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Grammy-Less and Resilient: A Look at Lana Del Rey’s Discography

The highly acclaimed artist, Lana Del Rey, has yet to become a Grammy Awarded artist. However, she continues to be an inspiration for many popular artists and producers.

Lana Del Rey in interview for BAZAAR Magazine. Her hair is pinned up and she is wearing a black long sleeve shirt. Background is monochromatic.
YouTube/BAZAAR

Lana Del Rey was nominated for five Grammys this year and has yet to win, adding to her list of 11 nominations and 0 wins. However, Lana’s impact is clear in awarded artists. Here is an overview of her discography.

The 66th Annual Grammy Awards have come and gone. Artists were awarded for their artistry and creativity… or were they? After 11 nominations throughout her career, Lana Del Rey retained her title of “Grammy Nominated Artist.” Lana Del Rey has racked up a list of nominations in the award’s prime categories. 

66th Annual Grammy Awards 

  • Album Of The Year –  Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd 
  • Song Of The Year – A&W
  • Best Alternative Music Album – Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd
  • Best Alternative Music Performance – A&W
  • Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – Candy Necklace (feat. Jon Batiste)

62nd Annual Grammy Awards

  • Album Of The Year – Norman F*****g Rockwell!
  • Song Of The Year – Norman f*****g Rockwell

60th Annual Grammy Awards

  • Best Pop Vocal Album – Lust for Life

56th Annual Grammy Awards 

  • Best Pop Vocal Album – Paradise
  • Best Song Written For Visual Media – Young and Beautiful 

Collaborations

Lana Del Rey was tied to The Weeknd’s Album Of The Year nomination for Beauty Behind The Madness for her featured track, “Prisoner”, during the 58th Grammy Awards. 

Del Rey has been inspiring big-name artists for over a decade with her retro-style vocals, from Taylor Swift to Billie Eilish and most of the music industry. In almost every popular record today Del Rey’s influence is present, seen either in the “nostalgia Americana” themes of her early work or in her new-age poetic lyricism. 

The multi-talented artist/producer Jack Antonoff won Non-Classical Producer Of The Year for the third time in a row at the Grammys. Antonoff has worked frequently alongside Del Rey in recording and producing. During his acceptance speech he shouted out to Del Rey, “Lana, I love you so much… Your brain takes it to the most amazing places and the work just means the most to me.” 

The global superstar Taylor Swift was heavily influenced by Del Rey’s soft poetic techniques and semi-haunting production throughout her 2020 album, Folklore. Swift took home her fourth Album Of The Year award for Midnights, calling out Del Rey by name in her acceptance speech, “I think so many female artists would not be where they are and would not have the inspiration they have if it weren’t for the work that [Lana has] done.” 

Swift featured Del Rey in her song, “Snow On The Beach”. The fans loved the duo so much they wanted to hear more of their harmonizing vocals. Soon after, Swift released an additional version appropriately titled “Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey) [feat. more Lana Del Rey].”

Lana Del Rey 2023 accepting Billboard's Women in Music Visionary award. Her hair is done up big and long, wearing a white dress.
Lana Del Rey accepting the 2023 Billboard’s Women in Music Visionary Award. YouTube/Billboard

Lana’s Influence

At the Billboard Women In Music 2023 awards, Del Rey was recognized and awarded with the Visionary Award. During her acceptance speech, the singer praised younger women artists Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish.

Rising to stardom in the music industry amidst Del Rey’s influence was Billie Eilish. In a recent “Most Requested Live” video interview, host Romeo mentioned Del Rey’s praise to Eilish herself, who responded by saying, “She created a whole new generation of people… My music would not be what it is without her. It [Ultraviolence] was incredibly life-changing for me.” Eilish was referencing Del Rey’s 2014 album, Ultraviolence. Del Rey’s influence flows throughout Eilish’s production, especially her first hit single, “Ocean Eyes”. Long, drawn-out, and breathy vocals resemble those in Del Rey’s album, Ultraviolence.  

In 2019, Eilish released her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?, going on to win Album Of The Year, beating out Del Rey’s Norman F*****g Rockwell! Lana Del Rey drew up the blueprints many lyrical pop artists attempt to reflect but merely resemble. The singer-songwriter became an internet sensation, specifically on Tumblr, with her songs “Summertime Sadness”, “Video Games”, and “Young and Beautiful.”  The Born to Die era brought the resurrection of the flower crown crowd.

