PHOTO: Before the Lady Went Gaga

PHOTO: Before the Lady Went Gaga
Lady Gaga then and now
Splash News Online, Michael Loccisano/Getty

12/17/2009 AT 02:40 PM EST

There was a time when Lady Gaga dressed as a Catholic schoolgirl and it wasn't for shock value. Before she made it big as a Grammy-nominated pop singer and fashion icon, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was a piano-playing student at Convent of the Sacred Heart school in New York City.

She was already writing songs as a teen-ager in 2000, then studied music at New York University before leaving early to perform professionally. – Mike Fleeman

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