Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known as Lana Del Rey, is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, and poet. Rey is credited for catapulting the subgenre “sadcore” into the mainstream with lyrics relating to gloom, 1950’s pop culture, and fated romance over fervid, often cinematic-like soundtracks.
Rey first began performing in New York nightclubs under monikers such as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen,” “Lizzy Grant,” and “May Jailer.” She competed in the Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition in 2006 where she met Van Wilson, a representative from 5 Point Records (which she later left in 2010) and began working on her self-titled debut album, Lana Del Ray, while studying philosophy and metaphysics at Fordham University and volunteering on Indian reservations in Utah painting houses.
After releasing self-made music videos for her tracks “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” on YouTube, Rey quickly became a viral sensation for her intersection of vintage aesthetics and simple shots of her singing into her webcam. This breakthrough led her to sign record deals with Interscope Records and Polydor. She released her second studio album, Born to Die (2012), which reached No. 1 in 11 countries. Shortly after she released Born to Die (2012), which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for the 2012 Grammys. In 2013, she contributed to the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby with her song “Young and Beautiful”, earning her yet another Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 2013. She won a Grammy the same year for Best Remixed Recording for Cedric Gervais’ remix of “Summer Sadness”, her first top 10 hit. To “close out” the first chapter of her career, Del Rey filmed Tropico (2013), a short film comprised of tracks from Paradise.
On her 2014 album, Ultraviolence, Del Rey resorted to a more stripped-down sound paired with psychedelic traits of long delay loops and extreme reverb. The album debuted at No. 1 in 12 countries on the Billboard 100 chart. Following this release, “Big Eyes” and “I Can Fly” were featured in Tim Burton’s biographical film of Margaret Keane, Big Eyes. During this time, she also producer Hi, How Are You Daniel Johnston, a documentary film about the life of singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston. She then released Honeymoon in 2015, credited by Pitchfork as her “most artistic” album. However, her album Lust for Life (2017) earned her a second Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Throughout 2018, Del Rey teased singles “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch” from her fifth studio album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, along with a cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time” as part of the band's upcoming documentary. She also released a cover of “Season of the Witch” for Guillermo del Toro’s film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. On August 30, 2019, her Jack Antonoff-produced album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, was finally released, and it's her most favorably reviewed album to date. Shortly after, she was featured on “Don’t Call me Angel”, with Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus, the lead single off the soundtrack for Charlie’s Angels (2019).
Del Rey is said to be releasing another album, White Hot Forever, in 2020, as well as a track for the new adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.