It took Lana Del Rey a month to go from a "wack-a-doodle chick" to the "perfect antidote" to other pop stars according to a profile in T: The New York Times Style Magazine by Jacob Brown, who described the singer as "a skinnier Adele, a more stable Amy Winehouse." Offensive comparisons aside -- would an unstable Winehouse sound as sweet? -- Brown's cover story confirms Rey has graduated from Internet meme-starlet and ascended to bona-fide pop sensation.
Clearly Del Rey's music has had an impact, and not just in an awesomely bad kind of way. After mediocre to good reviews from the critics, Del Rey debuted at number 2 on Billboard's American charts this week behind Adele, who has held the title for 19 consecutive weeks. Del Rey's popular abroad too, snagging the number one spot in Britain, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria.
Del Rey's commercial success comes just a few weeks after the Internet assaulted her over a painful SNL performance and questioned everything about her, including whether or not she has fake lips. How did she turn it around?
First, the singer made up for that SNL moment with a passable live gig on the Late Show with David Letterman. Then she opted not to go on tour. "[Lana] and her manager decided to cancel [the tour] after 'SNL,' " a source told The New York Post. "She was very upset ... they figure it allows time for her to clear her head, then go back to selling tickets. More importantly, they figure, the extra time gives them more distance from 'SNL.' " She has also stayed consistent on her plastic surgery denials. “They’re real lips, I mean. In real life my lips don’t look that big. I think because I cartoonized the footage of myself in the video for ‘Video Games’ things look exaggerated," she told The Times.
She's also started acting like a star, playing up the "sultry, seductive songstress" part she created for herself. In the course of the profile, Del Rey puts on a bit of a show, offering a flirty image somewhat reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe in this exchange with a coffee seller:
Big cup for you,” he says, handing her her coffee. “Just a little kiss for me.”
Del Rey laughs and hits him right back with: “Sure. Just a little kiss. Where do you want it?”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.