Lana Del Rey, 27 (soon to be 28), the pop star everyone loves to hate, reportedly earned $2.8 million for performing three songs during Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s wedding rehearsal dinner last month.
This week, she dropped her third album, Ultraviolence, amid a wave of publicity, including a glossy New York Times profile and an articlein The Guardian in which she said, “I wish I was dead already” when asked about the early deaths of Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain.
But not too long ago, her name was Lizzy Grant — Elizabeth Woolridge Grant — and she was a student studying philosophy at Rose Hill. And she was blonde.
“I’ve met people who know that music is the only thing they want to do with their lives, and that’s always reassuring to me because I don’t have a back-up plan,” Grant said in 2006. (No interest in the stability Gabelli is said to offer.)
Before graduating from Fordham in 2008, Grant signed her first recording contract during her senior year. She recorded her debut EP that year, called Kill Kill, and then briefly released an album in 2010, called “Lizzy Grant a.k.a. Lana Del Ray,” but quickly withdrew it and renamed herself Lana Del Rey. [More]
Here’s Lizzy Grant performing in December 2008. (This song would later appear on Lana Del Rey’s 2012 album, Paradise.)
Here’s the 2011 homemade music video that put Lana Del Rey on the map. (Literally, she produced it on her laptop.)
And here’s the famous 2012 Saturday Night Live performance — her first live TV appearance in the United States — that seemed to turn everyone against her.
Lizzy has come a long way…but has Lana?
Check her latest sounds on Ultraviolence. (I would recommend “Old Money.”)