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Before They Were Famous…

Adriana Pratt | Friday, April 16, 2010

Lady Gaga
When you think of the Catholic Church, what image comes to mind? Lady Gaga, 24, in a First Communion gown? Probably not, but this provocative, insane and very entertaining performer got her start as a student at Catholic Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York. Her real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta and Italian blood surges through her veins. At the age of 13, Gaga had written her first ballad and at 17, she was one of only 20 people ever to earn early admission as a music student to the Tisch School of Arts at New York University. She dabbled in rock ‘n’ roll, got frisky in burlesque shows and in 2008 signed to Interscope Records, bringing her both fame and fortune. The rest is history as the world goes gaga for a woman who simultaneously reinvigorated the pop industry and challenged almost every stereotype society has seen.

Hollerin’ from Houston, Beyoncé Knowles, 28, was born a performer. As a child, she enrolled in performing arts school, took the stage in singing competitions and got her Beyoncé booty shake on in dance contests. She brought down the house during her first talent show performance at the age of seven, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” then appeared on Star Search in the ‘90s, but lost. In 1997, her group Destiny’s Child signed with Columbia Records and rose to fame, despite feuds within the group. She eventually went solo and has met insane success both on stage and off, making multi-platinum records and marrying hip hop mogul Jay Z. Unfortunately for the gossip-hounds, there’s no real dish on this diva because she’s kept her act fairly classy from the beginning. For Beyoncé, it looks like not even the sky’s the limit.

Angelina Jolie
As a child, many dream of becoming astronauts, teachers or even the president. At 14 years old, Angelina Jolie, 34, wanted to be a funeral director. This dream flowed from her punky days, which apparently never ended. Jolie once said, “I am still at heart — and always will be — just a punk kid with tattoos.”
Jolie and her brother were primarily raised by her mother after her parents’ separation in 1976, and it was spending time with her mom at the movies that inspired Jolie to act. However, at 14 she dropped out of her acting classes and spent time moshing with her live-in boyfriend, starring in Meat Loaf and Lenny Kravitz music videos and working as a fashion model. She attended Beverly Hills High School and got made fun of for her second-hand clothes, glasses and braces, but look who’s laughing now. Jolie co-starred with her father, Jon Voight, in her first film “Lookin’ to Get Out,” and has since gone on to mega-stardom, philanthropy-dom and just plain hot-dom.

Contact Adriana Pratt at apratt@nd.edu