" and found her to be "charismatic" without her usual makeup, wigs and costumes. For the role, Gaga won the National Board of Review and Critics' Choice awards for Best Actress, in addition to receiving nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actress.
In October, Gaga announced her engagement to talent agent Christian Carino whom she had met in early 2017. They ended the engagement in February 2019. Gaga signed a two-year residency, named Lady Gaga Enigma, to perform at the MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas. The residency consisted of two types of shows: Enigma, which focused on theatricality and included Gaga's biggest hits, and Jazz and Piano, which involved tracks from the Great American Songbook and stripped-down versions of Gaga's songs. The Enigma residency show opened in December 2018 and the Jazz and Piano in January 2019. Gaga launched her first, vegan makeup line, Haus Laboratories, in September 2019 exclusively on Amazon. Consisting of 40 products, including liquid eyeliners, lip glosses and face mask sticker, it reached number-one on Amazon's list of best-selling lipsticks. In February 2020, Gaga began a relationship with entrepreneur Michael Polansky.
Gaga's sixth studio album, Chromatica, was released on May 29, 2020, to positive reviews. It debuted atop the US charts, becoming her sixth consecutive number-one album in the country, and reached the top spot in more than a dozen other territories including Australia, Canada, France, Italy and the UK.Chromatica was preceded by two singles, "Stupid Love", on February 28, 2020, and "Rain on Me", with Ariana Grande, on May 22. The latter won the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, and debuted at number one in the US, making Gaga the third person to top the country's chart in the 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. At the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga won five awards, including the inaugural Tricon Award recognizing artists accomplished in different areas of the entertainment industry. In September 2020, she appeared in the video campaign for Valentino's Voce Viva fragrance, singing a stripped-down version of Chromatica track "Sine from Above", along with a group of models.
2021: Second collaborative album and further acting roles
During the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, Gaga sang the U.S. national anthem. In February 2021, her dog walker Ryan Fischer was hospitalized after getting shot in Hollywood. Two of her French Bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were taken while a third dog named Miss Asia escaped and was subsequently recovered by police. Gaga later offered a $500,000 reward for the return of her pets. Two days later, on February 26, a woman brought the dogs to a police station in Los Angeles. Both were unharmed. Police said the woman who dropped off the dogs did not appear to be involved with the shooting. On April 29, Los Angeles Police said that five people have been charged in connection with the theft, including the woman who returned the pets.
Gaga has called the Indian alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra a "true inspiration", and has also quoted Indian leader Osho's book Creativity on Twitter. Gaga says she was influenced by Osho's work in valuing rebellion through creativity and equality.
Musical style and themes
Critics have analyzed and scrutinized Gaga's musical and performance style, as she has experimented with new ideas and images throughout her career. She says the continual reinvention is "liberating" herself, which she has been drawn to since childhood. Gaga is a contralto, with a range spanning from B♭2 to B5. She has changed her vocal style regularly, and considers Born This Way "much more vocally up to par with what I've always been capable of". In summing up her voice, Entertainment Weekly wrote: "There's an immense emotional intelligence behind the way she uses her voice. Almost never does she overwhelm a song with her vocal ability, recognizing instead that artistry is to be found in nuance rather than lung power."
Gaga's songs have been called "depthless" by writer Camille Paglia in The Sunday Times, but according to Evan Sawdey of PopMatters, she "does manage to get you moving and grooving at an almost effortless pace". Gaga believes that "all good music can be played on a piano and still sound like a hit".Simon Reynolds wrote in 2010, "Everything about Gaga came from electroclash, except the music, which wasn't particularly 1980s, just ruthlessly catchy naughties pop glazed with Auto-Tune and undergirded with R&B-ish beats."
Gaga's songs have covered a wide variety of concepts; The Fame discusses the lust for stardom, while the follow-up The Fame Monster expresses fame's dark side through monster metaphors. The Fame is an electropop and dance-pop album that has influences of 1980s pop and 1990s Europop, whereas The Fame Monster displays Gaga's taste for pastiche, drawing on "Seventies arena glam, perky ABBAdisco, and sugary throwbacks like Stacey Q".Born This Way has lyrics in English, French, German, and Spanish and features themes common to Gaga's controversial songwriting such as sex, love, religion, money, drugs, identity, liberation, sexuality, freedom, and individualism. The album explores new genres, such as electronic rock and techno.
