Uniquely eccentric, craftily reminiscent, and wildly feminine, Lana Del Rey’s essence, is pure, well crafted, and undeniable. Her talent and skill are genre crossing, truthful, and time shifting. Often crediting “the masters of every genre,” from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, to Eminem and Britney Spears, as sources of inspiration, Del Rey is the perfect mix of yesterday grounded in now with a forward dash of tomorrow. Decide for yourself with the following 10 Best Lana Del Rey Songs:
1. National Anthem
3. Off To The Races
4. Dangerous Girl
5. Driving In Cars With Boys
6. You Can Be The Boss
7. She’s Not Me
8. Dark Paradise
9. Million Dollar Man
10. Video Games
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, is a twenty six year old model, singer, and songwriter best known by her stage name Lana Del Rey. As the “self styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” Del Ray’s passion for music began when she was young. Born to Rob Grant, a domain investor, and her advertising executive mother in New York City on June 21, 1986, Del Rey was raised in Lake Placid, New York, until she enrolled in Connecticut’s Kent School at the age of 14. As an adolescent, Del Rey struggled with alcohol and drugs, and returned home shortly after attending the boarding school. At the age of 18, Del Rey began studies at Fordham University and transformed her life . There she discovered music after her uncle introduced her to guitar by teaching her just six chords. Del Rey decided she could “write a million songs” using just those six chords and began playing self written material throughout various New York City area clubs and venues. Using the names Sparkle Rope Jump Queen, Lizzy Grant, and the Phenomena. Del Rey had no intention of pursuing a musical career despite establishing a large fan base on the underground music scene. Of that period of her life, Del Rey offered during an interview “I have good friends and devoted fans...but we were playing for each other at that point - and that was it.”
Despite this, Del Rey’s desire to “be part of a high-class scene of musicians” evolved “because I didn’t have many friends, and I was hoping that I would meet people and fall in love and start a community around me, the way they used to in the ‘60s. I wanted to be seen as a good singer, and not much more than that.”
At the age of 20, Del Rey recorded her first demo. She was quickly signed to her first recording contract and earned $10,000 yet the album was shelved. After the music deal fell through, Del Rey concentrated her efforts in community projects, living within a trailer park nearby New York City. For five years she participated in homeless outreach, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and other community service programs assisting others. During this time, she also was signed on to independent label 5 Point Records after producer David Kahne heard her demo. During October 2008, Del Rey’s first EP, entitled Kill Kill, was released. Two years later, in January 2010, her first debut album, entitled Lana Del Rey A.K.A. Lizzy Grant was released. Del Rey’s father marketed the album which was briefly available only on iTunes until it was withdrawn. After the album was taken off of the market, Del Rey continued volunteering and was signed by Stranger Records upon uploading some of her material on YouTube. Del Rey’s single, “Video Games,” earned her instant recognition and a recording contract with Stranger Records. During October 2011, she earned a Q Award for the song “Next Big Thing” and was signed to Interscope Records and Polydor in a joint recording contract for her second album, “Born To Die.” Del Rey continued to perform, with a number of promotional and live concerts, at places like the Chateau Marmont and the Bowery Ballroom, as well as television appearances on Later With Jools Holland and De Wereld Draait Door.
During January 2012, Del Rey’s career achieved new heights. She agreed to sign on to the NEXT Model Management agency and also appeared on Saturday Night Live. Though her performance received mixed reviews, it didn’t hinder the success of the January 31, 2012 worldwide release of Born to Die. The album received tremendous acclaim and topped several international music charts. Del Rey earned several nominations later in 2012 including: the Best New Artist from Virgin Media Music Awards, NME’s Best New Band, Best Track for “Video Games,” Best Video for “Video Games,” mtvU’s Breaking Woodie, Favorite International Video of The Year for “Video Games” from Independent Music Awards, Echo Awards’ International Newcomer, and Hit of The Year for “Video Games.” Del Rey won the 2012 Brit Award for International Breakthrough Act and the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song “Video Games.”
Also during 2012, Del Rey assisted Britain’s pop queen Cheryl Cole by writing new material for Cole’s album A Million Lights. Cole’s “Ghetto Baby” was written entirely by Del Rey and continued the propulsion of both singers’ careers. Additionally, Del Rey announced she would re-release Lana Del Rey A.K.A. Lizzy Grant with her new label. During a June 2012 interview with RTVE, Del Rey announced her third album was already in process with an expected release date of November 2012. She also confirmed songs like “Will You Still Love Me When I’m No Longer Young and Beautiful,” “In the Land of Gods and Monsters,” and “Body Electric” would be featured on the album and performed in upcoming live gigs including BBC Radio1’s Hackney Weekend. During July 2012, Del Rey and H&M confirmed she would be a model for their 2012 Autumn Campaign.