meta-scriptWhat Is Lady Gaga's Real Name? 7 Facts To Know About The GRAMMY-Winning 'Chromatica' Singer | GRAMMY.com
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Lady Gaga at the 2022 GRAMMYs

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What Is Lady Gaga's Real Name? 7 Facts To Know About The GRAMMY-Winning 'Chromatica' Singer

Did you know Lady Gaga has won 13 GRAMMYs across multiple genres? Here are seven facts to know about "Mother Monster," aka Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

GRAMMYs/Aug 4, 2022 - 05:19 pm

Everything Lady Gaga has touched bears her conspicuous fingerprints, but the simple fact remains: there's no predicting in which direction she'll swerve next.

She hit the world stage by slugging out some of the most undeniable pop smashes of the late 2000s, like "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance." Then, she made a bold stride for LGBTQ+ representation with 2011's Born This Way

From there, the 13-time GRAMMY winner proved she could be it all, and do it all — from gonzo EDM (2013's Artpop) to confessional soft rock (2016's Joanne) to futuristic dispatches (2020's Chromatica).

In between, she's helped Tony Bennett conclude his career on a magnificent note with 2014's Cheek to Cheek and 2021's Love for Sale, shattered hearts as the co-lead of 2018's A Star is Born, and overall kept her scores of Little Monsters satiated with each creative move.

But if you've made it to this article, chances are you're looking for a few basic facts about the multi-hyphenate born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. So here are seven questions about Lady Gaga, answered — whether you're a brand-new fan or just want to brush up.

Who Is Lady Gaga, And Where Did She Come From?

Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986 into an Italian American family in New York City. She showed musical promise early on — she played piano from age 4 and went on to perform at open-mic nights.

Her mother, Cynthia Louise, is a philanthropist and businesswoman; her father, Joseph Germanotta, is an internet entrepreneur. She has a younger sister, Natali Germanotta.

After attending the all-girls school the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan, she studied music at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. And before her musical career took off, she danced in go-go bars in New York City.

Why Did Lady Gaga Change Her Name?

Her stage name is a nod to Queen and their classic song "Radio Ga Ga." Throw on the faux-royal title, and you've got a moniker that the world won't soon forget.

What Is Lady Gaga's Biggest Hit?

That depends on what metric you want to go by. Through a GRAMMYs lens, "Bad Romance," "Poker Face," "Shallow" (from A Star is Born) and "I Get a Kick Out of You" (with Tony Bennett) are up there, in terms of wins and nominations.

Spotify tells a slightly different story, at least at press time: While "Shallow" reigns supreme at 1.85 billion streams, her Ariana Grande collab "Rain On Me" and another Star is Born track, "Always Remember Us This Way" have broken 800 million streams ("Rain On Me" has nearly 833 mil, and "Always Remember" has more than 804 mil).

And according to the Billboard Hot 100, Lady Gaga's biggest hit is "Born This Way," which remained at No. 1 for six weeks. She had four other songs hit No. 1 on that chart, too: "Rain On Me," "Just Dance" (with Colby O'Donis), "Shallow" and "Poker Face."

How Many GRAMMYs Has Lady Gaga Won?

At press time, Lady Gaga has won 13 GRAMMYs and has received 34 GRAMMY nominations overall.

Did Lady Gaga Really Wear A Meat Dress?

She sure did — at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. But she didn't mean it as a knock against animal rights.

"It's certainly no disrespect to anyone that's vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I'm the most judgment-free human being on the Earth," Gaga explained to Ellen Degeneres post-VMAs, in one of many examples of her sociopolitically outspoken nature.

"It has many interpretations," she continued. "But for me this evening, it's [saying], 'If we don't stand up for what we believe in, if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones." (In this case, she was referring to "don't ask, don't tell" policies in the military.)

But flank steak aside, Gaga has touched the fashion and lifestyle worlds in many other ways — from her endlessly inventive outfits over the years to her cruelty-free cosmetics brand.

What Is Lady Gaga's Connection To Bradley Cooper?

Lady Gaga starred alongside Bradley Cooper in the 2018 film A Star is Born. In the film, Cooper plays Jackson "Jack" Maine, an alcoholic, drug-addicted musician whose career is dwindling. He later discovers and nurtures Ally (Lady Gaga), a struggling artist. The two fall in love quickly and deeply.

A Star is Born heavily features the chart-topping song "Shallow," the lead single off the film's soundtrack, performed by Lady Gaga and Cooper. Lady Gaga won the GRAMMY for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, shared with Cooper, and Best Song Written For Visual Media, both for "Shallow," at the 2019 GRAMMYs. The song also won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2019. At the 2020 GRAMMYs, Lady Gaga won the GRAMMY for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media for A Star Is Born as well as Best Song Written For Visual Media for "I'll Never Love Again (Film Version)," a single off the film's soundtrack.

Read More: A Star Is Born: Do You Know These GRAMMY Facts?

And while Gaga's and Cooper's steamy performance of "Shallow" at the 2019 Oscars ginned up gossip about an offstage relationship, there's no evidence that's been the case. But on screen, they suffused the fourth remake of the film with crucial chemistry and verve.

