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Lady Gaga’s Incredible Transformation: How She Went From Wild Child to Movie Icon (Exclusive)

Lady Gaga has always been a boundary-pushing renegade. But, in reality, she was just protecting herself. “Fashion and art and music have always been a form of armor,” the six-time Grammy winner recently told Vogue. “I just kept creating more and more fantasies to escape into, new skins to shed. And every time … it was like taking a shower when you’re dirty: getting rid of, washing off, shedding all of the bad, and becoming something new.”

Related: Lady Gaga’s Craziest Stunts and Most Outrageous Controversies

Today, she’s shedding all those layers and getting down to the real Gaga (born Stefani Germanotta). Though hailed for her eccentric fashion choices — like that famous meat dress she wore in 2010 — and elaborate performances (remember when she hatched from an egg during the 2011 Grammys?), the “Perfect Illusion” singer has finally found confidence in just being herself.

“I’m focusing on the things that I believe in,” she has said. “I’m challenging myself. I’m embarking on new territory.”

Lady Gaga
Recording artist Lady Gaga and agent Christian Carino embrace backstage at the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS

Related: Lady Gaga Reinvents Herself Again With a Majorly Glam Makeover

Starting with her career. She’s generating Oscar buzz for her starring role alongside Bradley Cooper in the fourth iteration of the tragic love story A Star Is Born. (Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand previously took on the role.) And in her personal life, the 32-year-old is also exploring a new route. While she put her relationship with ex Taylor Kinney on full public display, Gaga’s chosen to be quieter about her love with fiancé Christian Carino, 49. As she has mused, “There has been a galaxy of change.”

Love helped bring the superstar back down to earth. Since the New York native began dating her agent in early 2017, “she’s been so happy,” explains a source to Us Weekly. “Christian is always by her side.” Especially as she continues to battle extreme nerve pain caused by her fibromyalgia. (In agony, she was forced to cut short her European tour earlier this year.)

Related: See Lady Gaga’s Amazing Body Transformation!

“He’s amazingly supportive,” adds the insider. “She’s still recovering, so they’re focused on her health and not the wedding. They’ll work on that when she’s better.”

Through it all, she’s continued to create. “Gaga is always working and recording new music,” reveals a second insider. “That’s just who she is. Nothing can stop her.”

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