Lady Gaga forever changed the music industry with one sweep of her "disco stick. " The New York-born singer, songwriter and musician blurred the line between performance art and pop music while simultaneously achieving a meteoric rise to fame. Her platinum-selling debut album, aptly titled The Fame (2008), yielded club anthems such as "Just Dance" and "Poker Face," while her brazen attitude, intergalactic fashion sense, and unconventional artistry turned the college dropout into a global music phenomenon. Her live performances on high profile events such as the "MTV Video Music Awards" (MTV, 2009) and "The 52nd annual Grammy Awards" (CBS. 2010) dazzled, touched and terrified viewers with the use of theatrical pyrotechnics, over-the-top choreography, even fake blood. Yet while she often let her music speak for itself, the artist never held back from speaking up for equality and showing her gratitude to the loyal fans she nicknamed her "little monsters." In 2009, Lady Gaga released her sophomore album, The Fame Monster, where she outdid even herself with the lavish hit single and its avant-garde music video, "Bad Romance," all of which earned the singer - an odd mix of Andy Warhol, Elton John and Madonna - legitimate recognition as one of the most authentic artists of her time. As her career progressed, she became both more provocative and more controversial, although unexpected career turns such as collaborations with pop icons like Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney proved her exceptional musical abilities.