The themes in Artpop revolve around Gaga's personal views of fame, love, sex, feminism, self-empowerment, overcoming addiction, and reactions to media scrutiny.Billboard describes Artpop as "coherently channeling R&B, techno, disco and rock music". With Cheek to Cheek, Gaga dabbled in the jazz genre.Joanne, exploring the genres of country, funk, pop, dance, rock, electronic music and folk, was influenced by her personal life. The A Star Is Born soundtrack contains elements of blues rock, country and bubblegum pop.Billboard says its lyrics are about wanting change, its struggle, love, romance, and bonding, describing the music as "timeless, emotional, gritty and earnest. They sound like songs written by artists who, quite frankly, are supremely messed up but hit to the core of the listener." On Chromatica, Gaga returned to her dance-pop roots, and discussed her struggles with mental health.
Videos and stage
Gaga during a "blood soaked" performance in 2010
Featuring constant costume changes and provocative visuals, Gaga's music videos are often described as short films. The video for "Telephone" earned Gaga the Guinness World Record for Most Product Placement in a Video. According to author Curtis Fogel, she explores bondage and sadomasochism and highlights prevalent feminist themes. The main themes of her music videos are sex, violence, and power. She calls herself "a little bit of a feminist" and asserts that she is "sexually empowering women".Billboard ranked her sixth on its list of "The 100 Greatest Music Video Artists of All Time" in 2020, stating that "the name 'Lady Gaga' will forever be synonymous with culture-shifting music videos."
Gaga has called herself a perfectionist when it comes to her elaborate shows. Her performances have been described as "highly entertaining and innovative"; the blood-spurting performance of "Paparazzi" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was described as "eye-popping" by MTV News. She continued the blood-soaked theme during The Monster Ball Tour, causing protests in England from family groups and fans in the aftermath of the Cumbria shootings, in which a taxi driver had killed 12 people, then himself. At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga appeared in drag as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone, and delivered a lovesick monologue before a performance of her song "You and I". As Gaga's choreographer and creative director, Laurieann Gibson provided material for her shows and videos for four years before she was replaced by her assistant Richard Jackson in 2014.
In an October 2018 article for Billboard, Rebecca Schiller traced back Gaga's videography from "Just Dance" to the release of A Star Is Born. Schiller noted how, following the Artpop era, Gaga's stripped-down approach to music was reflected in the clips for the singles from Joanne, taking the example of the music video of lead single "Perfect Illusion" where the singer "[ditched] the elaborate outfits for shorts and a tee-shirt as she performed the song at a desert party". It continued with her performances in the film as well as her stage persona.
Public reception of Gaga's music, fashion sense, and persona is polarized. Because of her influence on modern culture, and her rise to global fame, sociologist Mathieu Deflem of the University of South Carolina has offered a course titled "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame" since early 2011 with the objective of unraveling "some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga". When Gaga met briefly with then-president Barack Obama at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser, he found the interaction "intimidating" as she was dressed in 16-inch heels, making her the tallest woman in the room. When interviewed by Barbara Walters for her annual ABC News special 10 Most Fascinating People in 2009, Gaga dismissed the claim that she is intersex as an urban legend. Responding to a question on this issue, she expressed her fondness for androgyny. In a 2010 Sunday Times article, Camille Paglia called Gaga "more an identity thief than an erotic taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product who claims to be singing for the freaks, the rebellious and the dispossessed when she is none of those".
Gaga's outlandish fashion sense has also served as an important aspect of her character. During her early career, members of the media compared her fashion choices to those of Christina Aguilera. In 2011, 121 women gathered at the Grammy Awards dressed in costumes similar to those worn by Gaga, earning the 2011 Guinness World Record for Largest Gathering of Lady Gaga Impersonators. The Global Language Monitor named "Lady Gaga" as the Top Fashion Buzzword with her trademark "no pants" a close third.Entertainment Weekly put her outfits on its end of the decade "best-of" list, saying that she "brought performance art into the mainstream".
