Don Emmert, Getty Images CRISTINA JALERU, Associated Press: Various Artists,…
- Posted on Jan 20th 2012 1:00PM by Renee Gold
Dana Eldeson, NBC | WireImage
The British songbird was a commercial and critical success, selling over 6 million copies of her Grammy-nominated sophomore effort '21' and occupying most critic year-end lists. '21' debuted atop Billboard's charts and spent 16 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, tying the 'Titanic' soundtrack from way back in 1997.
Adele embodied authenticity by refusing to fit into pop music's superficial and sexed-up landscape; she broke its mould altogether. Adele simply stood on her own laurels as a great singer. No bells, no whistles, no fireworks-blasting boobs. Despite wallets being tight, people shelled out in record-breaking droves.
Enter stage left -- wayyy left -- Lana Del Rey.
Working the fringe, play-to-your-friends club scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, she began her 'professional' career in 2006 under her real name Lizzy Grant and sported a short blond crop and a SoCal skateboarder aesthetic. She'd released music on three separate indie labels when, last spring, she uploaded her DIY vid for 'Video Games' to YouTube and quickly caught fire across the blogosphere.
Redubbed Lana Del Rey -- an evocative name picked by a curious new manager -- she now sported a '60s sex-kitten bouffant and, or so the bloggers blogged, collagen lips, a more streamlined nose and possibly chin-and-cheek implants. (Del Rey has, of course, denied all reports of plastic surgery.) Months after the video went viral, she signed to Universal's Interscope Records.
But perhaps in an attempt to hold onto her hipster fanbase, news of the record contract only became public in October 2011 -- despite the ink being dry in July. During that three-month buffer, Interscope enlisted indie media to build buzz off Del Rey's already bubbling retro-hipster persona. But at the same time they also started plastering Del Rey's face on the cover of glossy magazines as 2012's new 'It Girl' and procured her Next modeling contract.
Eventually, the contradictions became too much.