Lana Del Rey: 5 Things You Don't Know About the "Born to Die" Singer

Entertainment Jan. 31, 2012 AT 6:21PM
Lana Del Rey: 5 Things You Don't Know About the "Born to Die" Singer Credit: DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES

Her debut album, "Born to Die" has already hit No. 1 on iTunes in 14 countries including the U.S., U.K., Mexico and Italy, and while music fans may not know Lana Del Rey's name, they definitely know her unique sound.

Here, Us Weekly uncovers need-to-know info about the rising star.

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1. She performs under a pseudonym. Born Elizabeth Grant, Del Rey adopted her current moniker by merging that of actress Lana Turner and the Ford Del Rey car. "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards," she told Vogue. "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."

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2. Though "Born to Die" may be her official debut in the biz, the singer has been making music for quite some time. Releasing a three-song EP called "Kill Kill" in 2008, Del Rey also performed under the names Sparkle Rope Jump Queen and Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena.

3. She has Sarah Michelle Gellar to thank in part for helping her hit the big time. In September 2011, Del Rey's song "Video Games" was featured for the first time on TV on Gellar's CW hit Ringer.

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4. The singer is no stranger to controversy. Weeks before releasing her debut album, Del Rey performed a two-song set on Saturday Night Live as the January 14 musical guest, leaving NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to declare her routine "one of the worst outings in SNL history." She later defended her performance to MTV News, telling the outlet "I'm a good musician…I have been singing for a long time, and I think that [SNL creator] Lorne Michaels knows that...it's not a fluke decision."

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5. Not only can she sing, but Del Rey looks good doing it! Earlier this month, Elle UK reported the singer had landed a contract with Next Model Management.

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