Real name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
The story of how Stefani became Lady Gaga is contentious and even involved a lawsuit. Back in 2010, the pop star revealed in an interview with Flybe magazine that the name was partially created by producer Rob Fusari, who thought her vocal style sounded similar to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga.”
“He started to call me GaGa when I’d come into the studio,” she reportedly told the publication. “When we were getting ready to really start performing, I decided that I’d been playing under my real name for so long I wanted a new way to reinvent myself. So I said, what about Lady Gaga, because Gaga is sort of crazy and Lady has such connotations. I went to a private school but now I was living in this trash glitter environment. So, for me, it was the perfect description of who I had become.”
However, when Rob sued Gaga in 2010, the legal papers told a different story.
“One day when Fusari addressed a cell phone text to Germanotta under the moniker ‘Radio Gaga’ [and] his cell phone’s spell check converted ‘Radio’ to ‘Lady.’ Germanotta loved it, and ‘Lady Gaga’ was born,” the legal papers said, according to The New York Post.
The lawsuit was later dropped, so it’s unclear whose story was true.