Over the weekend Tony and I watched the HBO Lady Gaga Monster Ball Tour, which was a real eye opener. Obviously, it was a glimpse into a different form of entertainment, and once I got over the "visuals" I started thinking about whether or not Lady Gaga would qualify as a Self-Empowered Woman. So here goes...
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in 1986, this native New Yorker has taken the musical world by storm. She began learning how to play the piano when she was only four years old, wrote her first piano ballad at 13, and performed at Open-Mike nights at 14. (2: An Early Sense of Direction). As an adolescent she attended the Convent of Sacred Heart, a private all girls Roman Catholic school on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Her take on the Unbelievable is: "I believe magic is real. I believe fantasy is real. I live half way between reality and fantasy all the time." (3: Belief in the Unbelievable). In addition to her contralto voice, Lady Gaga plays a variety of musical instruments (9: Music).
As a teenager she began to act in high school musicals, but she admitted that she "used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric...I didn't fit in, and I felt like a freak." In the HBO Special, before she goes on stage, she begins to cry and admits "Sometimes I still feel like a loser in high school (5: Life is Not a Popularity Contest).
Only 25 years old, Lady Gaga is recognized today as one of the hardest working, most driven performers ever. Jimmy Iovine (a recording CEO who often appears on American Idol) has said "No one works like this girl. This is the first artist I've ever asked to stop. You really beg her to stop, and...she just goes." In her own words, Lady Gaga admits that in addition to concert tours and recording sessions "I write music every day" (7: Magnificent Obsession).
After attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts for two years, she received a recording contract from Def Jam Recordings, but was dropped after only three months. In her words, "There were a lot of people that didn't believe in me...People would really try to push me around because the sentiment was always 'she can't possibly be for real'" (13: More Than Meets the Eye).
Her success is astonishing. She's already won five Grammy Awards, sold 15 million albums and 51 million singles worldwide. "Billboard" named her Artist of the Year in 2010, and she has been among the top 100 list of powerful and influential people on both "Time" and "Forbes'" magazines. Her single "Born This Way" was the fastest-selling single in iTunes history - selling one million copies in five days (8: Turning No into Yes).
A cultural icon for the younger generation, Lady Gaga has risen to the top of her field, and she did it her way.
Looking forward to your comments...