Ever since she achieved viral success with the release of her debut single, Video Games, Lana Del Rey has remained in the minds of music fans and critics. Thanks to the quality of her music, her style, and even stage name, she quickly won the heart of millions of fans who embraced her weirdness.
Proof of her rapid success is the fact that in an era of declining music sales, she has sold more than 19 million albums and over 13 million singles. With such a level of success comes a lot of scrutinies especially in terms of identifying the factors about her personality and music that command the attention of millions across the globe.
Lana Del Rey Battled Alcoholism as a Teenager
She was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant on June 21, 1985, in New York to Robert England Grant Jr. and Patricia Ann. Rey has two siblings and was raised a Catholic by her parents. Lana started singing in her church choir where she was the lead vocalist.
One of the defining features of Lana del Rey’s personality is her willingness to embrace stereotypically dark ideas. As a teenager, this manifested in her embrace of alcohol, which later became an addiction. At the age of 15, Lana had become so addicted that her parents sent her away to boarding school to curb it. According to Lana, it all started because she thought it would be interesting to have a negative side.
She was sent to Kent School and afterward proceeded to the State University of New York at Geneseo. During this period, Lana was captivated with ideas like death. Her preoccupation with the subject, along with her anxiety made it difficult for the singer to make friends, resulting in the feeling of alienation. With no friends to share her thoughts with, Lana turned to songwriting as a means to express her feelings, and in no time, discovered she was good at it.
After graduating from Kent School, she lived with her uncle and aunt for a year. While she was with them, she worked as a waitress, and her uncle taught her how to play the guitar. Blessed with the gift of songwriting and the ability to play the guitar, Lana began performing in nightclubs, using a variety of stage names.
A Car and an Actress Inspired Her Stage Name
Before her breakthrough in 2011, Lana’s fascination with the odd resulted in an admission at Fordham University to study philosophy with a focus on metaphysics. While in college, she continued performing and later met a representative of 5 Points Records who signed Lana to her first record deal.
Her first project under the label, a three-track EP titled Kill Kill was released in October 2008. She released the project under the stage name, Lizzy Grant. However, by the time Lana was ready for her debut album, she chose another name, one that eventually stuck – Lana del Rey.
According to her, she wanted a name that would shape and define her music for years to come. At this time, Lana had picked up a few friends on the music scene, most of whom were from Cuba and spoke a lot of Spanish. Using the allure of the language as a foundation, she settled on a name structure that sounded like Spanish.
She chose Lana because of her fondness for the actress Lana Turner. The ‘del Rey’ in her name was inspired by a sedan vehicle that was popular in Brazil in the 1980s. Initially, to distinguish from the car, she went with Lana Del Ray and named her debut album after it, but later changed her mind. To get the Ray-spelled records out of circulation, she repurchased the rights from 5 Points.
Selling Millions of Records Under The Stage Name
It would be false to say Lana’s stage name does not contribute to the air of mystery that fuels her music persona. With it, she has risen quickly to become one of the highest-selling musicians around. She has released seven albums thus far, selling over 19.1 million copies. She also has 34 singles to her name, which in turn, has sold more than 13 million copies combined. Her debut single, Video Games, is responsible for more than one million copies alone, and her sophomore album, Born to Die, sold over 12 million copies.
Other accomplishments under the stage name include more than 4.1 billion views on YouTube and Vevo, six Grammy Award nominations, and nine GAFFA Awards. She also has two spoken word albums. The first, Violent Bent Backwards Over the Grass, is due for release in 2020. The other will follow in 2021.
Lana Del Rey began a professional music career to find a community of friends. Her first record deal earned her $10,000, and she lived in a trailer park. Now, Lana does not only have friends and millions of fans all over the globe, but she also has a net worth estimated at $30 million.
Her net worth has afforded her luxury things like a Beverly Hills house worth $5.9 million. Before that, she lived in a beachfront home in Malibu worth $3.2 million.
Lana Del Rey’s Music Is Associated With Different Styles
As a person, Lana Del Rey has always been willing to explore subjects that most people find difficult, like death. Her ability to bring this into her songs, and explore difficult topics in attractive genres characterizes Lana’s music style.
One standout feature of her music is its stylized cinematic quality: her ability to immerse the listener in a reality they may have never lived with each line of her lyrics, evoking strong emotions like sadness, pain, and joy.
In terms of genres, Lana’s discography cuts across various categories. From indie pop, psychedelic rock to hip hop, lo-fi, and trap, the singer has a wide range of styles that has made her music receptive to a diverse crowd.
Overall, her ability to weave in and out of different genres while maintaining themes of tragic romance, melancholy, and glamour, make Lana Del Rey’s music style unique.
Like Her Music, Lana Has Had a Gloomy Love Life
If you imagine that her love life is a significant contributor to the theme of her music, then you are right. Lana has had her share of bad relationships and painful breakups. Her first known relationship was with Barrie-James O’Neill of the rock band, Kassidy.
The couple started dating in 2011 and separated after three years in 2014. According to Barrie, Lana broke up with him during an interview. She has also dated her debut album producer, Steven Mertens. Her dating history also includes Gerald Gillum, popularly known as G-Eazy in 2017. The relationship only lasted a few months.
After her relationship with G-Eazy ended, she was single for two years. The singer would later start dating a police officer named Sean Larkin in September 2019. They were together for six months, during which he attended the Grammy Awards with the singer. The affair reportedly ended because of their busy schedules and Lana Del Rey has remained single ever since. But with what we know of her personality, the next boyfriend is not far away.