How Lady Gaga came up with her famous name

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty ImagesLady Gaga shared the inspiration behind her name.
  • Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga has become a household name.
  • Her starring role in 2018’s “A Star Is Born” won Lady Gaga critical acclaim as a respected actor.
  • Her now-iconic stage name is based on Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga,” but its origin is also clouded in a bit of controversy.

Coming onto the scene in 2008, Lady Gaga captured the world’s attention with her sometimes-controversial performances and eccentric style. Now, Lady Gaga is a household name.

What still remains a mystery, however, is how exactly the singer got her iconic name.

Lady Gaga said her former producer called her “Ga Ga” and she came up with the idea for “Lady Gaga”

Gaga  Five Foot TwoNetflixLady Gaga in ‘Five Foot Two.’

Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, the six-time Grammy winner has had three songs hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and is coming into her own as a well-respected actor after her Golden Globe-winning performance as one of the leads in “A Star is Born.”

In an early interview with Oprah Winfrey, Gaga attributed her name’s origin to the 1984 Queen song “Radio Ga Ga.” She went on to describe how “Gaga” was “just a nickname [her] friends had for [her] in New York and [her producer], and it just kind of stuck.” At the time, the artist told Oprah to call her “Gaga,” as she thought it “felt weird” when people called her “Lady.”

A later interview with Flybe Magazine in 2010, she told a similar story. In the interview, Gaga said that her former boyfriend and producer Rob Fusari was the one who first started to call her Gaga.

“He started to call me Gaga when I’d come into the studio,” she said, though the article was later deleted despite being archived by numerous news sites. “I decided that I’d been playing under my real name for so long, I wanted to reinvent myself. So I said, ‘What about Lady Gaga, because Gaga is sort of crazy and Lady has such connotations.'”

Her former producer claims he developed the stage name

Lady gagaStephen Lovekin/Getty ImagesHer ex-producer claimed he came up with the name.

Gaga and Fusari’s relationship ended by 2008, the year of Gaga’s debut release “The Fame.” Fusari, who has a producing credit on the album, would go on to file a $US30.5 million lawsuit claiming Gaga owed him money from song royalties and also alleging that he had been the one to come up with her stage name and get her a record deal.

As a part of the lawsuit, Fusari claimed he would call Germanotta “Ga Ga” after the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga.” One day, Fusari claims that his phone auto-corrected “Radio Ga Ga” to “Lady Ga Ga” and that Germanotta loved it.

Fusari dropped the charges against the singer in September 2010.

Lady Gaga has gone by many names

Since then, Gaga has changed her mind quite a few times on whether she prefers to be called Lady Gaga, Gaga, or Lady.

In a 2018 video for Vogue, the artist asked to be called “Lady,” ushering in the era of Lady Gaga as a fully-realised movie star. She starred in 2018’s “A Star Is Born” alongside director Bradley Cooper, which has already been nominated for a number of prestigious awards and made an impressive $US100 million in its first 12 days. Gaga also won a Golden Globe award for best original song in the movie.

Lady gagaVevo/Lady GagaMost recently she has asked to be called ‘Lady’ or Enigma.

This is not to mention Gaga’s various alter-egos or personas over the years including Yüyi and Jo Calderone.

As she prepares for her Las Vegas residency, Lady Gaga recently introduced herself to someone off-camera in a video as “Gaga, or you can call me Stefani, or Enigma.” This had fans buzzing that Gaga would soon introduce another persona. Then, she released a promotional video, introducing “Engima” as a new persona that seemed to be based on an animated character.

For now, the origins of this latest character’s name are also unclear.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.