Del Rey's given name is Elizabeth Grant. She was raised in the small town of Lake Placid in rural New York State. Her father is a real estate investor, her mother an advertising account executive.
Lana Del Rey has been singing songs since she was 11. She began as the leader of a church choir and continued throughout her youth, eventually writing songs on the subway in New York City all night when she couldn't sleep.
When she was 15, Lana was sent to boarding school in Connecticut, an event that she recalls on the track "This Is What Makes Us Girls
," where she reminisces about her schoolgirl gang.
Del Rey studied metaphysics in college but dropped out because, among other things, she wasn't good at math. She began focusing on art, writing, and video editing. Del Rey told The Telegraph that she likes splicing films together for fun.
Lana Del Rey revealed that her main musical inspiration is Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. In an interview with Sirius FM, she said. "When I was 11, I saw Kurt Cobain singing 'Heart-Shaped Box
' on MTV and it really stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought he was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Even at a young age, I really related to his sadness."
She was signed to the indie label 5 Points in 2007 when she was a senior at Fordham University. In 2008, she released a digital EP on the label called Kill Kill under her real name, Lizzie Grant. The EP was featured on iTunes, which named her an "emerging artist."
In early 2010, her debut album was released digitally on 5 Points under the moniker "Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant" (note that she spelled it RAY, not REY). Produced by David Kahne (Regina Spektor), it was sometimes reported to cost $10,000 to make, but 5 Points head David Nichtern says it was actually $50,000. The album was quickly pulled when Del Rey decided to change her image. She and 5 Points parted ways, and she took a different tack with her music and marketing.
Lizzy Grant was almost ready to give up making it in the music business as a singer when she released a song called "Video Games
" under the stage name Lana Del Rey on the internet in January 2010. The song was a sleeper hit and Del Rey signed a deal with Interscope only two months later.
"Video Games" won the prize for best contemporary song at the 57th Ivor Novello Awards. The awards are one of the highest regarded within the UK music industry as they are voted for by songwriters and composers.
The songs "Off To The Races
" and "National Anthem
" by Lana Del Rey are about one of the singer's relationships that went sour. After moving in with the person she thought she would spend the rest of her life with, Del Rey says her love went bad and that "he started getting into trouble and had to leave."
Lana Del Rey beat alcohol addiction and turned her life around with the help of rehab. She now raises money for a charity that helps homeless people. "Music was my passion, but my work with this foundation is more important. I myself had the chance to be [helped by an organisation]," the singer revealed to French magazine Madame Figaro. "Helping others now feels like it's my turn to give something back."
After a much criticized performance on Saturday Night Live, Lana Del Rey confessed to VH1 that she wasn't a great live performer and that she wasn't surprised or upset that the organizers of Coachella excluded her from the bill. Del Rey said: "I'm probably not the best candidate for Coachella, you know? I stand there and sing. I'm not that exciting."
Lana Del Rey loves reality television. She told VH1 that the hits shows Mob Wives and The Real Housewives of New Jersey are her favorites.
Lana Del Rey is very vocal and adamant about keeping control of her social networking accounts, especially Twitter and Facebook. She says she'll never give them up to her management or record label because that would be "fu--ing weird."
According to Tina Shafer
, who was her vocal coach in 2012, Del Rey has a beautiful, deep speaking voice, and the songs that suit her best are in this speaking range. The songs she writes in this range tend to be her most successful: "Video Games," "Young And Beautiful
," and "Blue Jeans
" for instance. "They're like her natural speaking voice, so she doesn't have to be belting high Bs and Cs and Ds, like Christina Aguilera would do," Shafer explained in her Songfacts interview.
Many of Lana Del Rey's songs are about doomed romances where bad boys are treating her badly. NME asked her in a 2015 interview if this happens to her in real life. She replied: "When it comes to guys, I haven't courted bad boys into my life but I think because I'm artistic I never settled for anyone who wasn't completely enthralled with life, or being different and that didn't lend any clarity to my world, although it was enriching in other ways."
Lana Del Rey was hooked for a time on Etsy, a sort of eBay for arts and craft. Speaking to Dazed magazine in early 2017 the songstress admitted to indulging in "late-night sleepless Etsy binges."
However, by that year's summer, Del Rey had weaned herself off the site. "I am very proud and grateful to say it's been months since I binged on Etsy," she laughed to the BBC. "I have kicked that habit. "I believe the last thing I bought was, like, a set of driftwood lamps. Don't ask me why."