Gaga's fans call her "Mother Monster", and she often refers to them as "Little Monsters", a phrase which she had tattooed on herself in dedication. In his article "Lady Gaga Pioneered Online Fandom Culture As We Know It" for Vice, Jake Hall wrote that Gaga inspired several subsequent fan-brandings, such as those of Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Justin Bieber. In July 2012, Gaga also co-founded the social networking service LittleMonsters.com, devoted to her fans. According to Guinness World Records, Gaga was the most followed person on Twitter from 2011 to 2013, the most famous celebrity in 2013, and the most powerful popstar in 2014. She was included on ForbesCelebrity 100 from 2010 to 2015 and then from 2018 to 2020, having topped the list in 2011. She earned $62 million, $90 million, $52 million, $80 million, $33 million, and $59 million from 2010 through 2015, and $50 million, $39 million and $38 million between 2018 and 2020. Gaga also appeared on their list of the World's Most Powerful Women from 2010 to 2014. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010 and 2019, and ranked second in its most influential people of the past ten years readers' poll in 2013.Billboard named Gaga the Greatest Pop Star in 2009, and gave her an honorable mention in 2010 and 2011.
In March 2012, Gaga was ranked fourth on Billboards list of top moneymakers of 2011 with earnings of $25 million, which included sales from Born This Way and her Monster Ball Tour. The following year, she topped Forbes List of Top-Earning Celebs Under 30, which she also topped in 2011, and in February 2016, the magazine estimated her net worth to be $275 million. In December 2019, Gaga placed 10th on Forbes list of Top-Earning Musicians of the Decade with earnings of $500 million in the 2010s; she was the fourth highest-earning female musician on the list.
In April 2016, Gaga joined Vice President Joe Biden at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to support Biden's It's On Us campaign as he traveled to colleges on behalf of the organization, which has seen 250,000 students from more than 530 colleges sign a pledge of solidarity and activism. Two months later, Gaga attended the 84th Annual US Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis where she joined with the Dalai Lama to talk about the power of kindness and how to make the world a more compassionate place. Due to her meeting with Dalai Lama, the Chinese government added Gaga to a list of hostile foreign forces, and Chinese websites and media organizations were ordered to stop uploading or distributing her songs. The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CCPPD) also issued an order for state-controlled media to condemn this meeting.
In recognition of her contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement, Gaga received the Yolanda Denise King High Ground Award from the King Center's Beloved Community Awards in January 2021. In her acceptance speech, she denounced racism and white supremacy and addressed her social responsibility as a high-profile artist and white woman.
In 2012, Gaga launched the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), a non-profit organization that focuses on youth empowerment. It takes its name from her 2011 single and album. Media proprietor Oprah Winfrey, writer Deepak Chopra, and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the foundation's inauguration at Harvard University. The foundation's original funding included $1.2 million from Gaga, $500,000 from the MacArthur Foundation, and $850,000 from Barneys New York. In July 2012, the BTWF partnered with Office Depot, which donated 25% of the sales, a minimum of $1 million of a series of limited edition back-to-school products. The foundation's initiatives have included the "Born Brave Bus" that followed her on tour as a youth drop-in center as an initiative against bullying.
In October 2015, at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Gaga joined 200 high school students, policy makers, and academic officials, including Peter Salovey, to discuss ways to recognize and channel emotions for positive outcomes. In 2016, the foundation partnered with Intel, Vox Media, and Re/code to fight online harassment. The sales revenue of the 99th issue of the V magazine, which featured Gaga and Kinney, was donated to the foundation. Gaga and Elton John released the clothing and accessories line Love Bravery at Macy's in May. 25% of each purchase support Gaga's foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Gaga partnered with Starbucks for a week in June 2017 with the "Cups of Kindness" campaign, where the company donated 25 cents from some of the beverages sold to the foundation. She also appeared in a video by Staples Inc. to raise funds for the foundation and DonorsChoose.org.
On the 2018 World Kindness Day, Gaga partnered with the foundation to bring food and relief to a Red Cross shelter for people who have been forced to evacuate homes due to the California wildfires. The foundation also partnered with Starbucks and SoulCycle to thank California firefighters for their relief work during the crisis. The singer had to previously evacuate her own home during the Woolsey Fire which spread through parts of Malibu.
In March 2019, she penned a letter to supporters of the Born This Way Foundation, announcing the launch of a new pilot program for a teen mental health first aid project with the National Council for Behavioral Health. Gaga revealed her personal struggles with mental health in her letter and how she was able to get support which saved her life: "I know what it means to have someone support me and understand what I'm going through, and every young person in the world should have someone to turn to when they're hurting. It saved my life, and it will save theirs." In September 2020, Gaga released an anthology book, Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community, featuring fifty-one stories about kindness, bravery, and resilience from young people all over the world collected by the Born This Way Foundation, and introduced by herself. She had been promoting it with a 21 days of kindness challenge on her social media, using the "BeKind21" hashtag. In 2021, Gaga collaborated with the Champagne house Dom Pérignon to release a limited edition of Rosé Vintage 2005 bottles along with a sculpture designed by her. The 110 exclusive pieces will be sold at private sales, and the profits will benefit the foundation.
