Ever since Lana Del Rey’s Video Games music video went viral on YouTube, she’s become a pop culture mainstay. Del Rey is notorious for her Americana image and she not only writes poetic music, but creates videos that inspire and amaze. Here is a list of 10 things you did not know about the classy chanteuse.
1. Her real name is Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
Del Rey performed under various stage names, such as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen, May Jailer, and Lana Rey Del Mar. She finally decided to go with “Lana Del Rey” because it “reminded [her] of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.”
2. She’s old money
Del Rey is the daughter of entrepreneur, Rob Grant, who bankrolled her first independent studio album. She grew up spending a lot of time at the Chateau Marmont in L.A., and this comes across in her music since she has a thematic “poor little rich girl” thing going on.
3. She lives in London
Although she describes herself as a “New York girl,” she spends her time in Britain with musician boyfriend Barrie-James O’Neill.
4. She’s a videographer
Del Rey collects stock footage and creates video collages. Her videos for Video Games and Carmen are self-made, and the result is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
5. She studied metaphysics at Fordham University
Del Rey specialized in “working out whether we could mathematically prove God’s existence.”
6. She references Tennessee Williams, Walt Whitman, and Nabokov in her lyrics
Lana’s obsession with Lolita is obvious, she even quotes Humbert Humbert’s iconic “Light of my life, fire of my loins” in Off to the Races. She refers to William’s A Streetcar Named Desire in Carmen (“relying on the kindness of strangers”) and has a song named after Whitman’s I Sing the Body Electric.
7. She’s a fashion model
Del Rey signed a contract with Next Model Management under the same talent wing that also represents pop stars Ellie Goulding and Florence Welch. Del Rey has also done successful campaigns for H&M and Jaguar F-Type.
8. She’s a beautiful live performer
Apart from her first performance on SNL, Del Rey has given beautiful live performances of her songs. Notable ones are her acoustic renditions of Born to Die at the Chateau Marmont and Without You at Amoeba Music in Hollywood.
9. She has about 20 unreleased songs that you can find on YouTube or Sound Cloud
Although Del Rey released The Paradise Edition of her debut Born to Die with 8 songs, there are about 2 dozen songs that did not make the E.P. Notable mentions include Paris, Damn You, and Go Go Dancer.
10. She has a talented sister
Del Rey’s sister, Chuck Grant, is a photographer who graduated from Parsons School for Design. Chuck takes beautiful pictures of her sister and had a cameo in Del Rey’s video for Ride.