Lana Del Rey has been subjected to the fickle extremes of the public and the media, dividing popular opinion in a way that no other artist has done for a long time. Firstly, she was the new darling of the internet and a viral sensation. Then ‘Video Games’ began to emerge as the obligatory soundtrack to every emotional breakup/makeup scene in television, Del Rey’s profile grew and the inevitable blogger sleuthing began. As it happens, Lana Del Rey was actually a girl formerly known as Lizzy Grant, the daughter of a domain investor millionaire. Footage of old performances surfaced, showing her looking scruffy and bland. Musos and bitchy girls were quick to turn on her, and the press wrote extensively about her being inauthentic.
Usually, I can’t stand this sort of pretentiousness – and I still can’t – but the reaction to Lana Del Rey’s past was more than a little extreme. Lady Gaga isn’t so different to Lana Del Rey – wealthy background, fake name, “quirky” image, so why does Gaga manage to get away with it so easily? If anything, she’s far more contrived than Lana Del Rey. In both cases, the name change was probably a wise move – while Stefani Germanotta sounds more like a name befitting an opera singer, Lizzy Grant is the moniker of someone who belongs on the Disney Channel. In one respect, it’s easy to see why audiences are more scathing towards celebrities, and especially musicians. With personal branding being so ubiquitous in the 21st century, fans can’t stand to think that they are being hoodwinked and that their favourite bands and singers are nothing more than a component in an elaborate PR strategy – this is completely understandable.
That said, what I don’t understand is how anyone could hate Lana Del Rey so much – she is just adorable! I’ll let these beautiful shots by Ellen Von Unwerth do the talking…
For more pretty pictures and to read the full issue, go to the Lovecat website.