Colleen Martin was raised in upstate New York. After gaining a degree in philosophy at college, she moved to New York City in 2001 where she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T). Martin, a rock history aficionado, adopted the stage name Lady Starlight as a reference to the song "Lady Starlight" by Sweet.
A downtown nightlife personality and scene queen, Lady Starlight has produced several long running parties in the Lower East Side club scene. From 2004-2006, Lady Starlight paid tribute to widely noted 1970's Los Angeles glam rock nightclub Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco with her own glitter rock inspired party, "Lady Starlight's English Disco" , where Broadway star Annaleigh Ashford made her performance debut, dancing under the stage name Hollywood Starr. Lady Starlight also appeared in NYC DJ/electronica musician Ursula 1000's 2006 music video for the glam rock inspired song, "Hello! Let's Go To a Disco" off his album, "Here Comes Tomorrow". In 2007, she started "Lady Starlight's Heavy Metal Soundhouse", a homage to rock DJ Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Soundhouse, London’s first heavy rock disco.
2007: Performance art with Lady Gaga
In early 2007, Lady Starlight met the similarly named and as yet undiscovered pop star Lady Gaga, and helped create her onstage fashions. The pair collaborated on many projects such as "Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue"- a low-fi tribute to 1970's variety acts which featured Lady Gaga on synth, Lady Starlight spinning beats, choregraphed go-go moves, shiny disco balls, and hairspray, lit on fire and sprayed into the audience.
Lady Gaga credits Lady Starlight for her interest in performance as art. "I actually never really thought of it like that [performance art] until I started working with Lady Starlight" Lady Gaga admits of her career beginnings. "One day she [Lady Starlight] was like 'It’s not really a concert and it’s not really a show. It’s performance art. What you’re doing is not just singing…it’s art.' And once she pointed out to me what I was already doing I just started analyzing that more and researching to try to take it in a different direction. And that’s really what we did."
In October 2007, Lady Starlight and Lady Gaga combined their love of performance art, burlesque pop, rock'n roll, sequined panties, 1970's Glam Rock and 1980's Heavy Metal into a weekly party , "New York Street Revival and Trash Dance".
In 2008, Lady Starlight was nominated for "Best Go Go Dancer and Burlesque Performer" and voted "Best Female Hard Rock DJ 2008" by The L Magazine.
Work with Gaga
- Lady Gaga and the Starlight Revue (costars)
- Crevettes Films (director)
- The Monster Ball Tour (opening act, July 6, 2010 - April 27, 2011)
- The Born This Way Ball Tour (opening act, June 7, 2012 - TBA)
Lady Gaga tweeted Starlight's performance; The apple doesn't fall far from the Metal Tree :). My Best friend, Ladies + Gents: Lady Starlight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwF-iSiKLHc
On September 12, 2010, she attended to the MTV Video Music Awards, where she sat next to Gaga.