Bonus fact: While some film historians believe actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay's relationship was the real-life inspiration for the original 1937 version of the film, A Star Is Born is not based on a true story.

Director William A. Wellman and screenwriter Robert Carson devised the original storyline together, based on a simple, shopworn conceit: a young woman has showbiz dreams and meets a famous man in decline — who charts her path to stardom while falling for her.

Next up: Lady Gaga will star alongside Joaquin Phoenix in Joker: Folie à Deux, the sequel to the 2019 blockbuster, Joker. Early reports on the film, which is reported to be a musical, indicate Gaga will star as Harley Quinn, Joker's devilish sidekick and love interest. Lady Gaga confirmed her involvement in Joker: Folie à Deux — as well as the film's release date, Oct. 4, 2024 — in a teaser video she posted on social media today.

When Will Lady Gaga Be On Tour Next?

Right now! Her Chromatica Ball Tour — which just wrapped its first leg in Europe — is set to swing North America before heading overseas to Japan. You can find her tour dates here.

For The Record: The Liberating Joy Of Lady Gaga's Born This Way At 10

Photo of Lady Gaga performing during The Chromatica Ball in Stockholm, Sweden, in July 2022. Lady Gaga is wearing a pink costume pink head dress with goggles.
Lady Gaga performs during The Chromatica Ball in Stockholm, Sweden, in July 2022.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

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Lady Gaga's Biggest Songs: 15 Tracks That Show Her Avant-Garde Pop Prowess

As fans relive the exhilarating spectacle of Lady Gaga's 2022 stadium tour with a new HBO Max concert film, 'GAGA CHROMATICA BALL,' jam out to 15 of her signature songs, from "Poker Face" to "Rain on Me."

GRAMMYs/May 23, 2024 - 07:29 pm

Nearly two years after bringing her 2020 album Chromatica to life with a sold-out stadium tour, Lady Gaga is bringing The Chromatical Ball to your living room. GAGA CHROMATICA BALL, an HBO Original special that premieres May 25 exclusively on MAX, will take Little Monsters into the mesmerizing, colorful world the 13-time GRAMMY winner crafted with her sixth studio set. 

The Chromatica Ball was a joyful cultural triumph as the world emerged from lockdown, hitting 20 stadiums across Europe, North America and Asia in the summer of 2022. While it was named after Chromatica and featured the majority of the dance-driven album's track list — including the smash Ariana Grande duet, "Rain On Me," and lead single "Stupid Love" — the tour was a celebration of the breadth of her acclaimed career as a whole, which has spanned decades, genres, styles, and entire industries. 

GAGA CHROMATICA BALL documents Lady Gaga's sold-out September 2022 show at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, which was one of the biggest venues on the tour. Showcasing a stage inspired by brutalist architecture and a set list stretching from the pop star's 2008 debut album, The Fame, to her Top Gun: Maverick track, "Hold My Hand," the film will also take fans inside the raw passion Gaga brings to each and every live show. 

In celebration of the concert film, GRAMMY.com revisits 15 of Gaga's most career-defining songs to date, from early hits like "Poker Face" to stunning deep cuts like Chromatica's "Free Woman."

"Just Dance" (feat. Colby O'Donis), The Fame (2008)

Lady Gaga burst onto the scene in 2008 with a fully realized point of view and pop star persona, but her debut single actually wasn't an immediate smash on the charts. Instead, "Just Dance" served as the sleeper hit that kick-started Gaga's legendary career, landing at the precipice of the Billboard Hot 100 after a 22-week climb from its initial entry at No. 76 to the nascent pop star her very first No. 1 hit. 

A polished dance floor banger produced by RedOne and co-written with Akon, "Just Dance" perfectly crystallizes the dance-pop resurgence of the late 2000s that Gaga not only helped spearhead, but masterfully rode into the upper echelon of 21st century pop stardom. Notably, the song also earned Gaga the first GRAMMY nomination of her career for Best Dance Recording in 2009 — a full year before her debut album would announce itself as a major force at the 2010 ceremony.

"Poker Face," The Fame (2008)

If "Just Dance" set expectations sky high for the music Gaga had up her well-manicured sleeve, "Poker Face" majorly surpassed them — and subsequently, became one of the defining pop songs of the decade. With its relentless rhythm, sing-song  "Po-po-po-poker face, po-po-poker face" refrain, and winkingly naughty lyrics ("'Cause I'm bluffin' with my muffin," anybody?), the song proved Gaga knew how to expertly construct an earworm while delivering a high-concept visual spectacle in spades. 

"Poker Face" became the singer's second consecutive No. 1 single on the Hot 100, marking the first time a brand-new artist had accomplished the feat since Christina Aguilera's one-two punch of "Genie in a Bottle" and "What a Girl Wants" a full decade prior. By year's end, "Poker Face" had become top-selling single of 2009 across the globe, and the following year, it earned Gaga her first nods for both Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year at the 2010 GRAMMYs, with The Fame also being nominated for Album Of The Year.

