PHOTOS: Look Back at Lady Gaga's Road to 'Fame'

From a clean-cut student to an outrageous fashionista! See how the Mother Monster has morphed into an international superstar (20 Photos)

Donna Kaufman on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:30AM

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PHOTOS: Look Back at Lady Gaga's Road to 'Fame'

Veronica Ibarra/FilmMagic

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"Dance" Diva

Just as she planned, Lady Gaga got herself a record deal by age 21 -- but the road to success wasn’t as smooth as she expected. Her record label, Def Jam, fired her after hearing just one finished song. "I was so depressed," she recalled. "That’s when I started the real devotion to my music and art." Gaga continued to play clubs in New York while supporting herself as a go-go dancer. In 2007, she was signed to Interscope Records, where she wrote pop songs for the Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears. Still trying to get noticed as a singer, she became obsessed with artist Andy Warhol and started dressing in outrageous disco-inspired outfits. Other artists Interscope artists, like R&B singer Akon, started taking notice and calling Gaga "the new Madonna." The label finally let Gaga record her first single, "Just Dance" -- and the rest is history.


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