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25 Things You Didn’t Know About Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

In honor of the mother monster, PopCrush has compiled a list of 25 facts you might not have known about the ‘Born This Way’ singer. Gaga is scheduled to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight, and we couldn’t think of a better way for her to celebrate than with her little monsters! She even wrote a message on her Twitter and Facebook pages saying, “Thank you for trending #BornThisDay monsters! The sweetest tweet! You are all the present I need in the world … If I had to give it all back, but got to keep my fans, that’d be OK.” Happy 25th birthday, Gaga!

25. She was a starving musician until last year. In an interview on ‘60 Minutes‘ in February, Gaga stated, “I am making a lot of money. But if you want to know the truth about my money, I didn’t start making money until 8 months ago. I was completely bankrupt. I put everything into my theater shows.”

24. Gaga’s friends from New York are currently on tour with her, which leads to many pranks. “They make jokes about my diet because they know I have to stay fit for music videos,” Gaga stated in an interview with Google on March 22. “So they’ll leave like mountains of cheeseburgers and stuff in my dressing room. Vicious, vicious.”

23. She rehearses vocally every day with the same coach she has had since she was 11. “I do a 30 minute warm-up every single day. It’s been the same vocal warm-up that I’ve been doing since I was 11-years-old. I’ve had my mentor Don Lawrence, [as] my voice teacher since I was 11, so that’s over 10 years now,” Gaga tells Google.

22. Her song ‘Telephone’ was originally written for Britney Spears‘ sixth album ‘Circus.’ However, the song didn’t make the album’s final track listing, so Gaga recorded the song as a collaboration with Beyonce for her second album, ‘The Fame Monster.’ Listen to the original below.

21. Lady Gaga dyed her dark hair blond after an interviewer confused her with Amy Winehouse. “I want to be known for my own look,” she tells PEOPLE.

20. After making her debut on the runway, Lady Gaga purchased the entire Thierry Mugler Collection. The collection will definitely blend perfectly with her wardrobe, considering it consists of a lot of skin-tight latex pieces.

19. After her father was diagnosed with a fatal heart condition, Gaga paid for his heart surgery. “The doctors were telling us that the condition that my dad had, he wouldn’t have a heart attack, he would just drop dead. So I went home, I left work for a bit, and I said ‘You’re not going to die in this house,’” Gaga once said in an appearance on ‘20/20.’

18. Gaga was one of 20 people to gain early admission to NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. However, she never graduated. She ended up dropping out and started performing in burlesque shows on the Lower East Side of New York City.

17. Even in 2006, Lady Gaga was performing in New York City clubs with the Stefani Germanotta Band, or SGBand. Click here to see one of her early performances to her rocking out to Led Zeppelin in a small night club before her days as Gaga.

16. During her early time at Interscope, she worked as a songwriter for fellow label artists like Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, Fergie and the Pussycat Dolls. It was there that she captured the attention of Akon, who recognized her vocal abilities, and signed her to his own label, Kon Live Distribution. She told Billboard, “I don’t have an ego about other people singing my songs.”

15. She has six tattoos, all of which are on the left side of her body as per request of her father to keep one side of her body clean. Gaga sports the following tats: A peace sign on her left wrist, a Rilke quote on her left inner bicep, white daisies on her left shoulder blade, the words “Tokyo Love” on her left shoulder blade, a small heart with “Dad” written inside of it on her left shoulder, and roses and vines on the left side of her lower back.

14. Lady Gaga graduated from the posh Manhattan all-girls Catholic high school, Convent of the Sacred Heart, where Nicky and Paris Hilton also attended alma mater. Lady Gaga hated high school because she was bullied and felt out of place.

13. She learned how to play the piano at the age of four, wrote her first piano ballad at 13, and began performing at open mic nights by the age of 14.