Though the song and LP ultimately lost in the major categories, they respectively took home the golden gramophones for Best Dance Recording and Best Electronic Dance Album, officially making Gaga a GRAMMY-winning artist after less than two years in the industry. 

"The Fame," The Fame (2008)

While it was never released as an official single, the title track off Gaga's 2008 debut album serves as something of an early thesis statement for the avant garde star who so confidently declared, "POP MUSIC WILL NEVER BE LOWBROW" as she burst from New York City's underground scene to the global stage.

Gaga lays bare her ambitions with brazen clarity on the punchy electronic track, as she gushes over her single-minded love for "runway models, Cadillacs and liquor bottles" and sings, "Give me something I wanna be/ Retro glamor, Hollywood, yes we live for the fame/ Doin' it for the fame/ 'Cause we wanna live the life of the rich and famous." Later on the song's bridge, the pop star vows, "Don't ask me how or why/ But I'm gonna make it happen this time," and in retrospect, there's no denying Gaga accomplished everything she set out to achieve at the start of her career. 

"Bad Romance," The Fame Monster (2009)

The Fame heralded Gaga as the next big thing in pop music. But rather than spend a couple years fine-tuning her follow-up, the newly minted star decided to double down while the iron was red hot by reissuing the album as The Fame Monster, complete with eight new songs. And in doing so, she catapulted herself to superstar status with just five syllables: "Ra-ra-ah-ah-ahh." 

If the Gaga of "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" was a flashy striver fighting her way to the center of the cultural zeitgeist, "Bad Romance" presented Gaga as a high-fashion pop queen ready to turn her coronation into a victory lap. Not only did "Bad Romance" score Gaga her fifth consecutive top 5 hit on the Billboard 200, it also won her the GRAMMYs for Female Pop Solo Performance and Music Video/Short Form in 2011. (The Fame Monster, meanwhile, took home the golden gramophone for Pop Vocal Album — the first of Gaga's four nominations and counting in the category.)

"Telephone" (featuring Beyoncé), The Fame Monster (2009)

"Hello, hello, baby, you called, I can't hear a thing…" On its face, "Telephone" may sound like a garden variety electro-pop bop, but Gaga turned the track into an unforgettable club banger of the highest order by recruiting the one and only Beyoncé. The two superstars play off one another with panache as they shrug off responsibility and incessant calls from home in favor of giving into the music.

The single's murderous, Jonas Åkerlund-directed visual remains one of the most iconic in Gaga's storied visual history. Fourteen years after Gaga and Honey B drove off in the Pussy Wagon with the promise to never come back, Little Monsters and the Beyhive are still clamoring for a follow-up. Need proof? Just look at the internet frenzy Queen Bey caused when she appeared driving a similarly hued taxi in a teaser for the album that became COWBOY CARTER earlier this year.

"Born This Way," Born This Way (2011)

Almost from the moment she emerged onto the national consciousness, Gaga was considered a gay icon in the making, proudly advocating for the queer community — and in turn, cultivating a passionate, devoted LGBTQ+ fan base who worshiped at the feet of Mother Monster. So, naturally, she used her 2010 sophomore album to gift the masses with the Pride anthem of a generation

Drawing comparisons to Madonna's "Express Yourself," "Born This Way" became a defining hit of the 2010s and helped empower listeners from the clubs, to the streets, to the inside of the closet to embrace what makes them special and fearlessly declare, "Baby, I was born this way!" Additionally, the gay anthem holds the distinction of being the 1,000th No. 1 hit in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, as well as Gaga's first single to bow at the top of the chart upon its debut.

"Yoü And I," Born This Way (2011)

Though she would go on to explore the genre further in 2016's Joanne, Gaga pretty much perfected her interpretation of classic Americana with the country-rock stomp of "Yoü and I" in 2011. Released as the fourth single from Born This Way, the gutsy power ballad found the singer driving a muscle car right through the glitzy, electro-pop aesthetic of her past as she wailed, "This time I'm not leavin' without you" over a sample of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and an original electric guitar line by none other than Brian May himself.

The music video for "Yoü And I," meanwhile, was classically high-concept in the most Gaga of terms. It saw the star transform into a number of alter egos including Yüyi the mermaid and the snarling, chain-smoking Jo Calderone. Whether running through the Nebraska cornfields of the song's setting or being brought back to life a la bride of Frankenstein by future ex-fiancé Taylor Kinney, Gaga proved that she could make a visit to America's heartland as avant-garde as ever.

"Marry The Night," Born This Way (2011)

Among Born This Way's litany of hits, "Marry the Night" is widely regarded among Little Monsters as something of a cult favorite. Though it didn't ascend quite as high up the charts as preceding singles like "Judas" or "The Edge of Glory," the track's music video might just be the most autobiographical visual the New York City native has ever released. 

