Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth
Today is Lady Gaga's (née Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) birthday and you would think by now we would have made it a national holiday. Ever since she debuted in 2009, the world stopped and paid attention to what this unique woman had to say. In fact, we put her on the cover of her first major magazine back in September 2009 (read the story "The Lady is a Vamp" here).
Although it may have become taboo to put your paws up and call yourself a Little Monster, there's no doubt that she has made an undeniable impact on the music industry and society in general. Her music, in particular her first album The Fame, spawned an entirely new wave of pop. Her sound is electronic, rock'n'roll, and something that is supremely her own—which has undoubtedly inspired countless performers today.
In only a few short years Gaga has become a pop icon with millions of fans putting her in the running with the likes of greats such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Elton John. Along with changing what we hear on the radio, Gaga's philanthropic work shows an abundance of consideration for her fans and those struggling to overcome oppression (read The Advocate's "Portrait of a Lady" cover story here). Gaga takes the worlds of fashion, technology, and pop music to create something unlike the world had ever seen. So here's to the lady we call Gaga. Happy Birthday, Ms. Germanotta, and many more.
SLIDESHOW: View exclusive images from the 2009 Cover Shoot.