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Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American recording artist. She began performing in the rock music scene of New York City's Lower East Side in 2003 and enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She soon signed with Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists and captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and signed her to his own label, Kon Live Distribution.
Released on August 19, 2008, her debut album, The Fame, reached number one in the UK, Canada, Austria, Germany and Ireland, and reached the top-ten in numerous countries worldwide; in the United States, it peaked at two on the Billboard 200 chart and topped Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Its first two singles, "Just Dance" and "Poker Face", co-written and co-produced with RedOne, became international number-one hits, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States as well as the charts of other countries. The album later earned a total of six Grammy Award nominations and won awards for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording. In early 2009 she embarked on her first headlining tour, The Fame Ball Tour. By the fourth quarter of the year, she had released her second studio album The Fame Monster, with the global chart-topping lead single "Bad Romance", as well as having embarked on her second headlining tour of the year, The Monster Ball Tour.
Lady Gaga is inspired by glam rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen, as well as pop singers such as Madonna and Michael Jackson. She has also stated fashion is a source of inspiration for her songwriting and performances. Gaga was ranked the 73rd Artist of the 2000-10 decade by Billboard. As of August 2010, Gaga has sold more than 15 million albums and 51 million singles worldwide. In May 2010, Time magazine included Gaga in its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In June 2010, Forbes listed Gaga fourth on its list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world; she is also ranked as the second most powerful musician in the world.