Lady Gaga learned to play the piano by the age of 4. At the age of 11, she was accepted to the Juilliard School in Manhattan, but instead attended a private Catholic school in the city. She continued studying music and performing, writing her first piano ballad at the age of 13, and she held her first performance in a New York nightclub at the age of 14.
In 2007, at the age of 20, Gaga began work at Interscope Records as a songwriter for other artists on the label, including Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block and The Pussycat Dolls. R&B singer Akon discovered Gaga while she was performing a burlesque show that she created, called "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue." Impressed, Akon signed the performer to his label under the Interscope umbrella, Kon Live. Through 2007 and 2008, Gaga wrote and recorded her debut album, The Fame.
Lady Gaga's debut single, "Just Dance," was released to radio in early 2008, and received both popular and commercial acclaim. The song was then nominated for a Grammy Award (for best dance recording) in 2008.
Lady Gaga has since earned acclaim for subsequent albums, including a collaboration with Tony Bennett, and her performance on the American Horror Story series, winning a Golden Globe for her role as the Countess.