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Why Is Lady Gaga Important to American Popular Culture?

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Why Is Lady Gaga So Famous?

Lady Gaga is one of the most recognizable singers in the American music scene. A few years ago, I tried to understand why so many were fascinated by her and I did not really think that her music was that great. But now, since I have given her music a chance, I think I still prefer to listen to Lady Gaga over Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus.

Lady Gaga is also very important to American popular culture in more ways than just her musical contributions (discussed below). The one thing that can and should be stated is that Lady Gaga is one of the better American musical artists. Her songs are very catchy, creating an up-tempo feel that is sure to please fans with diverse tastes.

If Boa Kwon is South Korea’s best musical artist and Noriko Sakai is one of Japan’s best, then Lady Gaga should be considered one of the best in the US.

Why Is Lady Gaga So Famous?

Why Is Lady Gaga So Famous?

"Just Dance" Is the Song That Got Me Into Lady Gaga & Her Music

Lady Gaga is extremely popular around the world but why are people so fascinated by her? I will admit that the song "Just Dance" is a great pop song and it makes you feel really good. It has a nice rhythm. When I first wrote about Lady Gaga, I did not really care very much about her music. But now since I have expanded my musical tastes and given her music a chance, I seem to enjoy it more. "Just Dance" is the first song that I ever heard from her.

Lady Gaga With a Hat

Lady Gaga With a Hat

Lady Gaga's Early Life and Career: A Timeline

  • Her name at birth was Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. She was born on March 28, 1986, in New York City.
  • Gaga has a mix of many different ancestries. Her father is of Italian descent while her mother is half Italian and half French Canadian along with English, German, and Scottish heritage. This is an example of the diverse nature of ancestries in the United States that makes the country what it is.
  • Gaga would encounter some adversity early in her life. She was bullied for her appearance when she attended the Covent of the Sacred Heart at 11 years old.
  • By the time she was 14, Gaga was dancing in bars. She would do this until her music career took off.
  • At the age of 17, she was able to gain early admission to New York University's famous Tisch School of the Arts! She began to sharpen her songwriting skills and even wrote essays on various subjects. Some of these subjects that she wrote about are art, religion, social issues, and politics.
  • However, by the time she was 19 years old, she decided to take her life in a different direction. She dropped out of university, moved out of her parents’ home, and started a career in music.
  • A band that she started shortly thereafter began to get attention locally. It was her partnership with talent scout Rob Fusari which resulted in the creation of her stage name.
  • She would be signed to DEF JAM Records in 2006. She would be dropped from the label in just three months. She would return home being devastated.
  • Gaga began to experiment with go-go dancing at bars. She would start to dress in a bikini and experiment with drugs.
  • In 2007, she was signed to Streamline Records. Gaga would sign a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV.
  • Her career took off, even more, when she was hired to write songs for Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, Fergie, and the Pussycat Dolls.

2008-2011: Lady Gaga Becomes a Superstar Singer (a Timeline)

  • In 2008, Gaga would release her debut album called The Fame. She would tour in Europe and in gay clubs in the US to promote the album.
  • In 2009, when Gaga’s first major hit song "Just Dance" was released, her career got into superstar status. This first album also has the song called "Poker Face."
  • While she was on tour, Gaga wrote the EP called The Darker Side. This EP examines the darker side to her fame and contains the songs "Bad Romance," "Telephone," and "Alejandro."
  • Gaga would go on her second tour as a solo artist called The Monster Ball. The tour was one of the longest in Gaga’s career and it would last 1.5 years. The tour grossed $227.4 million dollars. It became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time and it was the highest-grossing concert tour for a debut artist like Lady Gaga.
  • There were concerts performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City and they were filmed for a TV special on HBO. The special was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won one of them.
  • In 2011, Lady Gaga released her second album called Born this Way. The lyrical themes for the album covered politics, sexuality, and religion.
  • The album went on to sell a staggering 1.108 million copies in the US in its first week of release. The album also went on top of the Billboard 200 and it topped the music charts in 20 other countries. Born this Way was a superb success, selling over 8 million copies around the world. Gaga would receive her 3rd straight Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year.
  • In March 2012, Lady Gaga would be ranked 4th on Billboard’s list of the top moneymakers in 2011, grossing a total of $25,353,039. This number included the sales from her Monster Ball Tour and her CD sales from Born This Way.

