Lana Del Rey, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant, was born in New York City and raised in Lake Placid, New York.
Del Rey hints at a religious background, but doesn’t specify creed or denomination, just that she sang in a church choir as a child.1 Plus, she is often spotted wearing a cross as an accessory. But again, it doesn’t indicate any sort of denominational preference. Nevertheless, Del Rey seems to be a rather spiritual person, just not in terms of organized religion. She said:
My understanding of God has come from my own personal experiences… because I was in trouble so many times in New York that if you were me, you would believe in God too. When things get bad enough, your only resort is to lie in bed and start praying. I dunno about congregating once a week in a church and all that, but when I heard there is a divine power you can call on, I did.2
This could stem from her alcohol treatment. As early as 14, Del Rey was in and out of rehab for alcohol abuse.3 Often, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment go hand in hand with the acknowledgement of a “higher power,” as ambiguous as it might be.
Politica del rey
Del Rey doesn’t appear to be an explicitly political person. She hasn’t made any political statements to the press, controversial or otherwise.
But Del Rey’s music videos often portray flashes of 50s and 60s America, complete with family-home-video style, though juxtaposed with a dark, film noir ambiance. For example, in Del Rey’s music video for her song, “National Anthem,” she and rapper A$AP play John and Jackie Kennedy set against an eerie soundtrack and ominous, slow motion-saturated visuals. It’s as if she wants to say something important, but as her critics are quick to point out, we’re not quite sure what that is.4 If I were to speculate, she might be trying to show that previous incarnations of American society–incarnations that conservatives look back at as their American ideal–weren’t so perfect either.
Other Del Rey videos broach topics that only liberals seem comfortable with–such as gay relationships in her video, “Summertime Sadness.”
And confirming the likelihood of Del Rey’s liberal leanings, she showed up at a UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Fundraiser and helped raise over half a million dollars for this environmentally-oriented organization.5
- Q&A: Lana Del Rey: We talked to Lana Del Rey about faith, Bon Iver. Prefix. [↩]
- Original Sin: An Interview With Lana Del Rey. The Quietus. [↩]
- Lana Del Rey Goes Nude in GQ’s Men of the Year Issue. iSaw. [↩]
- Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky meddle with the JFK legacy. Los Angeles Times. [↩]
- UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Fundraiser: Celebs and others Raise $500,000. The Huffington Post. [↩]