Lady Gaga is certainly proof that hard work and perseverance will lead to success. However, there were some people who once thought that the musician would never be famous. Amazingly, Gaga’s own university peers had actually created a Facebook group dedicated to shaming the singer for trying to make her music heard.
The A Star Is Born actress, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, went to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She gained early admission into the music school Collaborative Arts Project 21 where she improved on her songwriting skills by writing essays on art, religion, social issues, and politics. However, she withdrew from school during the second semester of her sophomore year to focus on her career. Some believe that Lady Gaga also decided to leave because of intense mocking from her NYU peers.
A young Stefani Germanotta performs on piano.
The Facebook group tried to shame young Gaga for trying to pursue a music career.
The Facebook group “Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous” was brought into light by Lauren Bohn in a post that honored Lady Gaga for not letting anyone tell her she couldn’t achieve fame.
“When I was a freshman at NYU and Facebook was only a year old and people created/joined groups like ‘I have dimples, f*** me’ and ‘Fake ID, please!,’ I remember coming across a Facebook group that broke my heart. It’s name: ‘Stefani Germanotta, you will never be famous.’
“The page housed pictures of a pretty Norah Jones-esque young 18-year-old NYU student who sang and played piano at local bars. The group was peppered with comments, sharp as porcupine needles, vilifying the aspiring musician for being an ‘attention-w***e.’ Scores asked: ‘Who does she think she is?’ I also remember one dude posting a flyer for one of her upcoming gigs at a local village bar. He had clearly stomped on the flyer, an outline of his muddy sole [soul] struggling to eclipse her name.
“I couldn’t shake the raw feeling of filth while scrolling down that Facebook page, but I pretty much — and quickly — forgot about that group and that girl with the intense raven eyes.
“Until about five years later. I was on an Amtrak train from NYC to Philly, reading a Vanessa Grigoriadis New York Magazine profile on Lady Gaga. I floated somewhat mindlessly through the piece until I got to the first sentence of the second graf:
“Before the meeting, I assumed that someone with a stage name like ‘Lady’ (her given name is Stefani Joanne Germanotta) was going to be a bit standoffish…”
“HOLY S**T, I screamed to an empty car (Those who hang with me will know that I actually shrieked). LADY GAGA IS STEFANI GERMANOTTA? STEFANI IS LADY GAGA?
“I was overcome with a dizzying emotional cocktail of stage-mom-at-a-beauty-pageant and nerd-revenge triumph. But also shame. Shame that I never wrote on that group, shame that I never defended the girl with the intense raven eyes — the girl whose brave flyers were stomped on, probably somewhere near my dorm.
“But again, I soon forgot about that revelation and that feeling. Feelings. They’re so fleeting. Even more so, revelations. We need to constantly re-discover them every damn day.
“Like last week, when I woke up to this meme.
“I saw the muddy sole eclipsing her name. The eye-rolls. The cowardly virtual-giggles. The ‘Who does she think she is?’
“I’ve got a lot of feelings, but the easiest one to articulate: gratitude.
“Stefani, thank you. Thank you for always thinking you’re a superstar, for using your cracks to let the light come out more brightly. Humans, let’s follow suit. #LadyGaga #ThatsWho”
Lady Gaga has since won numerous awards including a Golden Globe for ‘Shallow’.
She went on to receive an Oscar for Best Original Song.
The woman who was once known as Stefani Germanotta has since become an Oscar winner for Shallow, the song she wrote for A Star Is Born. In her Oscar acceptance speech, Gaga once again proved that hard work goes a long way.
“If you are at home, and you’re sitting on your couch and you’re watching this right now, all I have to say is that this is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about, you know…it’s not about winning. But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion. And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going,” Gaga said.
There is little doubt that Lady Gaga will continue to work harder to achieve her goals.
Watch Lady Gaga’s full Oscars acceptance speech below:
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Hātea Kapa Haka is a Māori group based in New Zealand who recently performed at Te Matatini, the national kapa haka festival in Wellington. There was a good reason why they stood out among the 46 kapa haka groups competing at the event. Hātea Kapa Haka actually performed an acapella version of Bohemian Rhapsody in their own language.
Watch the amazing performance below: