Widely regarded as the natural heir to Madonna’s Queen of Pop throne, Lady Gaga has become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon since bursting onto the scene in 2009. Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in New York in 1986, she began performing at open mic nights at the age of 14. After withdrawing from a second year at a musical theatre training conservatory, Germanotta joined a classic rock cover band where she was discovered by producer Rob Fusari. Adopting the moniker of Lady Gaga, Germanotta was signed to and then dropped from the Def Jam label within a span of three months before her hook-laden, electro-pop sound attracted the attention of two separate Interscope imprints. Forging a hugely successful creative partnership with producer RedOne, she released her debut album, The Fame, to little fanfare in 2008, but following a support slot on New Kids On The Block’s reunion tour, the record slowly began to gather momentum, becoming a worldwide number one with the lead single, “Just Dance” in 2009. The Grammy-winning “Poker Face” fared even better, and by the time fans got their hands on Lady Gaga tickets for “The Fame Ball” tour, she had become an international superstar. After continuing her incredible run of success with “Bad Romance” and the Beyonce collaboration “Telephone,” both of which are featured on her The Fame Monster E.P., Lady Gaga became the first artist to pass the billion-views mark on YouTube, and scooped up an incredible eight MTV Music Video Awards. Furthermore, the 2009 “The Monster Ball” tour managed to sell an astonishing $227 million worth of Lady Gaga tickets, making it one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. Gaga’s second studio effort, Born This Way, topped the charts in 20 countries and spawned five hit singles including the anthemic title track, which introduced the album’s messages of self-empowerment and self-acceptance in addition to silencing the critics who questioned her longevity. Of course, Gaga has become just as renowned for her off-the-field activities, whether it’s her unique fashion sense which has seen her wear a dress made of meat and arrive at the Grammys in an egg-like vessel, or her dedication to activism which has seen her set up the Born This Way foundation and publicly speak out in favor of gay rights. Gaga’s work-rate remains untouched by any other artist, and following the release of Lady Gaga tickets for all 114 dates of her extensive “Born This Way Ball” tour, she announced her third album, ARTPOP, would be released in early 2013.