Gaga is a bisexual woman[c] and actively supports LGBT rights worldwide. She attributes much of her early success as a mainstream artist to her gay fans and is considered a gay icon. Early in her career she had difficulty getting radio airplay, and stated, "The turning point for me was the gay community." She thanked FlyLife, a Manhattan-based LGBT marketing company with whom her label Interscope works, in the liner notes of The Fame. One of her first televised performances was in May 2008 at the NewNowNext Awards, an awards show aired by the LGBT television network Logo.
Gaga appeared at Europride, an international event dedicated to LGBT pride, in Rome in June 2011. She criticized the poor state of gay rights in many European countries and described gay people as "revolutionaries of love". Later that year, she was referenced by teenager Jamey Rodemeyer in the hours prior to his death, with Rodemeyer having tweeted "@ladygaga bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever". Rodemeyer's suicide prompted Gaga to meet with then-President Barack Obama in order to address anti-gay bullying in American schools. In 2011, she was also ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church Monastery so that she could officiate the wedding of two female friends.
In June 2016, during a vigil held in Los Angeles for victims of the attack at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Gaga read aloud the names of the 49 people killed in the attack, and gave a speech. Later that month, Gaga appeared in Human Rights Campaign's tribute video to the victims of the attack. She opposed the presidency of Donald Trump and his military transgender ban. She supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. In 2018, a leaked memo from Trump's office revealed that his administration wanted to change the legal definition of sex to exclude transgender Americans. Gaga was one of the many celebrities to call him out and spread the #WontBeErased campaign to her 77 million Twitter followers. In January 2019, during one of her Enigma shows, she criticized Vice President Mike Pence for his wife Karen Pence working at an evangelical Christian school where LGBTQ people are turned away, calling him "the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian". Gaga also stated "I am a Christian woman, and what I do know about Christianity is that we bear no prejudice, and everybody is welcome".
Gaga has been often regarded as a trailblazer for using controversy to bring attention to various issues. According to Frankie Graddon of The Independent, Gaga--who wore a meat dress to highlight her distaste for the US military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy--influenced protest dressing on red carpet. Because of The Fame success--it was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Debut Albums of All-Time by Rolling Stone in 2013--Gaga has been credited as one of the musicians that popularized synthpop in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Scott Hardy, CEO of Polaroid, praised Gaga for inspiring fans and for her close interactions with them on social media.
A new genus of ferns, Gaga, and three species, G. germanotta, G. monstraparva and Kaikaia gaga, have been named in her honor. The name monstraparva alluded to Gaga's fans, known as Little Monsters, since their symbol is the outstretched "monster claw" hand, which resembles a tightly rolled young fern leaf prior to unfurling. Gaga also has an extinct mammal, Gagadon minimonstrum, and a parasitic wasp, Aleiodes gaga, named for her.
In May 2021, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Born This Way and its impact, West Hollywood mayor, Lindsey P. Horvath, presented a key to the city to Gaga and declared May 23 as "Born This Way Day." A street painting with the Daniel Quasar's version of the gay flag (which includes trans and queer people of color) featuring the album's title was also unveiled on Robertson Boulevard as a tribute to the album, the ways it has inspired the LGBQIA+ community over the past years and to kick off the city's pride season.
Gaga is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with estimated sales of 124 million records as of 2014, and has produced some of the best-selling singles of all time. She has grossed more than $512.3 million in revenue from concert tours and residencies, becoming the fifth woman to pass the half-billion total as reported to Billboard Boxscore, while receiving the Pollstar Award for Pop Touring Artist of the Decade (2010s). She is the eleventh top digital singles artist in the US, with 85 million equivalent units certified according to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),[d] was the first woman to receive the Digital Diamond Award certification from RIAA, one of three artists with at least two Diamond certified songs ("Bad Romance" and "Poker Face"), and the first and only artist to have two songs pass seven million downloads ("Poker Face" and "Just Dance"). By the end of 2020, with "Just Dance", "Poker Face", "Bad Romance" and "Shallow", she became the first female artist to achieve four singles that sold 10-million copies globally.