May 26, 2011 -- Even the most die-hard Gaga fans haven't seen their lady like this before.
Tonight, MTV debuts "Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside," a stripped-down, relatively bare-bones interview in which Gaga ruminates on how she grew from quirky Stefani Germanotta into a pop culture sensation.
Those accustomed to the grandiose Gaga -- she of the meat dress and egg-like containment vessel -- will meet a new person here. To be sure, she's still Gaga: She wears a leather vest and high black boots, pantomime makeup and no pants, but she's a softer, more introspective version than the girl who shimmies and shouts across screen and stage.
She's a girl who loves Bruce Springsteen. In fact, she's a fan of many rock music greats whom her younger fans may not even know.
"Whenever I surge down a highway, I can't not think about Bruce Springsteen," she says, talking about one of the music icons her father introduced her to as a child. "It just doesn't happen. That's what's great about real legends. They own the whole f**king interstate."
She credits her parents, especially her father, for pushing her into music.
"It's totally their fault," she says. "Don't spoon-feed me the Beatles and Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and Elton John, and expect for me not to turn out this way."
As with all things Gaga, even the "normal" parts of her upbringing veered from the usual. She took piano lessons from a stripper.
"I remember I used to say 'Why do you have such long nails? Don't you ever cut your nails?''" Gaga says.
Before she was Gaga, Germanotta was a not-so-cool teenager. She reflects on one of her most embarrassing memories from that time, when a group of boys dumped her in a garbage can outside a New York City pizzeria while a hoard of classmates looked on and laughed.
"They picked me up and then threw me in a trash can on the street," she says. "It didn't sink in to me how bullying affected me until later in my life."
After her music career kicked off, there were more lows.
"I remember laying on my grandmother's couch crying," Gaga says, talking about being dropped from her first record label, Def Jam, after only three months. "And a Destiny's Child video came on and I remember watching Beyonce and thinking, 'Oh she's a star. I want that.' … And now I'm in music videos with Beyonce."
"Inside the Outside" comes as Gaga drops her highly-anticipated third album, "Born This Way," which is expected to sell between 800,000 and 850,000 copies in its first week and dominate the Billboard music charts.
Still, she maintains an attitude very similar to that of the picked-on teen she once was.
"I'm the girl that everyone said 'no,' and shook their head," Gaga says. "I'm a perpetual underdog."
Watch Lady Gaga kick off Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series FRIDAY at 8 a.m. ET