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Lana Del Rey

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Lana Del Rey envisioned a Southern Californian dream world constructed out of sad girls and bad boys, manufactured melancholy and genuine glamour, and then she came to embody this fantasy. At first, her stylized noir-pop garnered skeptical sneers -- the rise of her 2012 debut Born to Die was impeded by a tentative live debut on Saturday Night Live -- but Lana Del Rey proved to be tougher than her soft exterior suggested. Following a hit remix of her single "Summertime Sadness," she steadily gained not only popularity but respect, with her 2014 second album Ultraviolence receiving positive reviews to accompany her sales; her imitators, of which there were many, were merely an alluring accessory. By that point, Lana Del Rey had become the ideal she intended to be: a damaged torch singer designed as the tragic romantic icon for her age. Lana Del Rey's journey to this stardom was a long, steady climb. Born as Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in New York City to a pair of wealthy parents, she was raised in Lake Placid, not starting to pursue music until she was out of high school and living with her aunt and uncle on Long Island. Her uncle taught her how to play guitar and soon she was writing songs and playing New York clubs, sometimes under the name Lizzy Grant. While she attended Fordham University, she continued to play music and she started getting serious around 2005. In April of that year, a CD of originals was registered under her birth name with the U.S. Copyright Office and she recorded elsewhere, finishing up an unreleased folky album called Sirens under the name May Jailer. Reverting to the name Lizzy Grant, she signed with 5 Points Records in 2006, recording an EP called Kill Kill with producer David Kahne, who would prove to be her first pivotal collaborator. Kill Kill appeared digitally in 2008 and over the next two years Grant became Lana Del Rey, digitally releasing a full self-titled album under that name in 2010. Not long after its release, she teamed with managers Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, who helped her separate from 5 Points (rights to her recordings reverted back to her) and moved to England, where she began crafting the Lana Del Rey persona. The first unveiling of Lana Del Rey arrived in 2011 via YouTube videos that quickly became a viral sensation, led by the moody, murky "Video Games" and followed by "Blue Jeans." Much of her success was limited to the Internet but it soon started to spill over into the pop culture of the U.K. By the fall of that year, she released "Video Games" on Stranger Records, an independent division of Interscope/Polydor, in the U.K. and she won the Next Big Thing trophy at the Q Awards. Lana Del Rey's full-fledged debut album, Born to Die, appeared to considerable anticipation in January 2012. Greeted to mixed reviews, Born to Die's launch also suffered a setback after LDR's halting appearance on Saturday Night Live on January 14, 2012 but that apparent stumble ultimately had the effect of raising Lana Del Rey's profile and soon Born to Die became a steady seller. That November, LDR released the Paradise EP -- at eight tracks and 33 minutes, it was essentially a mini-LP; some pressings bundled Paradise with Born to Die -- which, supported by the single "Ride," charted at ten in the U.S. Throughout 2013, various singles and videos surfaced -- these included a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2," as well as a cover of Lee Hazlewood's "Summer Wine" performed with her then-boyfriend Barrie-James O'Neill -- but her biggest release of the year was the new song "Young and Beautiful," penned for Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Ultimately, this single was overshadowed by Cedric Gervais' remix of Born to Die's "Summertime Sadness," a remix that turned the song into her first Top Ten hit in the U.S. At the end of 2013, Lana Del Rey released a short film called Tropico, which was accompanied by an EP of the same name. All of these releases -- including a cover of the Disney standard "Once Upon a Dream" for the Disney film Maleficent -- kept LDR in the spotlight as she worked on her second album. Lana Del Rey hired Dan Auerbach, the leader of Ohio blues-rockers the Black Keys, to produce the majority of Ultraviolence, the sophomore set that appeared in June 2014, preceded by the singles "West Coast," "Shades of Cool," "Ultraviolence," and "Brooklyn Baby." Ultraviolence found a more receptive initial audience than Born to Die: not only were the reviews positive, so were the sales, with the album debuting at number one in both the U.S. and the U.K. Ultimately, Ultraviolence didn't generate hits as big as Born to Die but it performed the crucial task of elevating Lana Del Rey's critical reputation, illustrated by her selection to sing the title song for Tim Burton's 2014 bid for an Oscar, Big Eyes. Lana Del Rey wasted no time following Ultraviolence. During the first months of 2015, she worked on a third full-length album and announced a co-headlining summer 2015 tour with Courtney Love. As the summer wound to a close, Lana Del Rey announced the September release of Honeymoon, an album she said is "very different from the last one and similar to the first two, Born to Die and Paradise." Her claim was borne out by the album's first two singles, "High by the Beach" and "Terrence Loves You." Honeymoon saw release on September 18, 2015. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Albums by
Lana Del Rey

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    14 songs

    On Air

    Honeymoon

    11 songs

    On Air

    Ultraviolence

    12 songs

    On Air

    Born to Die

    23 songs

    On Air

    Born to Die [The Paradise Edition] [20-Track]

    15 songs

    On Air

    Born to Die

    12 songs

    On Air

    Born to Die

    3 songs

    On Air

    Summertime Sadness

    6 songs

    On Air

    Ride

    8 songs

    On Air

    Paradise

    6 songs

    On Air

    Blue Jeans [Remixes]

    4 songs

    On Air

    West Coast

    11 songs

    On Air

    Ultraviolence

    14 songs

    On Air

    Ultraviolence [Deluxe Version]

    5 songs

    On Air

    Video Games

    25 songs

    On Air

    Blue Velvet [Prism]

    1 song

    On Air

    Ultraviolence

    1 song

    On Air

    West Coast [Solomun Remix]

    1 song

    On Air

    Once Upon a Dream

    1 song

    On Air

    Brooklyn Baby

    1 song

    On Air

    Ultraviolence

    1 song

    On Air

    Shades of Cool

    1 song

    On Air

    West Coast

    1 song

    On Air

    Summertime Sadness [Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais]

    1 song

    On Air

    Once Upon a Dream

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Lana Del Rey

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Summertime Sadness
  3.   Video Games
  4.   West Coast
  5.   Blue Jeans
  6.   Born to Die
  7.   Ride
  8.   Young and Beautiful
  9.   Radio
  10.   High by the Beach
  11.   National Anthem
  12.   Off to the Races
  13.   Once Upon a Dream
  14.   Ultraviolence
  15.   Dark Paradise
  16.   Brooklyn Baby
  17.   Cola
  18.   Burning Desire
  19.   This Is What Makes Us Girls
  20.   Honeymoon
  21.   Blue Velvet
  22.   Shades of Cool
  23.   Gods and Monsters
  24.   Fucked My Way Up To the Top
  25.   Music to Watch Boys To
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Lana Del Rey

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    The 44 Biggest Remixes of All Time

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    44 All-Time Greatest Anti-Love Songs

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    44 Most Controversial Songs

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    Top 50 Alternative Songs of 2015

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See All Stations & Shows

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