As the fantastical clip opens on an unconscious Gaga lying prone in a hospital bed wearing "next season Calvin Klein" and custom Giuseppe Zanoti, the singer lays out her entire approach to her artistry. "When I look back on my life, it's not that I don't want to see things exactly as they happened, it's just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way," she explained. "And truthfully, the lie of it all is much more honest because I invented it…

"It's sort of like my past is an unfinished painting," she continues. "And as the artist of that painting, I must fill in all the ugly holes and make it beautiful again. It's not that I've been dishonest; it's just that I loathe reality." Gaga's rejection of the ordinary in favor of artistic reinterpretation has given fans not only the creative explosion of "Marry the Night," but the entirety of the pop star's avant-garde oeuvre.

"The Lady Is a Tramp" (with Tony Bennett), Duets II (2011)

Smack dab in the middle of Gaga's Born This Way era, Tony Bennett invited Gaga to duet on his 2011 album, Duets II. The pair's charming, spunky rendition of the Rodgers and Hart classic "The Lady is a Tramp" not only opened the album, but it showcased an irrepressible chemistry between the two stars that led to two more collaborative full-length albums, 2014's Cheek to Cheek and 2021's Love For Sale — both of which won GRAMMYs for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. 

The song ultimately became something of a cheeky hallmark to how much Gaga and Bennett adored one another; even after they'd released an album full of jazz standards like Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" and Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek," the young pop ingénue chose to sing "The Lady Is a Tramp" for Bennett's 90th birthday celebration at Radio City Music Hall, dedicating it to her friend as he beamed from the front row.

The pair's sweet friendship would continue on all the way until Bennett's death in 2023 following a years-long battle with Alzheimer's disease. In a heartfelt social media tribute, Gaga shared the impact of Bennett's friendship: "Sure he taught me about music, about showbiz life, but he also showed me how to keep my spirits high and my head screwed on straight."

"Applause," ARTPOP (2013)

She lives for the applause! For the lead single for her 2014 album ARTPOP, Gaga shined a spotlight back on the parasocial relationship and adoration that comes with fame. This time, though, the pop star demands listener participation rather than simple voyeurism as she belts, "Give me that thing that I love/ Put your hands up, make 'em touch!" 

In the song, Gaga also shares the complex philosophy behind the album's title ("Pop culture was in art, now art's in pop culture in me.") But between shouting out famed sculpturist Jeffrey Koons (whom she commissioned to create the iconic ARTPOP cover art) and referencing everything from Botticelli's The Birth of Venus to the pop iconography of Andy Warhol in the surrealist music video, Gaga's message was deceptively simple: She lives for the A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E, baby.

"Aura," ARTPOP (2013)

When it came time to present the highbrow themes of ARTPOP to the masses, Gaga chose to open the 2013 iTunes Festival with "Aura," a frenetic exploration of fame, celebrity, suppression and identity built over a skittering sonic palette inspired in equal parts by Middle Eastern music, spaghetti Westerns and mariachi.

Though she initially faced some backlash over accusations that she had appropriated the wearing of a Muslim burqa in the song's lyrics, "Aura" effectively set the stage for ARTPOP as a piece of sophisticated performance art unlike anything Gaga had created before — all while promising fans a glimpse "behind the curtain" at the girl underneath the camp and artistry. And though ARTPOP may have been more than a bit misunderstood at the time of its release, it arguably remains the boldest and bravest album in Gaga's manifold discography.

"Joanne," Joanne (2016)

Gaga found inspiration for her fifth studio album from the life and death of her late aunt (and namesake), Joanne Stefani Germanotta. The singer never met her relative, but Joanne's spirit was imbued throughout the album, from its homespun lyricism to its stripped-back sonic palette that found the singer exploring the sounds of country, soft rock and Americana.

Nowhere on the record is Gaga's profound connection to her aunt more evident than the title track, which she recorded two different versions of and released as the album's third and final single. "Take my hand, stay Joanne/ Heaven's not ready for you/ Every part of my aching heart/ Needs you more than the angels do," she sings softly over a spare piano line on "Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin'?)."

With its roots in her family tree, the song clearly holds a special place in Gaga's heart — especially considering she chose to mix it with "Million Reasons" for her performance at the 2018 GRAMMYs. (A full year later, she took home the GRAMMY for Best Pop Solo Performance in 2019 for the acoustic piano version.)

"Shallow" (with Bradley Cooper), A Star Is Born (2018)

"I can see myself in the movies/ With my picture in city lights," Gaga memorably sang in "The Fame." And a decade later, she manifested her dream into reality with a starring role in the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born

Opposite Bradley Cooper, the singer proved she had plenty of star quality on the silver screen on top of her status as a pop supernova. The movie musical's soundtrack was also dominated by Gaga's vulnerability and vocal abilities, fully giving herself over to the story of a star-crossed love that ends in superstardom and tragedy — particularly on the emotional keystone that is "Shallow." In fact, by the time she lets out her famous, guttural wail in the song's emotional bridge, it's easy to forget that "Shallow" is, in fact, a duet rather than a dazzling showcase of Gaga's chops. 

