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PHOTO: Before the Lady Went Gaga

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Splash News Online, Michael Loccisano/Getty

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

Watch the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT,live on CBS – and catch up on all the news and style from the show on PEOPLE.com!

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