We all know the crazy side of Gaga—the bizarre outfits, the wild songs, the meat dress—but what is the hitmaker actually like when she's not parading around with a deli on her body? We did a little digging to find out exactly who Lady Gaga is, and what we found made us totally go Gaga. For all of these reasons and more, she certainly deserves our Applause.
1. Lady Gaga's real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
Her stage name was inspired by the Queen song, "Radio Gaga".
2. She's always been musical.
Gaga taught herself how to play piano by ear when she was very young. By 13, she began writing songs, and by 14 she had begun performing at open mic nights. At 18, she was a regular performer at New York City bars.
3. She never completed her education.
Gaga dropped out of New York University when she was 19 to pursue her music career.
4. Lady Gaga's natural hair color is brown.
She bleached her hair blonde because she was often mistaken for Amy Winehouse and wanted her own look. Their resemblance in actually kind of uncanny.
5. Gaga currently holds 12 Guinness World Records.
That's right—twelve. These include: Fastest Selling Single on iTunes (for her hit, "Born This Way"), Most Product Placement in a Video, Most Searched-For Female on the Internet, and Largest Gathering of Lady Gaga Impersonators (we are extremely curious about this one). She has also received over 200 awards from 447 nominations in her lifetime.
6. She made Forbes' Most Powerful Women list.
Forbes once placed Lady Gaga at number seven on their annual list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. According to Forbes, the "Pokerface" singer "single-handedly reinvigorated pop music and pop culture."
7. She loves to cook.
Gaga, growing up with an Italian family, says she loves cooking Italian food. She once appeared on Alan Carr: Chatty Man with her own segment called "Cooking with Gaga," where she teaches us how to make chicken milanese. Watch it and you won't be disappointed.
8. Lady Gaga is a "fierce advocate" for the LGBT community.
From the beginning of her career, Gaga has fought for equality and taken any opportunity to lend a voice to the LGBT community. She marches in the Pride parade and even created her own nonprofit called the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on youth empowerment.
9. Her track "Telephone" was initially written for Britney Spears.
It was supposed to be a track on Britney's Circus album, but it was given to the power duo Lady Gaga and Beyoncé instead—and we are so thankful.
10. She loves her fans.
Lady Gaga once saw a number of her fans—she calls them her "Little Monsters"—sitting outside of a record shop waiting for a signing, so she did what any gracious pop star would do and sent out for $1000 worth of Papa John's pizza to feed them.
11. Lady Gaga gives herself pep talks.
"When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24 year old girl. Then I say, 'Bitch, you're Lady Gaga, you better get up and walk the walk today'," she told Rolling Stone in 2010.
Want more Gaga? Check out these 19 Times Lady Gaga Triumphed in 2015.