Del Rey sang this song and "Blue Jeans
" on the January 14, 2012 episode of Saturday Night Live
. She performed the tune two weeks before Born To Die
was made available to buy, making Del Rey the first artist since Natalie Imbruglia in 1998 to play the show before releasing her first major-label album.
Del Rey was visibly nervous as she sang the two songs, resulting in a stream of criticism on Twitter. One of the most cutting remarks was by singer and actress Juliette Lewis, who tweeted: "Wow watching this 'singer' on SNL is like watching a 12-year-old in their bedroom when theyre pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes."
Kristen Wiig even dressed up like Lana and parodied the performance on a later episode. It became a defining moment for the singer, who faced a critical backlash but emerged stronger, becoming a star with the release of her next album, Born to Die
. She got some help from label boss Jimmy Iovine, who worked with her to improve her live performances. Del Rey defended her SNL
singing, saying it wasn't dynamic but was true to form. "There was a more eccentric performance approach to it," she told Rolling Stone
in 2019. "I was thinking about Maria Callas, or someone darker coming through."