Can you believe Lady Gaga just celebrated her 36th birthday on March 28? Here’s some things you might not know about the era-defining icon – she dropped out of NYU and then made her living as a stripper before being discovered by Akon. Let’s take a further look into the Bad Romance superstar. 1. Her stage name comes from a famous Queen song The singer’s stage name was inspired by Queen’s 1984 hit Radio Ga Ga . However, there is confusion over who came up with the name. Originally, the singer said that “Gaga” was a nickname her friends called her. But in 2010, she told Flybe magazine that her former producer and boyfriend Rob Fusari first called her Gaga, and that the singer then came up with her stage name . After a tumultuous split – romantically and professionally – Fusari claimed that the name came about when he texted “Radio Gaga” and it autocorrected to “Lady Gaga” which prompted Gaga to take on the name. 2. Lady Gaga’s debut acting credit was in an episode of the The Sopranos at age 15 Although Gaga is known for her acclaimed roles in American Horror Story, A Star Is Born and House of Gucci , she made an important TV appearance much earlier. At 15 years old, Gaga – credited as Stefani Germanotta – played “Girl at Swimming Pool #2” in a 2001 episode of The Sopranos. How rich is Lady Gaga really? Inside her gigantic net worth In 2021, she told Entertainment Weekly of the experience, “I didn’t know how to listen in a scene. I was supposed to laugh. I see it and I go, ‘Oh, that’s not a real laugh.’” 3. She was admitted into NYU but quickly dropped out of the school The singer was admitted into NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts as a rare early acceptance student. However, at 19, she dropped out. “I loved NYU, but I thought I could teach myself about art better than the school could,” she told Elle in 2009. 4. Out of school, she worked as an exotic dancer She told Fabulous that she moved out of home and didn’t take any support from her parents. To support herself, she worked as a waitress in an Upper East Side diner and a stripper in the Lower East Side. When she stripped, she was part of the duo Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue, performing 70s and 80s cover songs. “I’d wear black leather and dance to Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses and Faith No More. Very rock ‘n’ roll,” she told News of the World’s Fabulous magazine, as per Insider . 5. She was mistaken for Amy Winehouse so frequently that she dyed her hair platinum blonde Gaga was originally a brunette … and constantly mistaken for Amy Winehouse. “I was nobody when she was first coming out. I would be on the street and people would go ‘Amy!’ I just remember feeling like I wasn’t alone because she was so different,” she told a radio station. 5 times Will Smith lost his cool and got in trouble @ladygaga with black hair appreciation post pic.twitter.com/2UcDm00dh5 — Lady Gaga RD (@GagaMonstersRD) April 29, 2020 While she was honoured, it also pushed her to dye her hair and create a signature look. 6. Two of her songs are certified diamond, an honour only 74 songs have achieved in history The singing sensation can count herself as a member of a prestigious group of artists whose songs have been certified diamond; only 74 songs have achieved this. The Recording Industry Association of America gives these certifications to songs that have gone platinum 10 times, passing 10 million sales and streams. In 2013, Bad Romance (released in 2009) was certified diamond. Poker Face (released in 2008) followed in 2015. 7. The singer suffers from fibromyalgia and had to cancel a tour because of the pain Gaga suffers from fibromyalgia, “a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue and often emotional and mental distress,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gaga opened up to her fans about the long-term condition, with the effects on her body and mind also shown in her 2017 documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two. Around the same time that the documentary was released, Gaga had to cancel the European leg of her tour due to fibromyalgia-related pain. 8. “Gaga-mother” plays a special role in Elton John’s family’s life Elton John and David Furnish have two sons, Zachary and Elijah. Friends with the couple, Gaga was honoured with being named both children’s godmother. 9 Oscar-nominated child stars and where they are now In a radio interview with Heart , Elton John shared more. “She bathes them, she sings to them, she reads stories to them. She’s the greatest godmother. She really cares.” He added that his children call her “Gaga-mother” and are big fans of the singer and her music. 9. Lady Gaga was the first woman to win at all five major award shows in the same season The year 2019 was groundbreaking for Gaga after the release of the film A Star is Born and its chart-topping soundtrack and song Shallow . Gaga became the first woman to win gongs from the five major award shows within the same year. First, at the Golden Globes, Gaga won best original song for a motion picture for Shallow . Then at the Critics’ Choice Awards, she again won best song for Shallow . She also tied for best actress with Glenn Close, who won for her film The Wife. At the Grammys, Gaga and Bradley Cooper won for best pop duo/group performance of the year. Gaga also won in the category of best song written for visual media with her co-writers. In the last two major award shows of the season, Gaga accepted the award for best film music for A Star is Born at the BAFTAs, and for best original song for Shallow at the Academy Awards. Her Oscar solidified her groundbreaking year’s accomplishments. 10. She wore a bulletproof dress when she performed at Joe Biden’s inauguration Lady Gaga performed at Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021. Singing The Star-Spangled Banner, Gaga showed off a stunning and dramatic blue and red gown by Schiaparelli. The singer revealed to British Vogue in an interview that her dress was bulletproof. The luxury lives of Kourtney Kardashian’s children In a follow-up interview with Stephen Colbert, Gaga admitted that the safety precaution was due to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. “As a performer I understand that I put myself in all types of dangerous situations in order to do what I love,” she said. She incorporated the bulletproof vest “so that my mum and my dad and my sister would feel confident”. This article originally appeared on Insider . Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .