Pop singer leaves her doubters behind
Back in 2011, Lana Del Rey caught the internet's attention with “Video Games,” a hazy, orchestral pop tune pre-soaked in the California sun with a video to match. The visuals for the song were at once modern (skateboarders, a billboard for an iPad) and nostalgic (archival Hollywood footage, sepia-toned home movies), all interspersed with a coy, pouty-lipped Del Rey singing into the camera.
Then the internet turned on her, as the internet so often does, accusing Del Rey of being a major-label marketing ploy devoid of authenticity. (Her real name, after all, is Elizabeth Grant). Many critics similarly disparaged her 2012 debut, Born to Die, and an early “Saturday Night Live” performance.
But then a funny thing happened. Lana Del Rey refused to succumb to the internet's whims. Instead she kept releasing music, and the albums got better. From 2014's Dan Auerbach-produced Ultraviolence to last year's Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey's songs found wider and wider audiences, turning her into a bona fide pop star.
Maybe you still don't believe Lana Del Rey. Maybe part of her persona is manufactured. If so, she's no different than any pop star. Or you. Or me. (Safe bet)