Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1986), known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an American singer-songwriter. Del Rey started songwriting at the age of 18 and signed her first recording contract with 5 Points Records in 2007,releasing her first digital album Lana Del Ray in January 2010. Del Rey bought herself out of the contract with 5 Points Records in April 2010.She signed a joint contract with Interscope, Polydor, and Stranger Records in July 2011.
After she released her debut single "Video Games" in June 2011, a music video created by Del Rey for the song was posted on YouTube in August 2011. Her sophomore album, Born to Die, was released in January 2012. The album has sold over 5 million copies worldwide to date, and was the fifth best-selling album of 2012.Charting across Europe, this album spawned numerous top ten hits, including the title track "Born to Die", "Blue Jeans", and "Summertime Sadness". With the release of her third EP, Paradise, Del Rey spawned her second top ten album in the United States, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 67,000 copies sold in its first week.
Del Rey's music has been noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of the 1950s and 1960s Americana. The singer has described herself as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra". Musically, she draws influence from what she deems to be the masters of each genre, including Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Nirvana,Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, and Britney Spears, as well as from poetry andfilm noir.
Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in New York City on June 21, 1986, to former Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur, Rob Grant, and former Grey account executive, Pat Grant.She is of Scottish descent, and has two younger siblings.Del Rey grew up in Lake Placid, New York until age 15, when she was sent to Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, for three years to deal with her alcohol dependence.Around age 18, she moved to The Bronx to attend Fordham University, studying a branch of philosophy known as metaphysics because "it bridged the gap between God and science. I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why."She said, "that was when my musical experience began. I kind of found people for myself." She stayed in the Bronx for four years and Brooklyn for another four years.
She began singing in the church choir when she was a child.After her uncle taught her how to play the guitar when she was 18, she "realized [that she] could probably write a million songs with those six chords," and she began performing in nightclubs around the city under various names such as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen and Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena."I was always singing, but didn't plan on pursuing it seriously. When I got to New York City when I was 18, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn—I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point—and that was it."