Acclaimed alternative singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey is shining some light on the behind-the-scenes of some of her most iconic career moments. While the singer often sings of the glamor of old Hollywood and its seedy underbelly, she claims to have had a far less glamorous childhood.
In a now-deleted Instagram story, the singer revealed new details regarding her experience at boarding school. Del Rey previously revealed that she was sexually assaulted as a teenager, in part leading her to turn to alcohol at a young age. As a teenager, her parents, who worked as a carpenter and a special education teacher, respectively, made the effort to send her to boarding school in New York City to get sober. Del Rey, born Elizabeth Grant, was raised in Lake Placid as one of three children.
The statement comes amid a resurfaced 2012 article from The Guardian claimed that “rather than being an outsider struggling for recognition, Del Rey is in fact the daughter of a millionaire father who has backed her career.”
While at the boarding school, Del Rey recounts that she was often referred to as “white trash from Lake Placid” by her classmates, and that she kept a very small circle of friends, some of whom she still keeps in touch with. Regardless of her middle class upbringing, the singer recounted that her family’s status was frowned upon by the Manhattan elite she attended high school with.
The singer later cleared up that while her father has since gained financial wealth through domain investing online, this wealth took years to accrue, and came far past the beginning of her singing career. Following boarding school, the singer attended Fordham University in New York City, during which she performed at local independent venues under a number of stage names. The singer notoriously was criticized for her debut “Saturday Night Live” performance, for which Del Rey now reveals she was living in a hostel at the time, and the performance was the way her parents first learned of her music career.
Lana Del Rey sets the record straight to those who say she grew up rich. pic.twitter.com/t9VUjaPgLs
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 20, 2023
Why “Money, Power, Glory” Is In The Question
Due to Del Rey’s diverse catalogue of music that details a variety of different American lifestyles, some accused her of being an “industry plant” amid her criticized “SNL” performance and offbeat album titles. Her harshest critics believe that only family money could have gotten her out of such a hotly debated early career performance. On the other hand, the singer tends to lead a humble life style, as was seen this past summer when she spent time in rural Alabama at a local Waffle House.
as she should. her come up and hard work shouldn’t be diminished
— ???????????????????????? ???? ???? (@streetswave) October 20, 2023
The subject matter discussed in her music ranges from surviving abuse to life in the South, the indie music scene in Brooklyn, New York, old Hollywood, and more. Despite the initial public criticism of Del Rey’s artistry, she has now been widely hailed as one of the “greatest American songwriters,” including by rock legend Bruce Springsteen.
Fans of the singer were quick to defend her, believing that her emotionally moving music is likely partially rooted in the harsh realities she persevered through in her own life.
yall wanna discredit her sooo bad it’s beyond annoying. by the time her dad became rich she had already been sent away. she IS self-made & thats simply a fact
— Reda ♡???? (@MayJailer0621) October 20, 2023
Others continue to assert that the wealthy should be more transparent, believing that Del Rey allegedly exaggerated her struggles.
Did Lana Del Rey's dad only drop her off to school in a Rolls Royce?
— Randy Treibel (Taylor’s Version) (@RandyTreibel) October 20, 2023
The singer is yet to comment further on the matter.