Creative in California The journey to that premium slice of Billboard real
estate, the approval of critics, and a thumbs up from fans was long, hard, and filled with overcoming many obstacles along the way that threatened to squash LadyGaga’s career before it ever had a chance to ignite. There were countless key moments that kept the dream alive. It started when she got a job as a songwriter for New Jersey-based Streamline Records, part of Interscope Records. She worked on songs for Britney Spears, New Kids on the Block, andThe Pussycat Dolls. Along the
way, LadyGaga’s voice grabbed rhythm and blues musicianAkon’s ear, and he connected her with his record label KonLive. LadyGaga hopped on a plane to California, and with the pressure ramping up and the window of opportunity to make something happen closing in, those dreams of stardomwere revived. Escaping the East Coast, where her career was stuck in neutral, and stepping foot in the California sunshine rejuvenated her creativity. Lady Gaga delivered amid the mounting pressure surrounding her arrival. The lyrics came in a fantastic flurry during that roughly 10-minute stretch she says it took to knock out the song’s foundation. With the help of Akon and Nadir “RedOne” Khayat (a singer, songwriter, and producer), they ironed it out further, and when Colby O’Donis added his vocals, a genuine smash hit was in the works. By late summer of 2008, her debut album The Fame was released, where “Just Dance” was the powerful and beloved leadoff track. “Just Dance” piled up a ton of impressive numbers: it received a nine-time platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America; it was performed in front of a massive live and television audience at Super Bowl LI; it’s in the conversation as one of the best-selling singles of all-time; and it was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Dance Recording category. “Just Dance” took Lady Gaga from unknown singer to superstar performer, and as her success and accolades continue piling up, she has plenty of reasons to do what she belts out in her song—just dance!
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