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Radio Lady Gaga

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Hey, Camp Kids!

Summer camp has only increased in popularity since its well-received beginnings in 1861. It spread across the country like wildfire and kids of all different upbringings were brought together to make summer memories of a lifetime. As camp popularity grew, the amount of summer camp alumni grew too. There are so many former summer campers around nowadays and some went on to become famous.

We all know Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. What’s that? The name doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe you know her better as Lady Gaga.

Anyway, before she was known by her professional persona, Stefani attended the YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in Massachusetts. Located on a thousand acres in the Berkshire Mountains, Hi-Rock campers enjoy a home away from home, set aside from the rest of the world with heavy foliage and their crystal clear, private lake of 90 acres!

Back in her camp days, Stefani was just as interested in the theater as she was in music. Following her interest into her high school days, she appeared in high school plays and when she attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she studied at CAP21 to further her training in theater.

She also had a lifelong passion for music. She started playing the piano when she was four, she wrote her first ballad for piano when she was thirteen, and by the time she was fourteen, she was performing her music at local open mic nights.

Still interested in music in her college days, Stefani formed a band with friends from school—the Stefani Germanotta Band. All their shows eventually brought her some attention and she found herself working with her music producer—Rob Fusari. She traveled to New Jersey every day to record songs she had written and collaborate on new material.

Mr. Fusari explains the origin of Stefani’s stage name saying, “Every day, when Stef came to the studio, instead of saying hello, I would start singing ‘Radio Ga Ga’” (the song from the British rock band of the 70’s—Queen). When sending her trademark song name in a text one day, Rob’s phone autocorrected ‘Radio’ to ‘Lady’ and he sent the text without noticing. Predictably, Stefani responded, “That’s it! Don’t ever call me Stefani again.”

Stefa—I mean…Lady Gaga—rose to fame nearly overnight after her first album, The Fame, and she’s only continued to make music that increases her fan following. Lady Gaga found a path of wild success through her passion for self expression. What path will you find? You can check out Camp Hi-Rock for yourself sometime and, as always, thanks for reading. And check out the video below of the song that inspired Ms. Gaga’s moniker.


- John



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