Lady Gaga ‘Paid Her Dues’ For Success, Akon Says

'It was just a matter of time for her,' says 'Kon, who signed Gaga last year.

After winning three Moonmen at the 2009 VMAs and becoming the first singer in a decade to hit #1 with her first two singles, Lady Gaga has definitely certified herself as the breakout star of the year.

Akon, who signed Gaga to his Kon Live Distribution label in 2008 and calls her his “franchise player,” said his protégé’s success is the result of a lot of hard work.

“She’s definitely paid her dues,” ‘Kon told MTV News. “She’s been through all kinds of strings and ropes. She’s jumped through all kinds of hoops. It was just a matter of time for her. You can’t stop true talent. And you can’t stop the truth. If that’s what it is, that’s what it is. At the end of the day, she’s one of those rare finds. A diamond in the rough that you just have to polish out and let shine, and that’s exactly what she’s doing.”

The often outrageously costumed singer scored VMA wins for Best New Artist, Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects with her “Paparazzi” video. Next up, she’ll take her theatrical act on the road for her co-headlining tour with Kanye West . She told the BBC last month that the trek would be “groundbreaking.”

Akon — who has also had a hand in the careers of T-Pain, Rock City and Kat DeLuna, among others — is clearly proud of how far Gaga has come.

“It’s Gaga all day,” ‘Kon enthused. “Gaga, at the end of the day, is the truth. I love her. Right now my heart is with Gaga.”