10 moments that made Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey seemed to have arrived out of nowhere, when her single Video Games hit the charts to an unprepared public back in 2012.
From Lizzy Grant to Lana Del Rey
She hit the scene with the perfect image, and her first three singles, Video Games, Blue Jeans and Born to Die stood out like a sore thumb from the pool of same-sounding copycats. This extended to the promo videos. Lana opted for a low-budget cut n’paste-style, using old Super8 footage at a time when hi-gloss, choreographed auto-tune stars were on endless rotation.
Critics were quick to write Lana Del Rey off as fake, something that money-grabbing record execs had put together on the drawing board. And it didn’t help that she initially held off performing live until the release of her debut album – which itself was delayed by a full 12 months.
Things went from bad to worse when Lana Del Rey made her first national TV appearance on Letterman. By that point everyone had an opinion on Lana Del Rey – barely any of those were really focusing on her music.
Only a few years before Video Games made Lana a household name, she was known under her birth name, Lizzy Grant. The girl was about to transform into Lana Del Rey; a true artist with a creative vision and unique flair. She is a style icon, adored star and, after all, a recognised songwriter and performer.
So, this is our version of Searching for Sugar Man; we trace the 10 moments that made Lana Del Rey.
Trace Lana Del Rey’s 10 moments to stardom.
#1 Video Games
The cut n’ paste video to Video Games; it kick-started Lana’s skyrocketing launch into our collective consciousness. The clip on VEVO has been viewed 95 million times. Talk about a hit …
#2 Blue Jeans
The more-than-worthy follow-up to Video Games uses again the cut and paste technique of old Super8 footage with glimpses of Lana weaved in. It seemed Lana Del Rey could do no wrong.
#3 Born To Die
Things got weird in this video. One moment Lana is in a hot love scene, the next moment her lover is trying to choke her and suddenly she sits on a throne flanked by two tigers. Ah, fame; when there’s too much budget but no storyline. Or is it just genius? Let’s settle for the latter.
#4 Live at The Roundhouse, London 2012
That moment when Lana jumped into the photo pit during the performance of Video Games at London’s Roundhouse to take selfies and kisses fans. Forward to 3.25 minutes. File under #ThoseMoments.
#5 Yayo + Hundred Dollar Bill at Variety Box
Before fame found Lana, she was Lizzy Grant. Here is a rare clip of her performing at the talent event Variety Box in 2009.
#6 The National Anthem
Back to weird. Lana channels Marilyn Monroe and re-enacts JFK’s assassination. Using her trademark cut n’ paste video style, Lana Del Rey highlights the moment America’s Golden Era ended. Great song, bizarre video.
#7 Off To The Races
The opening tune and one of the stand-out songs on her self-titled debut album. Here’s Lana and her band delivering a scorching live rendition.
#8 Young and Beautiful
Lana took some time off after extensive promotional duties in support of her debut. When she returned to the spotlight with Young and Beautiful, the contribution to the 2013 Hollywood blockbuster The Great Gatsby, critics finally seemed to “get” Lana Del Rey. Top reviews for a brilliant song.
#9 Lana and the trailer park
Lizzy Grant gives a guided tour through a rough New Jersey trailer park. The interview took place around the time of the release her (widely unnoticed) first album and shows the superstar-to-be with a thick Southern accent, declaring her love for Heavy Metal. #LanaWeLoveYou!
#10 Lana in a Ferrari suit talking about Nirvana
The moment the UK indie brigade fell in love with Lana Del Rey was when she appeared in this NME video dressed in a red Ferrari racing suit humbly revealing her love to the “Greats from every genre”.
Lana Del Rey goes on Honeymoon
Honeymoon is Lana Del Rey’s most recent release. The album, her third and follow-up to Ultraviolence, arrived on 18 September 2015.
The album was recorded at NYC’s legendary Electric Lady Studios and includes the Nina Simone cover of Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – a clear nod to one of Lana’s influences.
High By The Beach and Music To Watch Boys To have been the first singles lifted off Honeymoon. Tour details have yet to be confirmed but Lana Del Rey always does things her way – and sometimes this means waiting a little longer but it will be worth the wait.
Watch the video to Music To Watch Boys To off the album Honeymoon