Whether she's wearing a dress made out of meat or parading around in an egg, Lady Gaga knows how to make an entrance. Stefanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta first burst onto the music scene in 2008, wearing sunglasses, a bow made of blonde hair and little else.
Dismissed at first as a pop misfit, Lady Gaga is now the platinum-selling, award-winning Mother Monster to a cult-like following of fans who call themselves Little Monsters. Not that she isn't still considered a misfit.
Akon discovered Lady Gaga while the singer was writing pop pieces for Fergie, The Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears. Initially gaining popularity in nightclubs, Lady Gaga launched into the mainstream with hits like "Just Dance" and "Poker Face."
As an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Lady Gaga is a lightning rod for conservatives who take offense at her lyrics and the religious symbolism she has used in some of her videos.
But the "Bad Romance" singer is unapologetic, telling Elle magazine, "I write about what I know: sex, pornography, art, fame obsession, drugs, and alcohol."
A once self-proclaimed Madonna fan, Lady Gaga got under Madge's sinewy skin. During a 2012 concert, Madonna implied that Gaga's song "Born This Way" was merely a rip-off of the Material Girl's 1989 hit, "Express Yourself." Fans looking for a freak-show showdown were disappointed when Gaga told fans that she doesn't cut other artists down or engage in hateful dialogue.
Instead of engaging in tabloid spats, Gaga prefers to take her message straight to her Little Monsters, interacting with them constantly on a social media site she set up for fans, tattooing a loving tribute to them on her arm and even talking with them in person.
Much to her bodyguards' dismay, Gaga has been known to crowd surf and drop in on fans outside of her concerts for impromptu meet and greets.
There have also been reports of Gaga showing up at random bars, partying with the patrons and buying everyone drinks. For Lady Gaga, partying like a rock star doesn't mean holing up in some VIP room–it means hanging with the people who made her one.