|Lana Del Rey|
An American singer-songwriter. Del Rey initially began performing in clubs in New York City at age 18 and signed her first recording contract when she was 20 years old with 5 Points Records, releasing her first digital album Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant in January 2010. Del Rey bought herself out of the contract with 5 Points Records in April 2010 and signed a joint contract with Interscope, Polydor, and Stranger Records in October 2011.
Releasing her debut single "Video Games" in June 2011, a music video created by Del Rey for the song was posted on YouTube in August 2011. After the song became a viral internet hit with over 20 million views, her second studio album, Born to Die, was released in January 2012. The album sold over 3.6 million copies worldwide in 2012, making it the fifth best-selling album of 2012. Charting across Europe, the album spawned numerous top ten hits, including "Blue Jeans", "National Anthem", "Born to Die", and "Summertime Sadness."
With the release of her third EP, Paradise, Del Rey spawned her third top ten album in the United States, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 67,000 copies sold in its first week. To date, her discography includes two full-length studio albums, three EPs, seven singles, and eight music videos. She has won the Q Award for "Best New Thing", a GQ Award for "Woman of the Year", a BRIT Award for "International Breakthrough Act" and another for "International Pop Female Solo Artist", and an EMA for "Best Alternative Act".
Del Rey's music has been noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of the 1950s and '60s Americana. The singer has described herself as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra." Before signing to a major record label, Del Rey provided sole production of her music videos.
Musically, she draws influence from what she deems to be the masters of each genre, including Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Eminem, and Britney Spears, as well as from poetry and film noir. Del Rey has endorsed clothing line H&M, serving as the model for their Fall and Winter 2012 collection. In 2012, Del Rey became the face of the Jaguar F-Type luxury automobile.
Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in New York City on June 21, 1986, to former Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur, Rob Grant, and former Grey account executive, Pat Grant. She was raised in Lake Placid, New York with two younger siblings.
She is of Scottish descent. She began singing in church choirs when she was a child. At fourteen, she was sent to Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, to deal with her alcohol dependence, before heading back to her hometown at the age of eighteen. Del Rey then attended Fordham University in New York City, studying a branch of philosophy known as metaphysics because "it bridged the gap between God and science. I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why." She said, "that was when my musical experience began. I kind of found people for myself."
After her uncle taught her how to play guitar, she "realized [she] could probably write a million songs with those six chords," and began performing in clubs around the city under various names such as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen and Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena.
"I was always singing, but didn't plan on pursuing it seriously. When I got to New York City when I was eighteen, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn—I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point—and that was it," she revealed.
On April 25, 2005, a seven track compact disc was registered under Elizabeth Woolridge Grant with the United States Copyright Office. The application title was "Rock Me Stable" with another title "Young Like Me" also listed. The track titles are currently unknown. Between 2005 and 2006, the album Sirens was recorded under the name "May Jailer" and leaked in May 2012.
When she was twenty years old, Del Rey signed a record contract for $10,000 and moved into a trailer park outside of the city. Her album, however, was shelved, causing her to shift her focus. Instead, she began to work in community service. "Homeless outreach, drug and alcohol rehabilitation—that's been my life for the past five years," she told Vogue in 2012. Felicia Sullivan of The Huffington Post spoke with Del Rey after the release of Kill Kill about her life in the trailer park.
A few years later, Del Rey got signed to 5 Point Records, an independent label of producer David Kahne, with whom she released her first three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 and a full-length album in 2010, titled Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant. She explained that "David asked to work with me only a day after he got my demo. He is known as a producer with a lot of integrity and who had an interest in making music that wasn't just pop."
Del Rey later released her first full-length studio album titled Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant in January 2010. It was the singer's first professionally produced album, released under Lizzy Grant on an independent label with producer David Kahne. Her father, Robert Grant, helped with the marketing of the album, which was available for purchase on iTunes for a brief period before being withdrawn.
David Kahne, who produced Grant and previous label owner David Nichtern have both stated that Grant bought the rights back from her label, 5 Points, as she wanted it out of circulation to "...stifle future opportunities to distribute it—an echo of rumors that the action was part of a calculated strategy." About choosing her stage name she has said: "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba - Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."
On September 1, 2010, Del Rey was featured by Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin.
Personal lifeDel Rey stated that she has suffered from alcohol dependence. At the age of fourteen, she was sent to Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, to get sober. In September 2012, she told GQ Magazine:
I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born To Die is about these wilderness years.
When I write about the thing that I've lost I feel like I'm writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life. My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, 'I'm fucked. I am totally fucked'. Like, at first it's fine and you think you have a dark side – it's exciting – and then you realise the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it. It's also a completely different way of living when you know that...a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Del Rey's left hand is tattooed with the letter "M", referencing her grandmother, Madeleine,] and the word "paradise".
Her right hand is tattooed with the phrase "trust no one". She also has the phrase "die young" tattooed on her right ring finger. On numerous occasions, it has been suggested that Del Rey has had rhinoplasty and lip augmentation, which she denies.She has been in a relationship with Kassidy frontman Barrie-James O'Neill since August 2011.
Del Rey has two apartments, one in New York City and one in Los Angeles, where she lives with her sister and brother. Del Rey is Roman Catholic. She is a supporter of the Premier League team Liverpool and her boyfriend's favourite football team, Celtic.
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