Biography of Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is an American singer who won the love of listeners with biographical songs with a dark aesthetic. Captivating sincerity is intertwined with obscene vocabulary, and bright energy is intertwined with bold sexuality. Her “cinematic” music is difficult to drive into the genre framework, and for sure everyone will find something of their own in it. Music critics have compared her voice to that of China Forbes, Nancy Sinatra and Ambrosia Parsley. Thanks to such comparisons, the singer began to call her work “Hollywood sadcore”, while she defined herself as “a gangster version of Nancy Sinatra.”
Original singer Lana Del Rey
Childhood and family
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant was born on June 21, 1985 in a wealthy family from New York. Her father, Robert Grand Jr. (born 1954), made his fortune in the 1990s by investing first in real estate, then in internet infrastructure. In 1982, while still a simple employee of the Gray Group advertising agency, he proposed to an assistant accountant, Patricia Hill, whom he met on the set of another commercial.
Lana Del Rey as a child (pictured left, with her brother and sister)
Shortly after the birth of Lizzy, the family moved to Patricia’s homeland, to the village of Lake Placid, where the 1980 Olympics were held. There she had a younger sister Carolyn (born 1989) and brother Charlie (born 1993).
Lana Del Rey (then Elizabeth Grand) in high school
Elizabeth attended St. Agnes Catholic Primary School and, in her spare time, sang at the Hork Church across the street. The singer admitted that although she does not share the concept of God, traditional for Catholics, she likes the idea of some higher reason and destiny.
The girl wrote her first song at the age of 11. “It was called China Palace and it was about being a princess,” the singer recalled.
At school, most of the time the girl looked out the window and dreamed of being somewhere else. This continued until, at the age of 15, Elizabeth began philosophy lessons, where she found a whole class of like-minded people who also asked the question: “Why are we here?”. At the same time, she discovered alcohol and quickly became addicted to a new pastime. She talks about these dark days in the song “Born to Die”. Frightened parents sent her to a closed boarding school in Connecticut, and until the age of 18, the girl did not drink a single drop of alcohol.
First steps to glory
Returning to New York after graduating, Lizzie became a student in the metaphysics department at Fordham University. She spent her free time volunteering: she helped the homeless, alcohol and drug addicts, traveled to Indian reservations, where she built and repaired houses. In parallel, she performed in nightclubs: Laila Lounge, Galapagos, The Living Room.
Lana Del Rey in her youth
At first, her creative pseudonym was the name May Jailer; under it, in 2005, she recorded the album “Young Like Me” and the acoustic album “Sirens”. The aspiring singer drew inspiration from the music of the sixties. The songs of those years did not have a gloomy sound, but, on the contrary, were light and airy, in the best traditions of folk music.
Sirens album cover
At the age of 20, Elizabeth began to live separately from her parents, for some time she even lived in a trailer. She began sending out a cassette with demo songs to producers, and in the fall of 2008, the girl signed a contract with 5 Point Records – producer David Kane became interested in her. Soon her first mini-album Kill Kill was released, consisting of three songs. At that time, the girl called herself Lizzy Grant. The press got information that it was Elizabeth’s father who provided her with material support at the stage of promotion. However, representatives of the music label denied this information.
Since that time, Elizabeth has become Lana Del Rey (although at first the third word in the pseudonym was written as Ray, later transformed into Rey).
In January 2010, the album “Lana Del Ray aka Lizzy Grant” was released. The release passed without much attention of the audience, so the singer decided to terminate the contract and try to unwind on her own. In 2011, she released a homemade video collage-style video for the song “Video games” recorded with the help of composer Justin Parker, in which she spoke about a routine and unhappy relationship with her boyfriend.
The video received hundreds of thousands of views, and the host of the Live Lounge program on the radio put the song on the air, after which representatives of the Interscope label drew attention to Elizabeth.
At the end of 2011, the singer presented the single “Born to Die”, which anticipated the release of the album of the same name, which took the fifth position among the best-selling albums of the year (and the singer herself was in the top 3 most popular American singers). Critics called him a link between modern hip-hop culture and classical pop music, equipped with jazz elements.
The release of the album was accompanied by a scandal on Saturday Night Live, when Lana failed to perform the first verse in the song “Blue Jeans”, to which the audience reacted very aggressively. The girl was hunted down, but the hype only fueled interest in the release of a new album.
In 2011, the album “Born to Die” was released.
The girl managed to write not only for herself. So, one of the British pop stars – Cheryl Cole – admitted in an interview that her album “A Million Lights” included several compositions written by Lana at once.
In 2012, the singer began work on the next album and made a cover version of the song “Blue Velvet”, popular in the fifties. The video, filmed in the entourage of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, made a splash among YouTube users and viewers of music channels.
In 2013, Lana Del Rey began her first world tour. The popularity of the singer can be judged by the fact that tickets for her concert in Paris were completely sold out in a minute and a half.
Lana Del Rey in a swimsuit
In the same year, her song “Young and Beautiful” becomes part of the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio. The composition becomes the second visiting card after “Born to Die”. During this period, a short film by her authorship “Tropico” was released, which became a real treat for the eyes of a connoisseur of high-quality video. In 2014, her new album “Ultraviolence” was released, which Del Rey calls “conceptual”, and the genre refers to “psychedelic rock”. The title is a reference to Anthony Burgess’ “A Clockwork Orange”, and the songs were inspired by a trip to the American West Coast. The album was a commercial success, and in 12 countries it started from the first position in the national charts. The ominously fabulous composition “Once Upon a Dream” was included in the soundtrack of the film “Maleficent” with Angelina Jolie.
A year later, the singer delighted the audience with the new album Honeymoon. The record was reminiscent of the first albums of Lana Del Rey: again noir atmosphere of the 60s, blues motives and a hypnotic female voice. “High by the Beach” and “Music to Watch Boys To” were released as singles.
Lana Del Rey called “gangster version of Nancy Sinatra”
In 2017, the album “Lust For Life” was released, which also featured rapper The Weeknd, ASAP Rocky, John Lennon’s son Sean and other celebrities. In 2018, the album was nominated for a Grammy but did not win. In 2018, the singer went on a world tour in support of the album.
Personal life of Lana Del Rey
While studying at Fordham University, Elizabeth’s boyfriend was an icon of the local rock scene Stephen Mertens. He undertook to produce the debut album of his girlfriend. However, their relationship quickly came to an end, and the album was subsequently re-recorded under the direction of David Kane. She subsequently briefly dated musician Jimmy Necco.
Lana Del Rey without makeup
For three years (from 2011 to 2014), the girl had a romantic relationship with the Scottish musician from the Kassidy band Barry James O’Neill. They often performed together and saw themselves as the new Cher and Sonny, however … The fact that Lana left him, Barry learned from his cousin. Only after that the girl admitted that she was no longer happy with him. “He was like a twin to me,” she lamented.
Pictured: Lana Del Rey and Barry James O’Neill
In the same year, she was caught in the arms of actor James Franco, and then entered into a relationship with the Italian Francesco Carrozzini, who directed her video “Ultraviolence”. A year later they broke up.
With Francesco Carrozzini
Little is known about the further novels of the popular singer. In 2017, she had an affair with rapper G-Easy. After the breakup, he removed her vocal part from their joint track “Him and I”. Who owns her heart at the moment is unknown.
Lana Del Rey now
Despite the workload associated with the world tour, Lana Del Rey was hard at work on new material. In the spring of 2018, she presented the song “Happiness is a Butterfly”, which should be included in the next album.
In 2018, Lana del Rey went on a world tour in support of her new album.