By Courtney E. Smith

In our series Frequently Asked guides you through the unknown about people and topics in music and pop culture. 

From the release in 2011 of the music video for her single “Video Games,” Lana Del Rey has slowly amassed a widespread public profile. That grainy music video (which she edited on her MacBook and now has over 62 million views) earned her a strong internet following, but her notoriety soon exploded after her infamous appearance on SNL, which preceded the release of her much-talked-about 2012 album Born to Die. The following year, she received chart success across formats with her Great Gatsby track “Young and Beautiful” and a remix of her track “Summertime Sadness.”

Del Rey is now set to release her new album, Ultraviolence, on June 17. And while she’s gained much ground her “Video Game” days, but some music fans are still unsure why the rest of the world is so obsessed. Below we offer answers to a series of frequently asked questions about Lana Del Rey.


Where did Lana Del Rey come from?

Lana Del Rey is the stage name for Elizabeth Woolridge Grant. She grew up in Lake Placid, N.Y., a small village in the Adirondack Mountains with population 2,521. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

The full extent of which Del Rey is a creation and is driven by Grant is a constant point of argument. Publicly revealed sources of inspiration behind the development of her character  include LolitaNancy SinatraDavid LynchBob Dylanbeat poetryBlanche DuBoisAmericana and American Psycho.

Is there one word to describe the music of Lana Del Rey?


Can you be an authentic artist if you make up a name for yourself?

Of course. Need proof? An abbreviated list of musicians who use or have used monikers includes Billie Holiday, Elvis Costello, Sting, Courtney Love, Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, Bono, Frank Ocean, Sade, Nicki Minaj, Elton John, Katy Perry and Jack White.

Did Lana Del Rey once collaborate with Lady Gaga?

Their social and professional circles reportedly did overlap in mid- to late-2000s New York City, so they knew each other. The duo collaborated on a track called “Princess Die,” which was meant to appear on ARTPOP but didn’t make the cut.

Learn more about Lana Del Rey on


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