When: 2006

Lady Gaga was making a name for herself in the underground scenes around clubs in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Her live shows and solid songs like “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” drew prospective managers and label heads.

L.A. Reid invited her to the Island Def Jam offices, where she impressed him by playing the piano and simultaneously drumming on a table. Reid didn't hesitate to sign Gaga, inking a $850,000 deal that kicked off her music career. Shortly after, one of the tracks she produced did not get a positive reception during one of Reid's meetings. She was later dropped from the label.