New York City, New York, USA
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1986), better known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an American singer-songwriter and entrepreneur. Born in New York City and raised in Lake Placid, Del Rey moved back to her hometown at age 18, where she attended college and began writing music and performing in clubs. She signed her first recording contract when she was 20 years old, but got dropped by the label, resulting in her first album being shelved. Later, after producer David Kahne heard Del Rey's demo, she got signed to 5 Points Records and released her first studio album Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant in 2010. After parting her ways with Kahne, she got signed to Stranger Records to release her debut single "Video Games" in June 2011. A few months later, Del Rey signed a joint deal with Interscope and Polydor, where she released her second studio album Born to Die in January 2012. She is currently recording her third studio album, set for release in November.
Del Rey's music has been noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of 1950s and '60s Americana. The singer has been described as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra" and cites many contemporary artists such as Elvis Presley, Britney Spears, Nina Simone, Nirvana, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, and Antony and the Johnsons amongst her musical influences. Del Rey is also signed to NEXT Model Management.
Del Rey was born Elizabeth Grant in New York City on June 21, 1986, child of domain investor Rob Grant, and was raised in Lake Placid, New York. Aged 14, she attended Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticutï»¿, before heading back to her hometown by the age of 18. Del Rey then attended Fordham University in New York City, studying metaphysics. She revealed, "that was when my musical experience began. I kind of found people for myself." After her uncle taught her how to play guitar, she "realized [she] could probably write a million songs with those six chords," and began performing in clubs around the city under various names such as Sparkle Rope Jump 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," she revealed.
When she was 20 years old, Del Rey signed a record contract for $10,000 and moved into a trailer park outside of the city. Her album however was shelved, causing her to shift her focus. Instead, she began to work in community service. "Homeless outreach, drug and alcohol rehabilitation - that's been my life for the past five years," she told Vogue in 2012. A few years later, Del Rey got signed to 5 Point Records, an independent label of producer David Kahne, with whom she released her first three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 and a full-length album in 2010, titled Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant. She explained that "David asked to work with me only a day after he got my demo. He is known as a producer with a lot of integrity and who had an interest in making music that wasn't just pop." Del Rey also explained why she then changed her stage name from Lizzy Grant to Lana Del Rey:"I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba - Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."