"I don't know quite how to explain this—I am not really made for anything else."
When Lady Gaga shared that sentiment about herself shortly after bursting onto the scene in 2008, in an interview with SongwriterUniverse.com of all places, it was hard to gauge just how accurately she understood herself. After all, what burgeoning pop star doesn't set out with the belief that they were put on this planet strictly and solely to entertain?
But as we celebrate a decade of Lady Gaga, with the milestone 10th anniversary of her debut album The Fame falling on August 19, it's abundantly clear just how spot-on she was. There are very few artists who have made the sort of immediate impact on the whole of pop culture that she has; fewer still are those whose careers feel just as vital 10 years later. That's not to say the journey's been an easy one. Off stage, life for the singer, born Stefani Germanotta, has been something of a roller coaster, full of unexpected twists and turns, high highs and dramatic detours.
These are the first 10 years of Lady Gaga.