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  • Hank Orenstein

Lady Gaga, Our New Yorker of the Day, Turns 34!

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986, in Yonkers, New York, to Cynthia and Joseph Germanotta. She was raised on the Upper West Side at The Pythian Condominium on West 70th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue. Her father Joe Germanotta owns restaurant Joanne Trattoria at 70 West 68th Street. The restaurant is named for her aunt Joanne (her father's sister), who died from complications from Lupus before Lady Gaga was born. Joanne also was the title of her 5th studio album.


Now known as Lady Gaga (the inspiration for her name came from the Queen song "Radio Ga-Ga"), she has become an international pop star. Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of 4. At the age of 11, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan, but instead attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart on 5th Avenue, a private Catholic school. She continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13, and she held her first performance in a New York nightclub at the age of 14 (biography.com).


Lady Gaga attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts for several years then left to focus on her music and performance career. She subsequently moved to her own apartment at 176 Stanton Street on the Lower East Side, and performed at local clubs including Pianos and the Knitting Factory (since moved to Brooklyn). She also performed at the Cutting Room and The Bitter End, and waitressed at The Cornelia Street Cafe, using tip money to make photocopy announcements of her upcoming gigs (nycgo.com).


Lady Gaga has recorded 6 albums including "Chromatica" to be released this year. In addition she has released 31 singles, and according to sales records, her album sales have topped 27 million, making her one of the best selling recording artists of the current era.


Rather than recount her unique style, career milestones and achievements as a singer, performer and actress, I would like to mention her work as an outspoken advocate for gay rights and her extensive charity work, which includes her support of numerous organizations, especially those that support HIV-AIDS research and treatment, health care and children and youth in need.

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OWNING NEW YORK

Henry M Orenstein

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