Lana Del Rey: 5 Things to Know About the Sexpot Singer

Lana Del Rey publicity 2011 P
Nicole Nodland

This week, the buzzed about newcomer released her "Video Games" EP to iTunes and made her TV debut on England's "Later with Jools Holland."

Newcomer Lana Del Rey is among the most buzzed about artists to emerge in recent months, mainly because of her striking Lauren Bacall-like looks, perfectly-plumped lips and enchanting, hushed singing style. In the last eight weeks, her song “Video Games” has garnered more than 2 million views on Youtube, enough to gain the 24-year-old international acclaim and drop a record deal in her lap.

The lucky label? Interscope Records, who this week released Del Rey’s Video Games EP to iTunes. On Tuesday, she made her TV debut on England's Later with Jools Holland (see clip below).

As introductory singles go, the sales performance of “Video Games” is off to a great start -- it reached the No. 3 spot on the iTunes U.S. pop chart and was ranked No. 1 in nine countries -- and no doubt, Del Rey is getting plenty of attention, although not always for the right reasons. Below, a five-step primer on music’s new sexpot.

  1. Before there was Lady Gaga, there was Stefani Germanotta, and before there was Lana Del Rey, there was Lizzy Grant of Lake Placid, New York. These days, Del Rey bears little resemblance to her former blonde, bobbed and wide-eyed self, and her music has taken its own departure, from jazz-meets-electronica lounge to breathy, melancholy musings. Her obsession with all things Americana, however, remains constant. 
  2. At 18, she moved to New York City and started singing at open mic nights, like Lilo’s Lounge in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She also lived in a New Jersey trailer park for some time.
  3. Del Rey counts among her influences: director David Lynch, soundtracks for 1950s black and white movies and “the whirring sound of the ferris wheel at Coney Island.” She calls herself the “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” describes her tunes as “Hollywood pop/sadcore” and her look as “Lolita got lost in the ‘hood.” She’s an admitted fan of soundbites.
  4. Her debut album is slated for release in early 2012 and, according to Del Rey’s bio, which name-checks Odd Future, Lil Wayne and the movie Scarface, she plans to work with “hip-hop heavyweights.”
  5. Early blog buzz secured a series of live dates this fall, but the venues had to be changed to accommodate increased demand for tickets -- nearly all the rescheduled shows sold out immediately. See her latest tour routing, which takes Del Rey to western Europe, Toronto, L.A, and New York, after the jump…


Lana Del Rey Tour Dates:

11/ 4 – Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge
11/5 – Glasgow, UK @ Oran Moir
11/7 – Paris, France @ Nouveau Casino
11/10 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Upstairs at Paradiso
11/12 – Cologne, Germany @ Gebauede 9
11/14 – Berlin, Germany @ Roter Salon
11/16 – London, UK @ Scala
11/17 – Birmingham, UK @ HMV Institute
11/30 – Toronto, Canada @ Mod Club
12/05 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour