At one time, Lady Gaga was just a name—a stage persona crafted in honor of Freddie Mercury and a way to stand out from the crowd. It has since evolved into a full-powered brand. Born in New York City, Stefani Germanotta attended Catholic school, received good grades and always felt a little out of place before finding her niche in the city’s underground pop civilization. Now a worldwide phenomenon, Lady Gaga’s every move is a statement, whether it’s artistic, political or fashion-based, and calling her “controversial” is far from exaggeration. After severing all ties with her Catholic upbringing, Gaga occasionally utilizes off-color biblical imagery to accompany her pounding Europop electronic grunge beats. Although she is puzzling at times, there is no denying that Lady Gaga has a mean set of pipes and knows how to craft a pop song.