In 2007, New Jersey producer Rob Fusari – who’d worked with acts like Destiny’s Child, Will Smith and Beyonce – brought into his studio a young singer from Staten Island named Lina Morgana. Morgana, the child of recently divorced Russian immigrants, was looking to launch a career in music. To write material for her, Fusari brought in another local ingénue, Stefani Germanotta – who would later become known to the world as Lady Gaga – a privileged Manhattanite who began studying music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts while only 17. Fusari had first met her when trying to put together what he termed “a female version of The Strokes.”
At Fusari’s studio, Morgana and Germanotta wrote and recorded about a dozen songs together. None were released commercially, though the song “Wunderland” (with back-up vocals by Gaga) has been leaked to YouTube.
In preparation for what she believed would be her debut record, Morgana shot videos and began posing for publicity stills wearing lingerie, outlandish wigs, platform shoes – all which would later become Gaga staples (and, to be fair, all of which had been staples of the club kid scene for at least a decade). It was around this time that Germanotta began morphing into Lady Gaga, a moniker given her by Fusari, and recording her debut solo album.
Morgana’s tracks were never released. Gaga’s album The Fame, dropped on August 19, 2008, raced up the charts and would go on to sell 12 million copies.
Lina Morgana, meanwhile, committed suicide at age 19 by jumping off the roof of a Staten Island hotel on October 4th, 2008.
Now, nearly two years later, her mother Yana Morgana has taken her story to the New York Post, alleging that Lady Gaga stole Lina Morgana’s act.
"I'm not looking to file a lawsuit," Yana stressed. "I just want them to acknowledge Lina as an artist and release her music."
Rob Fusari (who is suing Gaga, incidentally, over song royalties), Interscope Records and Lady Gaga have all declined to comment thus far. Gaga (or her management minions) also went so far as to shut down her official internet fan forum after the New York Post story broke.
Here’s all that’s currently available of Gaga and Morgana’s 2007 collaboration.