The Envy Index: 25 Under 25 

Page 18 of 20

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23. The Chanteuse: Lana Del Rey


25, New York

Yes, it’s true. We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years lamenting the idea that it’s not only possible but common, even in the once harder-to-please indie world, to achieve relatively large-scale success without ever having done much of anything. Lana Del Rey, a 25-year-old New York native who famously released a failed album under her given name, Lizzy Grant, is the most recent to pull off such a feat. She’s been made over with an image that incorporates all sorts of hipster signifiers, from the ever-present Instagram aesthetic to the vaguely 60s-ish dresses juxtaposed with hints of hip-hop slang—she was once referred to as the “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra.” With her movie-star looks and her general willingness to be photographed, it’s not exactly surprising that the internet has had a field-day with her, even though she’s technically only released two songs. She’s reignited all those old conversations about authenticity and the hype machine and what it means to be a pop-star in the 21st century, and, well, there’s a chance we’d be annoyed by it if she didn’t seem so personally invested in the whole thing, and especially in the songs themselves. She’s forcing us to ask a lot of important questions—and it won’t be her fault if we don’t like the answers. (Photo by Nicole Nodland )


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