Since the release of her second studio album, Born to Die (2012), Lana Del Rey has been a unique and enthralling artist booming from the headphones of listeners all over the world. She signed her first record deal in 2007, but it was "Video Games" that captivated the masses in 2011. The haunting track quickly set the precedent for further Del Rey music to come.
Her voice has received colorful descriptions like dreamy, smoky, sultry, gravelly, and reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe, while her music has been placed in varying genres like dream, indie, baroque or trip hop and sadcore. So many labels, so many names, why not just keep it real? Del Rey doesn't fit a certain mold.
It's nearly impossible to confine her to a particular genre or compare her to another artist. Though, she has a multitude of notable artists she admires, like Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday — the last two are tattooed on her chest. She's also referred to herself as a "gangsta Nancy Sinatra."
Perhaps it's her lyrics that make it so difficult to describe her. Despite the rather depressing themes, often offset by alluring vocals, the singer-songwriter has an unforgettable repertoire. Her passion-laden songs are comprised of stories about longing and heartbreak. From "Cola" to "Young & Beautiful," expect odd analogies, and raw and riveting lyrics. Ahead, we've picked the best of the bunch, including a classic (by Nina Simone) that she covered flawlessly. Consider it our way of saying, "Happy Birthday Lana Del Rey...you fiercely eccentric goddess!" Now, let the countdown to her new album begin.