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Former Manager Says Lady Gaga Was 'Painfully Shy'

Lady Gaga (photosLady Gaga photos)'s first manager, Bob Leone, says before she was a Grammy winning artist, the singer was just a reserved teenager nervous about performing.

"She was painfully shy very different from who she is now," Leone tells 'People' about the first time he met her at an open mic night when she was 13 or 14 years old.

"She came to the open mics with her mother twice before she built up the courage to go onstage."

Leone, who worked with Stefani Germanotta for several years and managed her for six months in 2006, is now auctioning off nine pieces of memorabilia including a demo recording.

"She was prodigy-like," he says of when he first heard her perform (see her here). "She was clearly a very good songwriter and keyboard player."

"It was a very important six months because going into it, she was Stefani, and she was still writing pop music. By the end of that six month period, she was officially Lady Gaga."

"She blew everyone away," Leone says of the transformation. "Nobody talked about anything after a 2006 showcase but Lady Gaga. She bantered with the audience and was very funny. I never noticed that sense of humor when she was Stefani."

"Whenever someone asked her, 'what is your goal?' she would always give the same two-word answer: 'world domination,'" says Leone with a laugh. And now? "She's got it!"

October 8, 2010 |

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