Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (/ˈstɛfəniː dʒərməˈnɒtə/ STE-fə-nee jər-mə-NOT-ə; born March 28, 1986), known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, activist, businesswoman, fashion designer and actress. Born and raised in New York City, she primarily studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She soon began performing in the rock music scene of Manhattan's Lower East Side. By the end of 2007, record executive and producer Vincent Herbert signed her to his label Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. Initially working as a songwriter at Interscope Records, her vocal abilities captured the attention of recording artist Akon, who also signed her to Kon Live Distribution, his own label under Interscope.
Lady Gaga came to prominence as a recording artist following the release of her debut album, The Fame (2008), which was a critical and commercial success that topped charts around the world and included the international number-one singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". After embarking on the The Fame Ball Tour, she followed the album with The Fame Monster (2009), which spawned the worldwide hit singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro". The Fame Monster's success allowed her to embark on the eighteen-month long Monster Ball Tour, which later became one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Her most recent album, Born This Way (2011), topped the charts of most major markets and generated more international chart-topping singles, including "Born This Way", "Judas", and "The Edge of Glory".