Lana Del Rey Forgives Who?: The Hollywood Reporter Had A Conversation with the Queen of Summertime Sadness

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lana Del Rey opens up about her career, her evolution as an artist, and the viral moment that saw her donning a Waffle House uniform.
Lana Del Rey for The Hollywood Reporter, shot by Chuck Grant (Colourised)

In the world of music, Lana Del Rey stands as an enigmatic figure—a mistress of melancholy, a storyteller of sorrow, and a virtuoso of vulnerability. Over the years, she has garnered legions of devoted fans who hang on her every lyric, dissecting her songs with the fervor of literary scholars analyzing classic texts. Yet, Lana Del Rey has also been the subject of intense scrutiny and polarizing opinions. Her journey through fame has been marked by both adoration and criticism, with her music often serving as a Rorschach test for listeners’ emotions. 

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lana Del Rey opens up about her career, her evolution as an artist, and the viral moment that saw her donning a Waffle House uniform. As we delve into this candid conversation with the music’s introspective queen, we explore her thoughts on moving beyond her detractors, mentoring rising stars like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo, and her ever-evolving musical path.

The Unexpected Waffle House Shift:

The interview starts with a lighthearted tale about Lana Del Rey’s shift at a Waffle House in Florence, Alabama. It’s a story that encapsulates the spontaneity and unpredictability that often characterizes her life. What began as a casual visit to the small town led to Lana temporarily becoming an honorary Waffle House employee, complete with the iconic blue uniform.

The ensuing video and photos sparked a viral sensation and left fans and media outlets speculating about her motives. Lana Del Rey, however, dismisses these theories, explaining that it was merely a way to pass the time and connect with the community, showcasing her genuine, down-to-earth nature.

This anecdote serves as a reminder that while Lana Del Rey may have a carefully cultivated image and mythology, her life is still subject to the whims of social media, the press, and her passionate fan base. Her authenticity and the way she embraces her true self shine through in this charming story.

She’s Straight-Forward Lana Del Rey:

Lana Del Rey’s journey through the music industry has been nothing short of remarkable. From her divisive debut album “Born to Die” to the critical acclaim of “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” in 2019, she has witnessed the evolution of both her artistry and her reception. The interview touches on the notion of Lana being a “lightning rod” for opinions throughout her career, highlighting the transformation in how she’s perceived.

The critical acclaim she received for “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” marked a turning point, where her deep and introspective lyrics, often referred to as “Great American Songwriting,” were celebrated. This recognition seemed to validate her unique style, characterized by a fusion of melancholia and nostalgia. Lana herself acknowledges that the world has caught up to her outlook, as her music explored dark themes about American life before they became a shared experience during times of political division and the pandemic.

Lana Del Rey for The Hollywood Reporter, shot by Chuck Grant – September 2023

One of the hallmarks of Lana Del Rey’s artistry is her deeply personal and introspective songwriting. While she has garnered a dedicated fanbase and admiration from fellow artists, Lana remains enigmatic when it comes to her lyrics. She reveals that she no longer submits her lyrics for interpretation, leaving them open to the listener’s imagination. This decision to keep her lyrics uncorrected and open to interpretation reflects her commitment to artistic integrity.

As Lana reflects on her career, she shares insights into how she has evolved as an artist and person. Her willingness to learn from the vehement criticism she faced early in her career reveals her growth as a songwriter and her ability to adapt to the ever-changing music landscape. Lana’s journey has taken her from being a controversial figure to a respected and revered artist whose influence extends to the newest generation of musicians.

Mentoring the Next Generation:

Lana Del Rey’s influence transcends her own music, as she has become a mentor to young artists like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo. Both Eilish and Rodrigo have credited Lana as an inspiration, highlighting her role in changing the landscape of music for women. Lana embraces this mentorship role, expressing admiration for the two artists and emphasizing the importance of kindness in the music industry.

She recalls how, throughout her career, singers, big and small, have reached out to her with admiration, making her feel like the older sister to many. Lana’s willingness to support and encourage the next generation of artists underscores her genuine passion for music and her desire to see fresh and adventurous voices in the industry.

Is This the End or Is There a Road Ahead?:

As the interview draws to a close, Lana Del Rey hints at future endeavors beyond music. While music remains a relentless muse for her, she expresses a desire to explore other fields, seeking grounding and order in her life. Her willingness to venture into uncharted territories reflects her commitment to growth and self-discovery.

In her characteristic candidness, Lana Del Rey discusses her love for old Hollywood, her admiration for Marilyn Monroe, and the potential demolition of Monroe’s iconic house on Helena Drive. She also reveals her interest in a cover album, a collection of cover songs she’s been curating for seven years. Her creative spirit, it seems, knows no bounds.

As Lana Del Rey embarks on her latest tour and continues to captivate audiences with her music, her story serves as a testament to the power of authenticity, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of artistic passion. In an ever-changing music landscape, Lana Del Rey stands as a beacon of artistic integrity and a guiding light for the next generation of artists. Whether it’s in a Waffle House uniform or on a grand stage, Lana Del Rey forgives us all and invites us to join her on a journey through the depths of human emotion and the beauty of storytelling.

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