NPR logo When She Was Still Li'l Lady Gaga

When She Was Still Li'l Lady Gaga

Fascinated by Lady Gaga? Of COURSE you are, because you are a human being. I've read every creation story of her remarkable rise to stardom, and the most recent, in Esquire, is by an old friend of hers...

...Gaga was always famous. Before she ever released a record, you could walk into a club or a party with her and skip the line. We'd be browsing in a bookshop and everyone's eyes would wander above the paperback in their hands. She is barely five feet tall and she speaks in a tiny voice, but she knew how to get attention. That many eyes on you, and the kind of strange pressure it morphed into as more people discovered who she was, can chew starlets into pulp. Soon it was as if people expected a hit record out of her before they ever heard her sing. But anyone who paid attention to her self-creation knows that every idea is hers. The difference between Lady Gaga and every other young singer is that most of the others ask the world, "Do you like the way I sing? Will you buy my record and come to my show?" Gaga tells the world, "I am famous. I was famous before even I had heard of me." She didn't dream of fame. She announced it.

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This rings absolutely true to me — and I believe that I would have been one of the people peering at her in a bookstore. Now excuse me, I have to try to get a ticket to her tour this summer. Yes, I am 33.