On top of being an essential touchstone in Gaga's canon, "Shallow" is also memorable for being the song that turned Mother Monster into an Oscar winner after she, co-writer Mark Ronson and the rest of their collaborators took home the trophy for Best Original Song at the 2019 Academy Awards. (The song also won a GRAMMY for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance that year.)

"I've worked hard for a long time," Gaga said through tears while accepting her Oscar. "And it's not about winning, but what it's about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There's a discipline for passion, and it's not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you're beaten up. It's about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going." 

"Rain On Me" (with Ariana Grande), Chromatica (2020)

Gaga's Chromatica era began with "Stupid Love" and its colorful, Power Rangers-chic video, but the star hit peak pop excellence by joining forces with Ariana Grande on the album's second single "Rain on Me." 

"I'd rather be dry but at least I'm alive/ Rain on me, rain, rain," the two superstars harmonized on the house-fueled disco fantasia's upbeat refrain, before letting the beat drop and giving in to the impulse to dance it out. Released in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the track provided hope, joy and a message of hard-fought resilience at a scary, unpredictable and unprecedented time when it felt like the world was ending as we knew it.

The following year, Gaga and Grande won the GRAMMY for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance at the 2011 ceremony, becoming the first female collaborators to take home the award in GRAMMYs history. 

"Free Woman," Chromatica (2020)

"Free Woman" was a bit overlooked when it was released as Chromatica's fourth and final single in the spring of 2021, but the narrative Gaga shares on the jubilant track is central to her personal history and experiences in the music industry. Over a thumping Eurodance-leaning beat, she recounts the PTSD she suffered from after being sexually assaulted by an unnamed producer early in her career.

Gaga also offers a rallying cry for her beloved LGBTQ+ fan base on the song, particularly those in the trans community, as she belts, "This is my dance floor I fought for/ Ain't hard, that's what I'm livin' for…We own the downtown, hear our sound." Ultimately, that empowering lyric is a notion that encapsulates the overarching theme of Gaga's career thus far — one that fans around the world can revel in again and again with GAGA CHROMATICA BALL.

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Amy Winehouse performs "Rehab" during 2007 MTV Movie Awards
Amy Winehouse in 2007

Photo: Chris Polk/FilmMagic

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How Amy Winehouse's 'Back To Black' Changed Pop Music Forever

Ahead of the new Amy Winehouse biopic 'Back To Black,' reflect on the impact of the album of the same name. Read on for six ways the GRAMMY-winning LP charmed listeners and changed the sound of popular music.

GRAMMYs/May 17, 2024 - 01:05 pm

When Amy Winehouse released Back To Black in October 2006, it was a sonic revelation. The beehive-wearing singer’s second full-length blended modern themes with the Shangri-Las sound, crafting something that seemed at once both effortlessly timeless and perfectly timed. 

Kicking off with smash single "Rehab" before blasting into swinging bangers like "Me & Mr. Jones," "Love Is A Losing Game," and "You Know I’m No Good," Black To Black has sold over 16 million copies worldwide to date and is the 12th best-selling record of all time in the United Kingdom. It was nominated for six GRAMMY Awards and won five: Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

Winehouse accepted her golden gramophones via remote link from London due to visa problems. At the time, Winehouse set the record for the most GRAMMYs won by a female British artist in a single year, though that record has since been broken by Adele, who won six in 2011.

Written in the wake of a break-up with on-again, off-again flame Blake Fielder-Civil, Black To Black explores heartbreak, grief, and infidelity, as well as substance abuse, isolation, and various traumas. Following her death in 2011, Back To Black became Winehouse’s most enduring legacy. It remains a revealingly soulful message in a bottle, floating forever on the waves. 

With the May 17 release of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s new (and questionably crafted) Winehouse biopic, also titled Back To Black, it's the perfect time to reflect on the album that not only charmed listeners but changed the state of a lot of popular music over the course of just 11 songs. Here are five ways that Back To Black influenced music today.

She Heralded The Arrival Of The Alt Pop Star

When Amy Winehouse hit the stage, people remarked on her big voice. She had classic, old-time torch singer pipes, like Sarah Vaughn or Etta Jones, capable of belting out odes to lost love, unrequited dreams, and crushing breakups. And while those types of singers had been around before Winehouse, they didn’t always get the chance — or grace required — to make their kind of music, with labels and producers often seeking work that was more poppy, hook-packed, or modern.

The success of Back To Black changed that, with artists like Duffy, Adele, and even Lady Gaga drawing more eyes in the wake of Winehouse’s overwhelming success. Both Duffy and Adele released their debut projects in 2007, the year after Back To Black, bringing their big, British sound to the masses. Amy Winehouse's look and sound showed other aspiring singers that they could be different and transgressive without losing appeal.

Before she signed to Interscope in 2007, "nobody knew who I was and I had no fans, no record label," Gaga told Rolling Stone in 2011. "Everybody, when they met me, said I wasn’t pretty enough or that my voice was too low or strange. They had nowhere to put me. And then I saw [Amy Winehouse] in Rolling Stone and I saw her live. I just remember thinking ‘well, they found somewhere to put Amy…’" 

If an artist like Winehouse — who was making records and rocking styles that seemed far outside the norm — could break through, then who’s to say someone else as bold or brassy wouldn’t do just as well? 