Lana Del Rey in her 2012 Music Video for "Born to Die" close up with large blue and white flower crown
Lana Del Rey in the “Born To Die” music video wearing a flower crown, soon to become an iconic image for the singer. YouTube/LanaDelRey

Born to Die

Throughout her early years, she found inspiration in American motels, Coney Island, and the neon signs lining Los Angeles. Less than glamorous, the music’s production sold the rundown American scene with soft, simple, and cohesive beats.

The 2012 album Born to Die has been named one of the most influential albums of the 2010s, prompting motivation and encouraging innovation throughout the alternative and pop music scenes. Conjoining beats with string instrumentals left a lasting impression. While Del Rey’s work seems to continuously tightrope between pop and alternative, it is clear her influence has impacted each genre. 

Throughout her earliest mainstream moments, she is playful with production, creating an undertone of hopeful momentum with sorrowful and lonely lyrics. Her songs “Ride” and “Dark Paradise ” exemplify these traits. A handful of these songs have a child-like, playful tone, singing poetically vacant lines. While these may not have been her most flattering moments, they did have a ripple effect. Her deep vocals carve out a vast space throughout the listening experience. 

Ultraviolence

The 2014 album Ultraviolence gave Del Rey a more complex public identity, for better or for worse. The album got mixed reviews. However, the high risk came with high reward as it is still considered a fan favorite. The title sets up the album, as the listener is introduced to the destructive life of domestic violence and things that are always black and white. Del Rey paints a depressing and lonely life despite the various people in and around her life. 

Ultraviolence gave the audience a cinematic-like experience with deep focus. Del Rey’s voice in reverb is stretched wide, allowing her voice to act in place of instrumentals in many tracks. From start to finish, each song has dense shadows and highlights of either vocals or instrumentals. The most popular tracks from this record are “Brooklyn Baby” and “West Coast”. The songs show maturity in the Americana images the fans were first introduced to in 2012. “West Coast” uses repetition to set the ears into a hypnotic-like state before quickly pulling them back to the elements promised in the beginning.

Production compliments to the successful artists and frequent Del Rey collaborators, Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys) and Rick Nowels. 

Lana Del Rey in her music video for "West Coast" from 2014. Lana dances in fire, this is an overlay and edited.
Lana Del Rey in her 2014 “West Coast” music video. YouTube/LanaDelRey

2015-2018

Her Honeymoon album of 2015 was a beautifully tragic record full of strong and emotional vocals, ballads, and soft pop. 

Fast forward to 2017, Del Rey releases Lust for Life, romanticizing the deserts outside Los Angeles and collaborating with other artists throughout this project. The A-list consists of The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Stevie Nicks, and Sean Ono Lennon. 

It wouldn’t be a Lana Del Rey album without the explicit Americana icons. The song “Cherry” pays homage to Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces.” While the majority of the tracks are enjoyable on their own, the cohesiveness is simply not there. The front and back of the record have songs with melodic production worthy of tuning in frequently. 

Lust for Life introduced Del Rey to a wider range of listeners, broadening her world as an artist and entertainer. The LA To The Moon Tour starting in 2018 grossed more than $22.5 million, touring with, at the time, new Spanish-Latin artist Kali Uchis.

Norman F*****g Rockwell!

One of the most critically acclaimed records of 2019 was Del Rey’s fifth studio album Norman F*****g Rockwell!, which earned accolades from the likeness of Time Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine. Rolling Stone Magazine placed it at 321 on their “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.” 

This is her largest album. The songs complement each other while simultaneously having their own persona and identity to the artist. Each track has the foundation to exist alone, however they stand in solidarity. 

Del Rey grows into herself as there are no features on this 14-track album. The strong poetic lyricism throughout this record is complimented by equally strong multi-instrumental production. 

Experienced and highly awarded producer Jack Antonoff produced and co-wrote the songs of this album. Del Rey painted a picture of her thoughts, hopes, and longings through the lyrics, romanticizing the California coast in the most mature Lana Del Rey way. 

The artist brings inspiration from singer-songwriters Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, working through the changing of times, personally and politically, and nods to the rise of social media, climate change, newfound fame, and loss of that American Norman Rockwell image she sang about wanting years before. 

