Is Lady Gaga the world’s greatest fame machine?

It is many years since the world has seen a performer so startlingly creative, so adept at shock tactics and accomplished in the art of controversy as Lady Gaga.

Since she catapulted to fame with her single Just Dance in 2008, the theatrical singer has sold-out show tickets in minutes and rarely been out of the newspapers. And unlike many of her contemporaries, her excessive press coverage is not related to having a disastrous private life, drug addiction or series of relationships, but for her showmanship and eccentricity.

We have seen the singer giving away a lock of her hair with the deluxe limited edition of her album The Fame Monster. She has enacted a suicide on stage, performed in a giant bathroom on the X Factor and sung to the Queen of England in an Elizabethan ruff and 20 foot long rubber cape.

Real name Stefani Germanotta, Gaga has rolled about in a ‘Chanel wheelchair’, posed naked with Kanye West in pictures by David Lachapelle and bought 80 pizzas for waiting fans queuing at her album signing in Los Angeles. She seemed to revel in speculation that she is a hermaphrodite and broke chart records in America by becoming the first artist in the 17-year history of the Billboard Pop Songs countdown to score four number ones from the same debut album. Paparazzi, Just Dance, Poker Face and LoveGame all hit the top spot in record sales.

As if that was not enough to cram into a few short years, the American singer has collaborated with superstar Beyonce Knowles in her remix of Video Phone, appeared onstage with the Bolshoi Ballet dancers and worn outlandish creations including ‘firework boobs’, gyroscope headgear and a jeweled neck brace and studded crutches.

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