NEW YORK -- You might say that Lady Gaga's year really began in an egg.

That's how she arrived at the Grammys in February, encased in a large, translucent pod carried by scantily clad dancers. When she "hatched" onstage, she effectively gave birth to "Born This Way," performing the eponymous lead single of her second studio album and anthem to self-acceptance. In 2011, the album took her around the world, where she rarely went unnoticed.

After a year of extravagant globe-trotting and relentless advocacy of tolerance, Lady Gaga has been voted Entertainer of the Year by members of The Associated Press.

There were 135 ballots submitted by U.S. news organizations that make up the AP's membership. Editors and broadcasters were asked to cast their ballots for who had the most influence on entertainment and culture in 2011.

"I am humbled and honored to be named 'Entertainer of The Year' by The Associated Press," Lady Gaga said in a statement Monday signed "Mother Monster."

"My deepest gratitude to the broadcasters and journalists who've supported me over the years, and in turn, are now supporting the loves of my life: my fans. Thank you for believing in 'Born This Way.' May you continue to brave the dreams of Showbiz."

Lady Gaga narrowly edged out the late Apple founder Steve Jobs by three votes. Many others received numerous votes, including Taylor Swift, Charlie Sheen, Adele and the cast of "Harry Potter."

When "Born This Way" was released in May, 1.1 million copies sold in the first week, partly aided by a dramatic discount from Amazon, which sold it for 99 cents. As of October, worldwide sales surpassed 8 million copies.

"One of my greatest artworks is the art of fame," she told "60 Minutes" earlier this year. "I'm a master of the art of fame."

Lady Gaga, 25, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, is prepping for a "Born This Way" tour. Her "Monster Ball Tour" was still going strong earlier this year, which went a long way toward making her, according to Forbes, the highest-grossing female musician in 2011. The magazine, which compiled pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, said Lady Gaga earned $90 million.

Lady Gaga was a regular at award shows this year. She won three Grammys in February, including best female pop vocal performance. She won two MTV Video Music Awards. She was nominated for three Grammys for next year, including best album.