Few people get early acceptance into the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, but Stefanie Germanotta did. Then she dropped out, began to experiment with drugs and performed at racy burlesque shows. She never quit pursuing music, though. Instead, Germanotta got clean, made a name for herself as a songwriter for some of pop’s biggest stars and began going by the name Lady Gaga. She eventually signed to Cherrytree Records, and her electro-pop debut LP, “The Fame,” was released in August 2008 to relatively little fanfare. In 2009, she suddenly began appearing everywhere and slowly even (some) music snobs began to embrace her, particularly after November’s fantastic follow-up, “The Fame Monster.” Gaga’s a talented singer, songwriter and pianist, yes, but she’s so much more. She often proclaims she’s a performance artist, and she truly is, which is clear with her awesomely clever music videos (See: “Paparazzi,” “Bad Romance”), Haus-created ensembles and inventive, not-to-be-missed live performances. She’s also incredibly articulate, intelligent and strong, and vocal about women’s and gay rights rather than ridiculous gossip. When rumors were swirling that Lady Gaga was a hermaphrodite, she was asked about it on the UK talk show “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.” As she sipped tea, she quipped, “Well, I do have a really big donkey dick.” How could you not love this woman?! (Kelley Hecker)
January 8-10 at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont, (847)671-5100. 7:30pm. $37.50-$75.