Lana Del Rey
Born Elizabeth Grant, Lana Del Rey adopted her performance pseudonym by merging that of actress Lana Turner and the Ford Del Rey car. Releasing her debut disc, Born to Die, in 2012, the New York native first became known to audiences via YouTube one year earlier, when she created her own clip called “Video Games,” a nearly five-minute bit that quickly went viral, amassing more than 56 million views in three years.
Signing a contract with NEXT Model Management in 2012, Del Rey famously performed a two-song set on Saturday Night Live that same year that left fans and critics scratching their heads. Though NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared her routine “one of the worst outings in SNL history,” the singer defended her set to MTV News, arguing that “I’m a good musician . . . and I think [SNL creator] Lorne Michaels knows that . . . it’s not a fluke decision.”
The New York native, known for the hit singles “Summertime Sadness,” “Off to the Races” and “Blue Jeans,” is engaged to Barrie-James O’Neill, the guitarist for Scottish band Kassidy.