It Encouraged Other Torch Singers In The New Millenium

Back To Black might have sounded fun, with swinging cuts about saying "no" to rehab and being bad news that could seem lighthearted to the casual listener. Dig a little deeper, though, and it’s clear Winehouse is going through some real romantic tumult. 

Before Back To Black was released, Fielder-Civil had left Winehouse to get back together with an old girlfriend, and singer felt that she needed to create something good out of all those bad feelings. Songs like "Love Is A Losing Game" and "Tears Dry On Their Own" speak to her fragile emotional state during the making of the record, and to how much she missed Fielder-Civil. The two would later marry, though the couple divorced in 2009.

Today, young pop singers like Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez are lauded for their songs about breakups, boyfriends, and the emotional damage inflicted by callous lovers. While Winehouse certainly wasn’t the first to sing about a broken heart, she was undoubtedly one of the best.

It Created A Bit Of Ronsonmania

Though Mark Ronson was already a fairly successful artist and producer in his own right before he teamed with Winehouse to write and co-produce much of Back To Black, his cred was positively stratospheric after the album's release. Though portions of Back To Black were actually produced by Salaam Remi (who’d previously worked with Winehouse on Frank and who was reportedly working on a follow-up album with her at the time of her death), Ronson got the lion’s share of credit for the record’s sound — perhaps thanks to his his GRAMMY win for Best Pop Vocal Album. Winehouse would even go on to guest on his own Version record, which featured the singer's ever-popular cover of "Valerie."

In the years that followed, Ronson went on to not only produce and make his own funky, genre-bending records, but also to work with acts like Adele, ASAP Rocky, and Paul McCartney, all of whom seemingly wanted a little of the retro soul Ronson could bring. He got huge acclaim for the funk-pop boogie cut "Uptown Funk," which he wrote and released under his own name with help from Bruno Mars, and has pushed into film as well, writing and producing over-the-top tracks like A Star Is Born’s "Shallow" and Barbie’s "I’m Just Ken."  To date, he’s been nominated for 17 GRAMMY Awards, winning eight.

Ronson has always acknowledged Winehouse’s role in his success, as well, telling "BBC Breakfast" in 2010, "I've always been really candid about saying that Amy is the reason I am on the map. If it wasn't for the success of Back To Black, no one would have cared too much about Version."

Amy Showcased The Artist As An Individual

When the GRAMMY Museum hosted its "Beyond Black - The Style of Amy Winehouse" exhibit in 2020, Museum Curator and Director of Exhibitions Nicholas Vega called the singer's sartorial influence "undeniable." Whether it was her beehive, her bold eyeliner, or her fitted dresses, artists and fans had adopted elements of Winehouse’s Back To Black style into their own fashion repertoire. And though it’s the look we associate most with Winehouse, it was actually one she had truly developed while making the record, amping up her Frank-era low-slung jeans, tank tops, and polo shirts with darker eyeliner and much bigger hair, as well as flirty dresses, vibrant bras, and heels.

"Her stylist and friends were influential in helping her develop her look, but ultimately Amy took bits and pieces of trends and styles that she admired to create her own look," Vega told GRAMMY.com in 2020. While rock ‘n’ rollers have always leaned into genre-bending styles, Winehouse’s grit is notable in the pop world, where artists typically have a bit more of a sheen. These days, artists like Miley Cyrus, Billie Eillish, and Demi Lovato are willing to let their fans see a bit more of the grit — thanks, no doubt, to the doors Winehouse opened.

Winehouse also opened the door to the beauty salon and the tattoo studio, pushing boundaries with not just her 14 different vintage-inspired tattoos — which have become almost de rigeur these days in entertainment — but also with her signature beehive-like bouffant, which hadn’t really been seen on a popular artist since the ‘60s.It’s a frequent look for contemporary pop divas, popping up on artists like Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, and Dua Lipa.

The Dap-Kings Got The Flowers They Deserved

Six of Back To Black’s 11 songs, including "Rehab," got their "retro" sound via backing from the Dap-Kings, a Brooklyn-based soul act Ronson recruited for the project. 

While Winehouse’s lyrics were mostly laid down in London, the Dap-Kings did their parts in New York. Ronson told GRAMMY.com in 2023 that the Dap-Kings "brought ['Rehab'] to life," saying, "I felt like I was floating because I couldn’t believe anybody could still make that drum sound in 2006." Winehouse and the Dap-Kings met months later after the record was released, and recorded "Valerie." The band later backed Winehouse on her U.S. tour. 

Though the Dap-Kings were known in hip musical circles for their work with late-to-success soul sensation Sharon Jones, Back To Black’s immense success buoyed the listening public’s interest in soul music and the Dap-Kings' own profile (not to mention that of their label, Daptone Records).

