All agog about Lady Gaga
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta - or Lady Gaga - knows all about achieving fame the hard way. The young American artist wowed the crowd at the Summer Disco Party in Macau earlier this month, where she performed songs from her chart-topping debut album, The Fame.
It is a collection of dance-pop tracks that explore the feelings of being a celebrity.
Lady Gaga rose to fame in an old-fashioned way, despite attending the same private school as Nicky and Paris Hilton. She was constantly teased by her schoolmates for her eccentric style.
Having learned piano at the age of four, Gaga went on to write her first piano ballad at 13.
She was already performing in small clubs when she was admitted to the New York University's arts school at the age of 17.
'I learned how to survive as an artist, get real, how to fail and then figure out who I was as a singer and performer. And I worked hard,' the 23-year-old says.
Fame brought about a big change in her life, besides a record deal. She transformed herself from a party animal to a workaholic.
'I quit drugs and parties because I found my work very enjoyable,' she explains. 'And I found that many young girls now look up to me as an icon, idol or role model, so I have to be good.'
Lady Gaga has improved her self-discipline, too. She plays the piano, and learns dancing and singing every day.
'I may not go to school now but I never stop learning. I've earned what I'm today,' she says.
Apart from her catchy tunes, the Lady's unique fashion sense attracted a lot of media attention.
'Every performer should be a fashion icon,' says Gaga. 'I have always dressed this way.'
As a young girl, she was very much into fashion and wanted to live a free and artistic lifestyle.
In mainstream American culture, a glamorous lifestyle is often associated with partying and drugs. But Lady Gaga and her entourage/styling team, the Haus of Gaga, do not agree.
'The look is more than merely fashion,' she says. 'It's the context. It's a way of life, art and [our] passion.'
Although she has her own styling team, Lady Gaga says she would not create her own clothing line, leading to mass production.
'I don't want it to be [a brand],' she says. 'It's the most sacred thing in my life. I only speak about it because I think it leads to an understanding of the kind of person I am.'
The artist has no regrets about her life.
'Life, art, fashion and performance can't be separated, they are my life. My life is a performance,' says Lady Gaga.
She maybe the only star nowadays who can make such a lofty statement without sounding out of place.