Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an American singer-songwriter. Her music is noted for its stylized, cinematic quality; themes of sadness, tragic romance, glamor, and melancholia; and references to pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana.
Born in New York City and raised in upstate New York, Del Rey returned to New York City in 2005 to begin her music career. Following numerous projects, including her self-titled debut studio album, Del Rey’s breakthrough came with the viral success of her debut single “Video Games” in 2011. She signed with Interscope and Polydor later that year. Her major-label debut, Born to Die (2012), was an international success and spawned a top-ten single “Summertime Sadness” on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the singles “Blue Jeans” and “Born to Die”, which charted in several overseas territories. Del Rey released the EP Paradise in 2012. The next year, Del Rey ventured into film, writing and starring in the music short film Tropico; she released “Young and Beautiful” as the lead single for the romantic drama film The Great Gatsby (2013).
Del Rey issued her third album, Ultraviolence (2014), to critical success. It topped charts and spawned the single “West Coast”. That same year, Del Rey recorded the eponymous theme for the drama film Big Eyes, which earned a Golden Globe nomination. She released the albums Honeymoon in 2015 and Lust for Life in 2017, the latter topping the US Billboard 200. Her sixth album, Norman Fucking Rockwell! (2019), received widespread critical acclaim and two Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year. In 2019, Del Rey released the singles “Doin’ Time” and “Don’t Call Me Angel”, the latter being a collaboration with Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus for the soundtrack of the film Charlie’s Angels (2019). In 2020, Del Rey released her first poetry collection, Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass as well as an accompanying spoken word album.
Her YouTube and Vevo pages have combined views of 4.1 billion. Her accolades include two Brit Awards, two MTV Europe Music Awards, a Satellite Award, nine GAFFA Awards, six Grammy Award nominations, and a Golden Globe nomination.
Upon her debut release, Del Rey’s music was described as “Hollywood sadcore” by some music critics. It has been repeatedly noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture; both critics and Del Rey herself have noted a persistent theme of 1950s and 1960s Americana. The strong elements of American nostalgia brought Idolator to classify her firmly as alternative pop. Del Rey elaborated on her connection to the past in an interview with ARTISTdirect, saying “I wasn’t even born in the ’50s but I feel like I was there.”