9-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga went bankrupt and was $3 million in debt after her Monster Ball tour

Lady Gaga won 3 awards at the 61st Annual Grammys
David Crotty | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

Lady Gaga won three Grammys in 2019, two for "Shallow" and one for "Joanne," both songs from her work in the musical drama "A Star Is Born." The 32-year-old singer and actress, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, also won an Oscar for Best Original Song, and was nominated for Best Actress, at the 2019 Academy Awards. Her first Oscar nomination came in 2016 for Best Original Song in "The Hunting Ground."

Gaga first made a splash in the music industry with her 2008 debut album "The Fame." Since, the New York native has won nine Grammys, done five concert tours and performed at the Super Bowl. And, having sold more than 11 million albums, she's built a sizable fortune in the process.

But she hasn't always been flush.

"I actually went bankrupt after the first extension of The Monster Ball," she told the Financial Times, referring to her second worldwide concert tour, which ran from 2009 to 2011. "And it was funny because I didn't know!

Lady Gaga was $3 million in debt after her Monster Ball tour

"And I remember I called everybody and said, 'Why is every­one saying I have no money? This is ridiculous, I have five No. 1 singles.' And they said, 'Well, you're $3 million in debt.'"

Gaga was able to get out of the red thanks to "the sheer quality and popularity" of her work, the FT reported. And today, she's doing well for herself: In 2018, Gaga had already earned $50 million as of July, Forbes reports.

But, as she told the FT, pursuing a career as a pop star has never been about the money: "The beauty for me about being an artist is that the dream will never die, because I'm not obsessed with material things and don't care about the money and don't care about the attention of the public, but only the love of my fans, so for me it's about how much more devoted, how much better an artist can I become."

In short, she said, "it's honestly true that money means nothing to me."

Gaga doesn't mind splurging on the important things, though — and that includes her concerts, she said: "The only big things I've purchased are my dad's heart valve and a Rolls-Royce for my parents, for their anniversary. ... Other than that, I put everything in the show."

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