"Soul music never went away and soul lovers never went away, but they’re just kind of closeted because they didn’t think it was commercially viable," Dap-Kings guitarist Binky Griptite said in the book It Ain't Retro: Daptone Records & The 21st Century Soul Revolution. "Then, when Amy’s record hit, all the undercover soul fans are like, I’m free. And then that’s when everybody’s like, Oh, there’s money in it now."

The success of Back To Black also seems to have firmly cemented the Dap-Kings in Ronson’s Rolodex, with the group’s drummer Homer Steinweiss, multi-instrumentalist Leon Michaels, trumpeter Dave Guy, and guitarist/producer Tom Brenneck appearing on many of his projects; the Dap-Kings' horns got prominent placement in "Uptown Funk."

Amy Exposed The Darker Side Of Overwhelming Success

Four years after Winehouse died, a documentary about her life was released. Asif Kapadia’s Amy became an instant rock-doc classic, detailing not only Winehouse’s upbringing, but also her struggles with fame and addiction. It won 30 awards after release, including Best Documentary Feature at the 88th Academy Awards and Best Music Film at the 58th GRAMMY Awards.

It also made a lot of people angry — not for how it portrayed Winehouse, but for how she was made to feel, whether by the British press or by people she considered close. The film documented Winehouse’s struggles with bulimia, self-harm, and depression, and left fans and artists alike feeling heartbroken all over again about the singer’s passing. 

The documentary also let fans in on what life was really like for Winehouse, and potentially for other artists in the public eye. British rapper Stormzy summed it up well in 2016 when he told i-D, "I saw the [documentary, Amy] – it got me flipping angry... [Amy’s story] struck a chord with me in the sense that, as a creative, it looks like on the outside, that it’s very ‘go studio, make a hit, go and perform it around the world, champagne in the club, loads of girls’. But the graft and the emotional strain of being a musician is very hard. No one ever sees that part." 

These days, perhaps because of Winehouse’s plight or documentaries like Amy, the music-loving population seems far more inclined to give their favorite singers a little grace, whether it’s advocating for the end of Britney Spears’ conservatorship or sympathizing with Demi Lovato’s personal struggles. Even the biggest pop stars are still people, and Amy really drove that point home.

We Only Said Goodbye With Words: Remembering Amy Winehouse 10 Years Later

Lady Gaga holds her 2019 GRAMMY Awards
Lady Gaga

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Lady Gaga Advocate For Mental Health Awareness During Her 2019 Win For "Shallow"

Lady Gaga accepts the Best Pop/Duo Group Performance award for "Shallow" from 'A Star Is Born' at the 2019 GRAMMYs while encouraging the audience "to take care of each other."

GRAMMYs/May 3, 2024 - 04:00 pm

Between two award seasons, A Star Is Born received seven nominations — including Record Of The Year and two nods for Song Of The Year — and four wins for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, Best Song Written for Visual Media twice, and Best Pop/Duo Group Performance.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, travel to 2019 to watch Lady Gaga accept one of the album's first GRAMMY wins for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance for "Shallow."

After thanking God and her family for their unwavering support, Lady Gaga expressed gratitude for her co-star, Bradley Cooper. "I wish Bradley was here with me right now," Gaga praised. "I know he wants to be here. Bradley, I loved singing this song with you."

Gaga went on to express how proud she was to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health. "A lot of artists deal with that. We've got to take care of each other. So, if you see somebody that's hurting, don't look away. And if you're hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep, tell somebody, and take them up in your head with you."

Press play on the video above to hear Lady Gaga's complete acceptance speech for A Star Is Born's "Shallow" at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.

Run The World: How Lady Gaga Changed The Music Industry With Dance-Pop & Unapologetic Feminism

Billie Eilish attends the 2024 Oscars red carpet
Billie Eilish attends the 2024 Oscars on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California.

Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images

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2024 Oscars Red Carpet: Music Icons & Artists Shine Including Billie Eilish, Mark Ronson, Danielle Brooks & More

Visit the intersection of music and movies with a spotlight on the musical talents dazzling the red carpet at the Oscars. Billie Eilish, Danielle Brooks, and more show the creativity and style these multi-talented stars bring to Hollywood's biggest night.

GRAMMYs/Mar 10, 2024 - 08:49 pm

Tonight, the red carpet becomes a runway that blends the art of fashion with the magic of cinema and sound. 

The intersection of music and film has never been more luminous than at this year's Oscars, where numerous GRAMMY-winning artists including Billie Eilish, Jon Batiste, and Bradley Cooper are not just attending but are nominated for their contributions to the silver screen. 

From enchanting melodies that tugged at our heartstrings to groundbreaking scores that redefined movie moments, these artists have already left an indelible mark on the music industry. Tonight, they grace the Oscars red carpet, showcasing not only their unparalleled talent but also their unique fashion sensibilities. 

Take a closer look at these multifaceted talents and their journey from the GRAMMYs to the 2024 Oscars.

