Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, popularly known as Lana Del Rey, is an award-winning singer and songwriter. Best known for her studio album ‘Ultraviolence,’ she has won several awards, including ‘Brit Award’ for ‘International Female Solo Artist’ and the ‘ECHO Award’ for ‘Best International Female Artist Rock/Pop.’ Born and raised in New York, United States, Del Rey used to sing in her church choir as a child. She also learnt to play the guitar from her uncle. Later, she started writing songs, and performed in nightclubs around the city. She released her first full-length album in 2010, which was named after herself. However, it was sold only for a brief period, before being withdrawn from the market. Her next album ‘Born to Die’ earned her international fame and prominence. Reaching number one in 11 different countries, the album became the fifth best-selling album of 2012. She has also composed music for films, such as ‘Maleficent,’ an American dark fantasy film inspired by ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ and ‘Age of Adeline,’ a romantic fantasy film. She is also known for her anti-feminist views that brought her into the midst of a controversy. She defended herself by saying that a true feminist is a woman who does what she wants.
Childhood & Early Life
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant was born on 21 June 1985, in New York City, USA. Her father Robert England Grant, Jr. is a copywriter-turned-entrepreneur, while her mother Patricia Ann ‘Pat’ is a former account executive-turned-high school teacher. Woolridge Grant has two siblings.
She grew up in Lake Placid in New York, where she attended a Catholic elementary school. She developed an interest in music as a child, and began singing in her church choir. She also wrote country songs. As a teenager, she suffered from rampant alcohol abuse, forcing her parents to send her to ‘Kent School’ where her uncle was an admissions officer.
After graduating from high school, she was accepted into the ‘State University of New York.’ However, instead of attending college, she decided to spend a year in Long Island. She lived with her uncle and aunt, and worked as a waitress. During this time, she also learnt to play the guitar from her uncle.
When she was 19 years old, she enrolled at ‘Fordham University’ where she majored in philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics.
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Elizabeth Woolridge Grant found herself writing songs, as well as playing at clubs under the name ‘Lizzy Grant.’ In 2005, she registered a CD of originals under her birth name with the ‘US Copyright Office,’ and ended up with an album named ‘Sirens.’ However, it went unreleased.
A few years later, she created her YouTube channel. In 2011, she uploaded the videos for the songs ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’ which gained huge popularity over the internet. Soon, she was signed by ‘Stranger Records’ to officially release ‘Video Games’ as her debut single. It became an instant hit upon its release. She adopted the name ‘Lana Del Rey’ around this time.
Her debut album ‘Born to Die’ was officially released in January 2012. It gained popularity and appreciation worldwide, and became the number one album in 11 different countries. It sold 3.4 million copies in 2012, eventually becoming the fifth-best selling album of the year.
Del Rey’s next album ‘Ultraviolence’ was released by ‘UMG Records’ in June 2014. With hit singles, such as ‘Cruel World,’ ‘Ultraviolence,’ ‘Shades of Cool,’ and ‘Brooklyn Baby,’ the album debuted at the first position in the ‘US Billboard 200.’ Within six months of its release, it sold more than a million copies.
Her next album ‘Honeymoon’ was released by ‘Polydor Records’ and ‘Interscope Records’ in September 2015. Like her previous work, it was also an instant hit, and debuted at number two in the ‘US Billboard 200.’ It received mostly positive reviews from critics.
In 2017, Del Rey released her next album ‘Lust for Life.’ In 2019, she collaborated with Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, and was featured in a song titled ‘Don't Call Me Angel’ which is the lead single of the soundtrack of the comedy film ‘Charlie's Angels.’ In the same year, she also released the non-album single ‘Looking for America.’
‘Born to Die,’ the studio album by Lana Del Rey, is one of her most prominent works. The album was released in January 2012. Debuting at number two on the ‘US Billboard 200,’ the album sold 77,000 copies within a single week. The album, which includes hit singles, such as ‘Born to Die,’ ‘Off to the Races,’ ‘Blue Jeans,’ and ‘Video Games,’ became a hit in several countries. It charted at number one positions on ‘Swiss Albums,’ ‘French Albums,’ ‘German Albums,’ and ‘UK Albums.’ It received mixed reviews. As of June 2014, it had sold seven million copies worldwide.
In 2013, Lana Del Rey appeared in a short film titled ‘Tropico’ which was based on the Bible story of sin and redemption. The film premiered in December at the ‘Cinerama Dome’ in Hollywood, California. Directed by Anthony Mandler, the film portrayed Del Rey as ‘Eve.’ It also featured other actors, such as Shaun Ross and Kevin Lee Light. The songs, ‘Body Electric,’ ‘Gods & Monsters,’ and ‘Bel Air,’ which were featured in the film, were taken from the extended play (EP) ‘Paradise’ by Del Rey. The EP had been released in 2012.
‘Ultraviolence,’ one of her most significant works, was released in June 2014. Probably the best work of her career so far, the album debuted at number one on ‘US Billboard 200.’ It sold 182,000 copies within the first week of its release and over a million copies within six months. The album, which had singles, such as ‘Cruel World,’ ‘Ultraviolence,’ and ‘Shades of Cool,’ was a hit in several other countries as well. It charted at number one positions on ‘UK Albums,’ ‘Finnish Albums,’ and ‘Canadian Albums.’
Awards & Achievements
Lana Del Rey is the recipient of several awards, including the ‘Brit Award’ for ‘International Breakthrough Act’ in 2012 and the ‘Brit Award’ for ‘International Female Solo Artist’ in 2013.
In 2013, she won the ‘ECHO Awards’ under two categories: ‘Best International Female Artist Rock/Pop’ and ‘Best International Newcomer.’ The same year, she also received the ‘International Dance Music Award’ for ‘Best Break-Through Artist (Solo).’
She was awarded ‘Best Female Artist of the Year’ at ‘Elle Style Awards’ in February 2016. The event was conducted by ‘Elle Magazine.’
Lana Del Rey was romantically involved with several men, including James Franco, Bradley Soileau, and Axl Rose. She is currently single.