Close Up, Lana Del Rey has a small live butterfly on her nose, she is smiling and eyes closed.
Lana Del Rey in her “Norman f*****g Rockwell” music video. YouTube/LanaDelRey

Critics of Del Rey found it difficult to find flaws in this project as she stands on her own two feet. Yes, there are love songs, but she is no damsel in distress. She is through with one-sided relationships, as told through the title track and “How To Disappear”. In track two, “Marines Apartment Complex”, she wants to repaint the public’s image of her, as she is usually put up to be this depressed, soppy songwriter. “You took my sadness out of context / At the Mariners Apartment Complex / I ain’t no candle in the wind / I’m the board, the lightning, the thunder.” 

Chemtrails Over The Country Club

After an upset during the 62nd Grammy’s, Del Rey continued creating music. In 2021, Chemtrails Over The Country Club was released, bringing forth a new and softer sound than any previous record. The Lana Del Rey tide turned inward and self-reflection came to focus, as we continue to see in 2024.

Unlike NFR’s heavy production, this album has the piano production in the backseat while the driver is the artist’s poetic reflections of different scenes throughout her life. The opening track, “White Dress” exemplifies these qualities. The singing is not to strut her vocal capacity, but rather to use the delivery of each line to make up for the lack of instrumentals. 

Blue Banisters

Soon after, in 2022, the artist’s eighth studio album, Blue Banisters, was released. Following some of the same self-reflection elements from the previous album, this one simply lacks the momentum to continue listening. This record is beautiful, however, one might get heavy eyes while listening through. 

Lana Del Rey rollerskaing in vacant gas station lot, wearing a white short dress. Hair covering face as she twirls in her skates. her arm is up to the sky.
Lana Del Rey in roller skates for her “White Dress” music video. YouTube/LanaDelRey

Her Most Recent Work

Running into March 2023, Del Rey releases her longest and most personal album, Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd. The artist opens herself up and displays herself on a platter. This album is extremely intimate. It almost feels invasive.

Track one dives into herself, heaven, and family. It is titled “The Grants”, which is her family’s name (Lana Del Rey being the stage name for Elizabeth Grant). In the title track, she compares herself to the tunnel under Ocean Blvd located in Long Beach, CA. Del Rey comes back to her roots with a hopeful momentum in the production with sorrowful lyrics, “Mosaic ceilings, painted tiles on the wall / I can’t help but feel somewhat like my body marred my soul / Handmade beauty sealed up by two man-made walls.” 

This record is over an hour long. However, it is not bloated in the ways other albums tend to be. The artist combs over grief, the unbalanced life of newfound fame, family, and life as an “American whore”. The production is simplistically beautiful with organic instrumentals laced throughout it. 

The incredible tracks housed in the middle of the record are the most stripped-back the public has heard of the artist. Through an organic lifestyle emphasizing family, nature, and love, it seems that since 2019 she has stepped out of Americana iconography and has dived into traditional “American Values”.

The back half of the record is production-heavy. The track “Peppers (feat. Tommy Genesis)” is a rollback to her melodic vocal tune accompanied by fun production. The final track, “Taco Truck  x VB”, has meaningless and tacky lyrics of “that’s why they call me Lantina / when I get down I’m Bonita” that fade into a demo or deluxe version of NFR’s third track, “Venice Bitch.” The final track seems to be a reflection of her artistry over a decade’s worth of work and growth. 

Remaining Resilient

Overall, Lana Del Rey has had a comet-sized impact on the music industry, especially for women. Creative production utilizes her breathy vocals and line delivery to produce images for the audience and herself as an artist and person. The poetry is influenced by great songwriters of the past, with modernity laced throughout it. 

Lana Del Rey's music video for "Candy Necklace" takes place in Hollywood. Lana is pictured here with her Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Wearing a white dress and white headband.
Lana Del Rey in her “Candy Necklace” music video. YouTube/LanaDelRey

The Recording Academy may have robbed Lana Del Rey more than once but she stays resilient. Del Rey announced a new record, Lasso, a country album that is expected to be released in September of this year. 

Written By

Payton is a senior at the University of Illinois Chicago studying English in Professional Writing and Literature. She has always enjoyed all genres of music and writing about an artists concept, influence, objective.

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