12. She used to do cocaine in order to get inspired, but has completely quit using the drug as of late. “What always made me different is that if I was doing drugs I was also making music. I wasn’t just doing drugs,” she said in an interview with Q magazine last year. “People who say they need [drugs] to be creative are full of s—. I’m not some chick on the road getting high and f—– up every night. I wake up, drink coffee and get on the phone to talk about the creative direction of the next video.”

11. Lady Gaga often carries a purple teacup and saucer in public. “I drank tea with my mom, [so teacups] make me feel at home,” she once told PEOPLE.

10. Chicago cops cited Lady Gaga for indecent exposure for wearing teeny-tiny hot pants in public. “I guess they weren’t really pants at all,” she told the Daily Star in 2009. “But it was really funny because all you saw was this half naked girl on the street yelling at some cop ‘It’s fashion! I’m an artist!’ It was fun.”

9. She is inspired by rock ‘n’ roll. Her song ‘Boys, Boys, Boys‘ was an early collaboration with RedOne, and was inspired by Motley Crue’s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and AC/DC’s ‘T.N.T.’

8. Gaga appeared on an episode of MTV’s ‘The Hills’ in 2008, and also on an episode of the network’s hidden game show, ‘Boiling Points.’ Click here to see footage of reality stars Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port fixing Gaga’s broken catsuit on ‘The Hills.’ Also, click here to see Gaga losing her cool (and the chance to win $100) thanks to a crazy waitress on MTV’s ‘Boiling Points.’

7. Lady Gaga’s infamous VMA meat dress weighed 50 pounds and was made from cheap cuts of beef. The meat came from a local family butcher in Los Angeles. Peter Cacioppo, butcher at Ottomanelli Brothers on the upper East Side of New York City analyzed the dress. “There are no expensive cuts here, no real steaks,” he says. “The best you’ve got is the flank steak on top of her head.” Even though the meat was tough, it was, according to the pop star, the most comfortable dress she wore all evening.

6. Gaga has a pretty unconventional piano rehearsing regiment. “I try to find time when I’m in New York City to do shows and have jam sessions with my band just for fun,” Gaga tells Google. “So whenever you see those really horrid photos of me looking drunk at a piano bar, I’m actually rehearsing. That’s just how I like to rehearse. I like to have a couple of martinis and play some Cole Porter and that’s just the way I like to learn.”

5. Lady Gaga made an appearance on ‘The Sopranos’ when she was 15 as one of AJ Soprano’s female friends. In the clip, Gaga is seated on the bleachers in a black sweater, drinking a bottle of soda.

4. Her first major touring gig was as an opener for NKOTB in 2008. The tour marked the boy band’s first big comeback since their golden years in the 1990s. Gaga even recorded a song with the quintet called ‘Big Girl Now.’

3. Gaga prefers to rock the no-pants look so that her nearly blind grandmother can see her when she is on TV. “My grandmother is basically blind, but she can make out the lighter parts, like my skin and hair,” Gaga tells Rolling Stone magazine. “She says, ‘I can see you, because you have no pants on.’ So I’ll continue to wear no pants so that my grandma can see me.”

2. Her stage name was inspired by Queen’s 1984 song ‘Radio Ga Ga.’ Ex-producer Rob Fusari says he came up with the idea. “We were working one day in the studio, and Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’ came on, and I was like, ‘You are so Radio Ga Ga,’” he says. “So Gaga became her nickname.” Gaga, on the other hand, has said that the stage name came from an auto-corrected text by Fusari, and also from a song she sang for him that reminded him of Freddie Mercury’s style. Either way, we have the English rockers to thank for the name ‘Gaga.’

1. Attention male and female suitors: Do not call her Gaga in bed! Although almost everyone around her refers to her as Gaga (even her family members), she prefers to be called Stefani when she is getting intimate. She tells Anderson Cooper in February that it would “freak me out” if someone yelled out “Lady Gaga!” during sex.

Celebrate Lady Gaga’s 25th Birthday With Photos, Features + More

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