The blogosphere may have well and truly turned on former indie-darling Lana Del Rey, but the 25-year-old singer who’s been thrust violently onto the world stage may have the last laugh after all.
Her debut album went on sale this week and has already gone number 1 in over 11 countries on iTunes where it has just been released. Del Rey made the announcement herself, communicating with fans on her Twitter account writing:
Thank you for making the record #1 in 11 countries. Your sweet words have softened the effect of even the harshest reviews. I adore you
— Lana Del Rey (@LanaDelRey) January 31, 2012
Del Rey has recently been fighting back criticism on two fronts. First there were questions about the authenticity of her origin story, and more recently she’s been panned for her performance on Saturday Night Live.
Regardless the young singer continues to press on at the same time defending herself again her critics. Speaking to Rolling Stone in New York, she had a different take on her performance saying “I actually felt good about it. I thought I looked beautiful and sang fine.”
Del Rey has been defended by some in the industry who are quick to point out that performing well on television is no mean feat. Del Rey agrees, saying that “It felt OK. The cast and crew said they loved it. I know some people didn’t like it, but that’s just the way I perform, and my fans know that.”
The Washington Post writer Chris Richards blames the public for thrusting Del Rey onto the stage too quickly before she had properly cut her teeth. “When our thirst for next big things becomes so unquenchable that it prematurely pushes new artists onto national television, we have only ourselves to blame when they whiff,” he wrote after watching her performance.
“These increasingly violent micro-cycles of hype and backlash are bad for young artists and exhausting for the rest of us.” Daniel Radcliffe, who hosted the Saturday Night Live show Del Rey performed on has also jumped to her defence saying “It was unfortunate that people seemed to turn on her so quickly.”
“I also think people are making it about things other than the performance,” he continued. “If you read what people are saying about her online, it’s all about her past and her family and stuff that’s nobody else’s business. I don’t think [the performance] warranted anywhere near that reaction.”
But Del Rey is realistic responding to criticism that her stage presence was extremely wooden. She also admits to Rolling Stone that she is far from comfortable on stage. “I’m nervous,” she says. “I’m not a natural performer or exhibitionist. When I was younger, I hated the focus, and it made me feel strange.”
“There’s backlash about everything I do. It’s nothing new. When I walk outside, people have something to say about it. It wouldn’t have mattered if I was absolutely excellent. People don’t have anything nice to say about this project.”