Lana Del Rey (with the birth name of Elizabeth Grant) was born in New York City and grew up in Lake Placid, New York. Lana has quoted that she has been writing songs ever since the young age of 11; at the age of 11 Del Rey was already the leader of her church choir. She attended a private boarding school known as ‘Kent School’ at the age of 15. Her father, Robert Grant, who is a domain investor has always supported her decision of becoming a singer. Lana said in a Vogue interview, “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.”
This stunning, talented artist first released her three track EP titled ‘Kill Kill’ in October 2008 however, the EP was not listed under her current stage name Lana Del Rey; she was known as Lizzy Grant. Her EP included the three tracks “Kill Kill”, “Yayo” and “Gramma (Blue Ribon Sparkler Trailer Heaven)”.
After almost a year and a half, the American beauty Lana Del Rey finally released her first studio album titled ‘Lana Del Rey A.K.A. Lizzy Gant’ in January 2010. One again the album was released under the name Lizzy Grant. This album remarked the very first time Lana professionally produced an album; at this point in time Lana was signed to a independent label group with producer David Kahn. Lana stated 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.”
Robert Grant (her supportive father) was involved with the marketing of the album and therefore helped his talented daughter Lana release the album and hope for it to be commercially successful. The album was briefly available on iTunes before being withdrawn; this actions purpose is currently unknown. According to David Kahne, who produced Grant, 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.
Dave Nichtern, the the 5 Points owner, says he “always thought she had potential to have a major breakthrough. That’s why we signed her in the first place”. Lana was a college senior when she first arrived at the label. Apparently ” she was playing a plunky little acoustic guitar and would ride around on the subways all night sometimes, writing lyrics and stuff like that.” In a recent interview with MTV which took place in February 2012 with Dave Nichtern, Nichtern stated that Lana wanted to be known as Lana Del Rey very early on and there was a lot of misinformation about the contentment of her first record.
He also stated that the media insinuations about Del Rey being backed by her “millionaire father” were “a bunch of crap”. His statement revealed that:
“Her father never had anything to do financially with supporting her creativity. I don’t know if he was lending her money to live off of, but at least when she was with us, not a penny. I don’t know if he’s rich or not; I met him and he seemed like a pretty ordinary guy. But that whole thing that she was backed by her millionaire dad is a bunch of crap, basically. Certain facts about the record she did with us are completely misshapen.”
In June 2011 Lana decided to sign a record deal with Stranger Records which remarked the debut release her first successful single “Video Games” which brought her to worldwide audiences. Later that year in October 2011 Lana signed a joint deal with Polydor and Interscope Records. While being interviewed by Rosie Swash of The Observer, Del Rey revealed, “I just put that song online a few months ago because it was my favourite. To be honest, it wasn’t going to be the single but people have really responded to it. I get very sad when I play that song. I still cry sometimes when I sing it.” Lana won her first award on October 24th 2011 for “The Next Big Thing” which was presented to her at the Q Awards. Her hit “Video Games” was featured for the first time on The CW’s TV-Series Ringer on September 27 2011, during a pivotal scene, propelling our Lana into the mainstream. Lana decided to promote her upcoming album by featuring in a number of live performances such as: on MTV Push and at the Bowery Ballroom. According to Eliot Glazer of New York, “the polarizing indie hipstress brought her ‘gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ swagu.” The famous music magazine Rolling Stone commented that , despite Del Rey being nervous and anxious while performing her songs live, she “sang with considerable confidence”, although they noted that “her transitions …could be rather jarring.” Lana managed to perform her single Video Games on De Wereld Draait Door (a Dutch television show), on Later…with Jools Holland (British music television show) and in West Hollywood, California on a show called Chateau Marmont. Lana also gave several interviews for newspapers and online magazines such as The Quietus, The Observer,and Pitchfork Media, while creating her own music videos for several tracks such as “Blue Jeans” and “Diet Mountain Dew”.
After much efforts being put in, it was finally announced that Lana would be to release her debut album in January 2012 under the labels interscope records and polydor. Lana revealed the name of the upcoming album on a French television show called Taratata; she announced that it would be called ‘Born To Die’. The album was first released in January 27th 2012 in Ireland then on the 30th of January in the UK and had a worldwide release the day after the UKs release.
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