How Stefani Germanotta Became Lady Gaga

Barbara Walters talks sex, love and family with breakout pop star Lady Gaga.

January 21, 2010, 10:15 AM

Jan. 21, 2010— -- The sky's the limit for Lady Gaga -- the young, mysterious and daring pop star -- who's charted a record four No. 1 hits off her first album, "The Fame." With her outrageous outfits, sexually charged songs, and blood soaked performances, she has singlehandedly redefined just how far out "outlandish fashion" can be.

In an interview with Barbara Walters, Lady Gaga, 23, talked about her skyrocketing career, her family, and what she believes is the biggest misconception about her.

"That I am artificial and attention-seeking, when the truth is that, every bit of me is ... devoted to love and art," Gaga told Walters. "I am a songwriter. I'm a performance artist. I'm a daughter and a sister.

"I aspire to try to be a teacher to my young fans ... who feel just like I felt when I was younger. ... I felt like a freak," she said. "I guess, what I'm trying to say is, I want to liberate them, I want to free them of their fears and make them feel … that they can create their own space in the world."

Watch the Barbara Walters' interview on "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET

Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga grew up in an Italian family on New York City's Upper West Side. She learned to play the piano as a child and by age 13 started writing her own songs.

"I had this dream, and I really wanted to be a star," she said. "I was almost a monster in the way that I was fearless with my ambitions."

By age 18, she was performing in New York nightclubs, where friends gave her the nickname "Gaga."

"I was performing in New York and my friends started to call me Gaga. They said I was very theatrical. ... So they said, you're Gaga," she told Walters.

Two years later, she landed a record deal and has made her way to the top. On New Year's Eve, she had the hottest ticket in America, selling out the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami with tables costing as much as $25,000 each.

Lady Gaga on Sex, Sexuality

With lyrics like "bluffing with my muffin" in her hit "Poker Face," Gaga has blurred the line when it comes to her sexuality.

"I do like women," she told Walters. "I've only been in love with men. I've never been in love with a woman, but that's really what the song is all about, why when I was with my boyfriend, was I fantasizing about women.

When asked if she had ever had sex with women, Gaga demurred, but then said: "I've certainly had sexual relationships with women."

Lady Gaga was named one of Barbara Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People of 2009."

Lady Gaga will perform at the Grammy Awards Sunday, Jan. 31, where she has received five nominations, including best record, album and song of the year.

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