Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known professionally as Lana Del Rey, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, poet, model, and music video director. Her music has been noted by critics for its stylized cinematic quality; its preoccupation with themes of tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia; and its references to pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana.
Raised in Upstate New York, Del Rey moved to New York City in 2005 to embark on her music career. Following numerous projects including her debut studio album and the unreleased Sirens, Del Rey’s breakthrough came after the viral success of her debut single “Video Games” in 2011. She then signed with Interscope and Polydor later that year. Her major label debut Born to Die (2012) proved an international success and spawned her first top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 with the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness”, as well as the internationally-successful singles “Blue Jeans”, “Born to Die”, and “National Anthem”.
Del Rey released the Grammy-nominated EP, Paradise (2012), to further positive reviews. In 2013, Del Rey ventured into film as she wrote, directed and starred in the short music film, Tropico (2013), and released “Young and Beautiful”, the theme for The Great Gatsby (2013). Del Rey subsequently issued her sophomore major label effort, Ultraviolence (2014), to similar success as it topped the charts and spawned the hit single, “West Coast”. That same year, Del Rey recorded the eponymous theme for Big Eyes (2014), which garnered her both Grammy and Golden Globe nominations. Shortly afterwards, Del Rey released the critically-acclaimed Honeymoon (2015) and Lust for Life (2017), the latter of which topped the charts in the U.S. and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Del Rey’s sixth studio album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, is scheduled to be released on August 30, 2019. The album features the single “Doin’ Time”, Del Rey’s first number one single on Triple A Radio. Her first poetry collection, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, will be independently released sometime in 2019.
Life and career
2018–present: Norman Fucking Rockwell
Del Rey was featured on Jonathan Wilson’s album Rare Birds (2018) on the track “Living with Myself”. Subsequently, Del Rey collaborated with synthpop artist Børns on his sophomore album Blue Madonna (2018), appearing on the single “God Save Our Young Blood” and “Blue Madonna”. On March 5, 2018, Del Rey’s cover of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “You Must Love Me” was released as a promotional single for his compilation album, Unmasked: The Platinum Collection. Del Rey’s previously unreleased song “Elvis” appeared on the soundtrack for the Elvis Presley documentary The King (2018). In August, Del Rey was featured on Cat Power’s song “Woman” from her album Wanderer, which was released in October.
In August 2018, Del Rey received criticism after announcing her debut performance in Israel at the Meteor Festival due to controversy surrounding Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. Del Rey defended her then-upcoming performance by tweeting “I believe music is universal and should be used to bring us together … Performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there, just like singing here in California doesn’t mean my views are in alignment w[ith] my current government’s opinions or sometimes inhuman actions.” Although Del Rey references Tel Aviv, the Meteor festival was scheduled to take place at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan in the Upper Galilee region. Del Rey cancelled her performance due to not being able to schedule an accompanying stop in the Palestinian territory.
After Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault allegations gained widespread public notoriety in 2017, Del Rey announced she was retiring her 2012 track “Cola” from live shows. Del Rey publicly admitted how she did have “a Harvey Weinstein/Harry Winston-type of character in mind” when she wrote the song, hence the lyric “Harvey’s in the sky with diamonds and he’s making me crazy”, an apparent reference to Weinstein’s alleged illicit sexual activities involving female stars.
In an interview for L’Officiel’s first American edition in early 2018, when asked about Del Rey’s interest in making a movie she responded that she had been approached to write a Broadway musical and had recently begun work on it. When asked how long it would be until completion of the work, Del Rey replied, “I may finish in two or three years.”
On September 12, 2018, Del Rey released a new single titled “Mariners Apartment Complex”. On September 18, she released the song “Venice Bitch”, and announced the title of her sixth album to be Norman Fucking Rockwell, set to be released on August 30, 2019. Upon debuting “Venice Bitch”, Del Rey announced her plans to self-publish a book of poetry, tentatively titled Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. She shared the first poem from the book to her Instagram account in February 2019. Del Rey premiered the track “How to Disappear”, expected to feature on the album, at an Apple Music event on October 30, 2018. On January 9, 2019, “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It” was released as the third single from the album. On November 3, 2018, Del Rey was announced to be the face for Gucci’s Guilty Fragrances, alongside Jared Leto. The duo starred in a print-and-television campaign, which debuted in January 2019. On May 17, 2019, Del Rey released a cover of the Sublime song, “Doin’ Time”, as part of their documentary shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.
On June 27, Del Rey announced a collaboration with Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus which is slated to be released as the lead single off the soundtrack for Charlie’s Angels (2019). On July 31, 2019 Del Rey revealed the track list for Norman Fucking Rockwell. A trailer for the album was released the following day, along with an announcement of The Norman Fucking Rockwell Tour, set to begin in September in New York.
On August 6, Del Rey presented film producer Guillermo del Toro with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On August 9, Del Rey released a cover of “Season of the Witch” which will be featured in del Toro’s film, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. On the same day, she released the non-album single “Looking for America” which she spontaneously wrote and recorded earlier that week in response to the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.