Lady Gaga: Born a Star

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A true original if there ever was one, Lady Gaga is setting out to prove beyond a doubt that she's one of the most talented performers out there when her new album, Born This Way, debuts in May. In the lead-up to that milestone, the artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta takes Vogue magazine on a wild ride through London and Paris on her Monster Ball tour, and in the process, reveals some very interesting insights into the fabulously eccentric character that is Lady Gaga.

One thing's for sure, there's no false modesty in Gaga's universe. "Speaking purely from a musical standpoint, I think I am a great performer," she states. "I am a talented entertainer. I consider myself to have one of the greatest voices in the industry. I consider myself to be one of the greatest songwriters. I wouldn't say that I am one of the greatest dancers, but I am really quite good at what I do." Though she might be tooting her own horn rather loudly, you can't deny the girl's got a right to boast about her skills. "I think it's OK to be confident in yourself," she says.

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When you hear some celebrities moan and groan about how hard they have to work (Lindsay Lohan immediately comes to mind), it's easy to dismiss their complaints, but not when it comes to Gaga. The 24-year-old has been on tour almost non-stop for the past three years! "I am quite literally chest open, exposed, open-heart surgery every night on that stage, bleeding for my fans and my music," says the "Paparazzi" singer, adding, "It's so funny when people say, 'It's amazing to see how hard you work.' We're supposed to work hard! I have the world at my fingertips. I am not going to saunter around the stage doing pelvic thrusts and lip-synching. That's not at all why I am in this." The star, who grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side, continues, "I don't feel spiritually connected to anyone in Hollywood makeup and a gown with diamond earrings on. I am just a different breed. I want to be your cool older sister who you feel really connected with, who you feel understands you and refuses to judge anything about you because she's been there."

In the interview, the Lady reveals she has a strong symbiotic relationship with her fans -- a band of devoted followers to whom she consistently preaches the message that they should be proud to be themselves and no one else. "I want for people in the universe, my fans and otherwise, to essentially use me as an escape," she says. "I am the jester to the kingdom. I am the route out. I am the excuse to explore your identity. To be exactly who you are and to feel unafraid. To not judge yourself, to not hate yourself."

For someone who grew up facing the taunts of her classmates, Gaga appreciates the irony of her current mainstream appeal. "Because, as funny as it is that I am on the cover of Vogue -- and no one is laughing harder than I am -- I was the girl in school who was most likely to walk down the hallway and get called a slut or a bitch or ugly or big nose or nerd or dyke. 'Why are you in the chorus?'"

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There are still a few months left before Lady Gaga's new album hits shelves in May, but until then, you can enjoy the teaser of the album's first single, also titled "Born This Way." Gaga proudly tells Vogue that her friend Elton John pronounced it the "gayest song" he had ever heard. "I wrote it in ten f---ing minutes," she notes, "and it is a completely magical message song. And after I wrote it, the gates just opened, and the songs kept coming. It was like an immaculate conception."

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