Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games' lands a prime spot on CW's 'Ringer' — Is she officially mainstream now?


You probably already have an opinion about singer Lana Del Rey, and if you haven’t already heard of her, you’re about to.

The 24-year-old singer, who’s gained a serious following — both fans and detractors — has been on the cusp of a breakout since her single ‘Video Games’ debuted on YouTube in August (when EW recommended her as both “gorgeously habit-forming” and a “languid, swaying femme fatale”).

Now, thanks to some spot-on song placement during a pivotal scene in last night’s episode of the Sarah Michelle Gellar CW series Ringer, she may have finally gotten her mainstream welcome.

Whether that welcome is embraced by the music community that first discovered her remains to be seen, but before we get into that, let’s take a look back to see how she went from posting songs on YouTube to becoming the talk of the blog world and getting played on a major network show in under six weeks.

Lana (real name: Lizzy Grant) grew up in Lake Placid, New York, where, according to an interview with NME, she took on a slew of odd jobs that she found on Craigslist to support her music career. In 2010, she linked up with music producer David Kahne (Tony Bennett, the Strokes, Paul McCartney), and the two worked together to put out an album, which was released on iTunes, only to be pulled shortly after.

The following year, with new management, a name and look, she released her first single ‘Video Games,” and a week later, posted a video for the single on Youtube that quickly went viral. Watch it below:

By September, the Village Voice was asking if she was the Kreayshawn of indie music. Then, last week, New York magazine featured her in Vulture as the new singer that bloggers love to hate. Which brings us to last night, when Video Games debuted on Ringer.

Some who have followed her career from the start might take issue with the fact that she’s landed on the CW’s radar, but personally I see it as an achievement. Sure, it’s “mainstream,” but if you take away the negative connotation, all that really means is that more people will be listening to her music — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Also, while being an indie darling may have had its perks, I’m guessing it didn’t pay the bills. So, here’s to Lana’s first “mainstream” break. Hopefully this means a whole new audience will discover her and chime in on the debate that’s been raging as of late.

Speaking of, have it at it in the comments and let us know your take on Lana’s latest career move. Do you see this as a positive step? Or does it all go down from here?

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Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • Fatima

    What an excellent song choice on behalf of the Ringer music supervisors. Because nothing screams “rekindled love between rich social climbers” better than a song about how much you love wasting time with a significant other. Siobhan and Andrew sure seem like the type that met while playing darts and who built a romance on quiet, stupid moments together.

    • Fatima

      As for the Lana Del Rey “mainstream exposure” debate…it was pretty clear to anyone who had heard her before the boom that her stardom was going to come sooner than later. She’s great music, but it’s also not tooooooo far out there and she’s unbelievably gorgeous, so it felt a little inevitable.

  • Dean

    I’d never heard of her or the song but I like it quite a lot. Haunting, pretty and evocative. Good video, too. I’m going to check out more right now.

  • Phil

    Her “Video Games” EP hits iTunes on Oct. 16th, and since Ringer is yes, on the CW, its a weekly drama, but one thats still looking for an audience…so I’d say she has a break here, but by no means in mainstream yet.

  • Flip

    I liked the song under that scene in Ringer—not sure I like it outside of that context.

  • tc

    She has a true vibe, all her own, and a striking originality. The music is tempting and cautiously real. A shadow of Amy Winehouse… which is a good shadow to have.

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  • Annette

    Can someone say obsessed! EW you Lana Del Rey lover stop making me read your articles your a drug!

  • SLB

    I didn’t know who the h*ll she was so i fast forwarded it. Glad i did now.

  • Vanessa

    She looks like a heroin addict.

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