2024 Oscars: Watch Performances & Highlights

Billie Eilish

Nominated for: Best Original Song, "What Was I Made For?" from Barbie

Billie Eilish, the alt-pop sensation with nine GRAMMY wins, brings her unique style to the Oscars wearing a tweed schoolgirl look from Chanel. At this year's Academy Awards, Eilish is nominated for the hauntingly beautiful "What Was I Made For?" [From The Motion Picture *Barbie*], the same track that won two GRAMMYs, for Song Of The Year and Best Song Written For Visual Media, at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Billie Eilish

*Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images*

Finneas O'Connell

Nominated for: Best Original Song, "What Was I Made For?" with Billie Eilish

Finneas O'Connell, the mind behind many of sister Billie Eilish’s hits and a 10-time GRAMMY winner in his own right, appears tonight in an ensemble that's as sleek as his production style. Nominated for the poignant "What Was I Made For?," he exudes confidence and creativity, showcasing the depth of his artistic vision.

FINNEAS on the 2024 Oscars red carpet

*Photo: JC Olivera/Getty Images*

Jon Batiste

Nominated for: Best Original Song, "It Never Went Away" from American Symphony

Jon Batiste, a vision of grace on the red carpet in a monochromatic burgundy suit, brings the same passion to his music that won him five GRAMMYs and 19 nominations, including his Album Of The Year win for 2021's We Are

Tonight, he's recognized for his soul-stirring "It Never Went Away", a testament to his versatility and depth as an artist. He won his first Oscar in 2021 for Best Original Score with Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor for their work together on Pixar's Soul.

Jon Batiste

*Photo:* Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Mark Ronson

**Nominated for: Best Original Song, "I'm Just Ken" [From The Motion Picture Barbie]

Mark Ronson, the GRAMMY-winning producer known for hits like "Uptown Funk" and his work on Amy Winehouse's seminal Back to Black, brings well-suited sophistication to the red carpet. As an eight time GRAMMY winner, Ronson won his first Oscar award for Best Original Song in 2021 for "Shallow" for A Star is Born starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Mark Ronson on the 2024 Oscars red carpet

***Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images***

Ludwig Göransson

Nominated for: Best Original Score, Oppenheimer

Ludwig Göransson, took home the Oscar for Best Original Score with a win for Oppenheimer. Known for his innovative soundscapes, Göransson's attire tonight — a satin-lapel tuxedo with wide pants and Cartier jewels — is a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary, much like his music.

Ludwig Gorranson

*Photo: John Shearer/WireImage/Getty Images*

Bradley Cooper

Nominated for: Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Maestro


Bradley Cooper, presents a masterclass in red carpet fashion in a double-breasted tie-less tux with turquoise buttons and boot cut suit pants. A two-time GRAMMY winner for A Star Is Born in 2019, Cooper's transformation into Leonard Bernstein in Maestro is both a critical and stylistic triumph. Tonight, his attire is as meticulously curated as his performance, with a nod to the classical elegance befitting one of the most legendary conductors of all-time.

Bradley Cooper

***Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images***

Danielle Brooks

Nominated for: Best Supporting Actress, The Color Purple

Danielle Brooks dazzles in a black corseted gown with silver embellishments, a diamond necklace, and silver toned jewelry that speaks to her vibrant and powerful portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple. A GRAMMY winner in 2017 for Best Musical Theater Album for her work in the Broadway revival, Brooks now shines on Oscars Sunday in an ensemble that is a tribute to Sofia's strength, resilience, and grace.

Danielle Brooks

*Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images*

Diane Warren

Nominated for: Best Original Song, "The Fire Inside" from Flamin' Hot

Diane Warren, whose pen has graced many an iconic ballad, steps onto the red carpet in a "Flamin' Hot" look that echoes her lyrical genius. Nominated once again for her songwriting prowess, Warren's attire tonight is a nod to the fiery Becky G track she's nominated for tonight. 

Warren has received 15 GRAMMY nominations through her career and a win for "Because You Loved Me" (Celine Dion, from Up, Close and Personal) which took home Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1997. 

Diane Warren

*Photo:* Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande stepped onto the red carpet just days after the release of her album Eternal Sunshine in a custom Glinda-pink Giambattista Valli gown. Grande presented awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score with Wicked co-star, Cynthia Erivo at the 2024 Oscars.

Ariana Grande

*Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo graced the red carpet in an emerald green Louis Vuitton look with voluminous leather ruffles. Erivo presented awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score with Wicked co-star, Ariana Grande at the 2024 Oscars. 

Cynthia Erivo

*Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images*

Hailey Steinfeld

Nominated: Best Animated Feature, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Hailey Steinfeld showed up to the 2024 Oscars ready to put on a show. The actress and singer wore a couture Elie Saab gown from the Spring/Summer 2024 collection in light blue with butterfly cape sleeves and a pleated skirt, accentuated by metallic appliqués adorning the bodice and wrists of the sleeves.

Hailey Steinfeld

*Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/GettyImages *

Tia Carrere

Tia Carrere attends the 2024 Oscars red carpet. Carrere is a two-time GRAMMY winner for Best Hawaiian Music Album.

Tia Carrere

***Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images***

Slash

Slash, the lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses assisted Ryan Gosling and Mark Ronson with a performance of 'I'm Just Ken' at the 2024 Oscars. 

Slash