"Just Dance" the Song That Got Lady Gaga Famous

Lady Gaga In 2016

Singer Lady Gaga is seen here during an interview by NFL Network about her Super Bowl performance in 2016.

Singer Lady Gaga is seen here during an interview by NFL Network about her Super Bowl performance in 2016.

Lady Gaga: 2011-2016 and Her Support of Hillary Clinton

Lady Gaga would go on tour to promote the album Born This Way in Korea. The tour would last two years and Gaga would travel to every place on the globe. Gaga had been experiencing a tear in her right hip which she had been nursing for several weeks in the hopes that she could continue the tour. However, she would eventually have to go to the hospital because she was in severe pain. The tour would be canceled. In spite of the injury, Gaga would finish 6th among touring artists in 2012, grossing $125 million. There was a total of 1.1 million people that attended her concerts that year. Gaga would release her third album called ARTPOP in 2013. She also starred in Machete Kills, the sequel to the 2010 film called Machete. She also appeared in the movie called Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in 2014. Gaga was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US Presidential campaign. And in doing so, she shows that she supported the person who would have been best for the United States. For young people out there looking for a role model, maybe you should consider Lady Gaga. In 2016, she released her new album, Joanne. If there is one eccentric quality about Lady Gaga, her style of dress is sometimes unusual and weird.

Lady Gaga and American Pop Culture

Lady Gaga When She Was Becoming a Major Musical Star


Other Reasons to Support Lady Gaga

There are singers that are more beautiful than her but Gaga’s talent is one reason I support her. And Lady Gaga is correct that love trumps hate. We congratulate Lady Gaga for her activism, her encouragement that people should love each other and for her supporting the most qualified candidate in Hillary Clinton. If I need to feel better, I know that I can always listen to Lady Gaga’s music for a dose of good feelings. I hope that Lady Gaga can inspire people across the United States and the world to fight for what is right. Pop culture is more than just music. Lady Gaga has been involved with music and movies. And if the future is any indication, she should be a voice for those that are looking for social justice. As Hillary Clinton said after her election loss, "never stop fighting for what is right." I think Lady Gaga will be a major pop culture icon in the next several years.


Interesting Facts About Lady Gaga

  • She is known for wearing elaborate sunglasses and shoes with high heels.
  • Was a classmate with Paris Hilton.
  • Her influences include Madonna, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, and Freddie Mercury.
  • Her stage name of Lady Gaga is in reference to the song “Radio Ga-Ga” by Queen.
  • Gaga learned how to play the piano when she was four years old. She wrote her first piano ballad when she was 13 years old. She then started to perform in public when she was 14.
  • Has a younger sister named Natali Germanotta who once dressed as her for Halloween!
  • Although Gaga is naturally a brunette, she bleached her hair blonde in an attempt to make herself look different. She was being mistaken by interviewers for Amy Winehouse when she was trying to make it big.
  • She wrote the song Telephone as part of a collaboration with singer Beyonce Knowles. The song would be on the album called “The Fame Monster.”
  • Gaga is a strong supporter of rights for gay and lesbian couples.
  • She was ranked #99 on FHM’s 2011 list of the 100 sexiest women.
  • Her sister Natalie once dressed up as her for Halloween!
  • She launched the foundation called “Born this Way.” It is a non-profit organization that helps people worldwide develop a new standard of care towards each other.
  • She is a good friend of Deepak Chopra. She has stated that he gives her great spiritual advice.
  • She is a Democrat. (And in this day and age, that’s actually a great idea!)
  • She is engaged to Taylor Kinney.

"Bad Romance"


© 2017 Ara Vahanian


Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on October 30, 2019:

Interesting observation. I'm going to have to read about this some more. I was growing up when Madonna made it really big as a pop music star.

PopSugar on October 29, 2019:

Most importantly she should be remembered in American Pop Culture as the singer who copied Madonna's entire style, sound, campaign, and looked...repackaged them and sold them to millennials who had no idea who Madonna was.

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