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'

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Going Gaga

When she was 19, Gaga started the Stefani Germanotta Band with the goal of getting a record deal by age 21. "I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate s*** until somebody would listen," recalled the ambitious college dropout. Producer Rob Fusari, impressed by her powerful voice and songwriting chops, approached Stefani at a club one week before her 20th birthday. At the time, Gaga’s songs sounded more like Fiona Apple than Madonna -- but after working with Fusari for a few months, she started making dance music. Oh, and she changed her name. "It was a nickname that my friends gave me when I was living in New York," the singer explains. "They thought my performances were very theatrical, so they called me 'Gaga' after the Queen song, 'Radio Ga Ga.'"


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