Loved and loathed, Lana Del Rey set to face the music

Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:04pm EST
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rarely has a pop star just starting out been so loved and loathed as Lana Del Rey, the 25-year-old who has filled acres of newspaper column inches even before her debut album "Born to Die" hits shelves next week.

First came the "breakthrough" when her video for the song "Video Games" was viewed millions of times on YouTube leading to the sultry chanteuse becoming the talk of the music business.

That success prompted the question 'just who is Del Rey?' and inquisitive fans quickly uncovered that the New York native, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant, was the daughter of Internet domain investor Rob Grant and came from a wealthy background.

Then, it was learned singer had previously been signed to a label, which fueled debate about her authenticity as an indie music artist garnering success through a viral video. The backlash picked up steam after Del Rey's recent, shaky singing as the musical guest on U.S. sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live." It was attacked with vitriol by fans and critics alike.

"She's hit a nerve in some way, which is both a good thing and a bad thing as people are talking about her," said Lyndsey Parker, managing editor at Yahoo! Music.

"There's a huge curiosity about her and if that was what the label wanted, they've done a great job."

But rather than addressing the criticism directly, Del Rey's response has been to retreat from the public eye and shun live performances ahead of the album's release -- a rarity these days when promotion is the name of the game in show business if stars want to sell records, books, movies or TV shows.

She appears to have given only one interview following the "Saturday Night Live" performance, published last week in British newspaper The Telegraph.   Continued...

 
<p>Singer Lana Del Rey is shown in this publicity photo released to Reuters January 27, 2012. Rarely has a pop star just starting out been so loved and loathed as Lana Del Rey, the 25-year-old who has filled acres of column inches even before her debut album "Born to Die" hits shelves next week. REUTERS/Nicole Nodland/Handout</p>