Lana Del Rey is well-known for her musical exploration of tragic romance, glamour and melancholia with references to 1950s and 60s American culture. Her music is imbued with cinematic quality. She has won several accolades including two Brit Awards, two MTV Europe Music Awards, and was also nominated for six Grammy Awards and one Golden Globe Award. Despite her fame, there are 10 things you might not know about Lana Del Rey.
10. Her first stage name
Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. She was raised in Lake Placid in New York and did not begin her musical career until the early 2000s. When she became aware of her talent in music, she began to choose a stage name to accompany her new image.
She picked Lizzy Grant as her first stage name but then decided to go for a name that has no attachment to her birth name. Before settling on Lana Del Rey, she was known as May Jailer and even Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. Finally, she decided on her current stage name. “Lana: comes from the Hollywood icon Lana Turner and “Del Rey” from Ford Del Rey, which helped her recall her time in Miami.
9. She’s a Philosophy graduate
Lana’s talent as an amazing musician and songwriter came from her interest in philosophy, specifically in metaphysics. She graduated from Fordham University as a Philosophy graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008. She said she was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why. She added that she studied philosophy because it bridged the gap between God and science.
8. She had a difficult time as a youth
The successful singer had a difficult time in her youth, facing many obstacles. One of them was the drinking problem she had as a teenager, which she successfully overcame. She said in an interview that it’s exciting to think one has a dark side and you may be fine with it. But one can also realize the dark side wins every time if you keep indulging in it. She said that it was the worst thing that ever happened to her.
7. She isn’t as sad as the songs she sings
The beauty of Lana Del Rey’s work is her ability to bring her listeners to a melancholic and reflective mood. Her lyrics can be so deep and also tragic, the cinematic quality of her sound can influence listeners as well.
But that doesn’t mean Lana lives in a world filled with dark clouds. She keeps herself happy and healthy by going to the ocean as well as a long drive. She’s a romantic at heart who enjoys being in calm environments.
6. Living in a trailer park
Before gaining fame for her work, Lana had to pay her dues and stay at a trailer park. In an interview, she revealed moving into a trailer park when she made her first record. She received ten thousand dollars from Five Points Records and then moved into the Manhattan Mobile Home in New Jersey. She was happy because she did it for herself and she did not want to be a part of mainstream society.
5. She was a model with Next Model Management
Besides her immense musical talent, Lana also is a videographer and her good looks even landed her as a model with Next Model Management in 2012. This was the time when she was making it big. She performed at fashion shows and was represented by designers like Moschino and Prabal Gurung.
4. Doing community work
After overcoming her drinking problem, Lana decided to help others do the same and committed herself to a lot of community outreach work to help recovering addicts. She explained that although she isn’t a social worker, she has been sober for ten years with help from drug and alcohol rehabilitation. She believes it is about building communities around staying sober and clean.
3. Her inspirations
It’s always interesting to find out who your favourite musicians are inspired by. In Lana's case, she was influenced by many artists who helped her become the singer she is today. She credited Nirvana, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Bob Dyland, and Eminen as some of her musical influences.
2. She enjoys writing poetry
Since Lana is a songwriter, it shouldn’t come as a shock that she is also a poet. She released her first poetry book titled “Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass” and announced her second book “Behind the Iron Gates - Insights from the Institution” to be released in 2021.
1. Her dad is a self-made millionaire
Lana climbed her career ladder on her own although she doesn’t come from a poor background. Her father is a self-made millionaire who made his fortunes as a successful domain investor and according to Lana, he’s also an innovator.