Ten years today, Lana Del Rey released an album that would change the DNA of an entire generation, and turn us all into flower crown-wearing sad girls. Born To Die, one of the most triumphant and heartbreaking trackless in history, placed Lana on a throne on which she still reigns today. Deliciously dark and poetic, her music has carried a population through heartbreak — with many of her tunes still flooding our headphones today. As a means of celebration, we have collated some of our favourite moments of the artist’s history. Scroll below for our Born To Die era breakdown, but please bear in mind, what you’re about to see may uncover some very cringe-worthy memories…
7 WONDERS: LANA DEL REY
Sad girl winter and the flower crown pandemic: Here are our favourite memories since the album’s release.
The flower crown pandemic
The only place to start our Born To Die breakdown is with the music video itself, which not only catapulted Lana Del Rey into iconic status overnight, but also sparked a fashion trend that defined the year of 2012. Flower crowns quickly became the ultimate hair accessory, and Lana Del Rey reined supreme. The trend spread thick and fast, with places like Claire’s and New Look stocking up on flower headbands of all colours and sizes. Looking back at photos from our pre-teen birthday parties, you would have thought they were Day of the Dead themed. Though they posed a hazard risk upon removal – where you could expect to lose a significant chunk of hair – they really were a piece of history in their own right. And with the recent resurgence of rhinestone makeup and glitter spray, we are counting down the days until the flower crowns creep back onto our heads. Alexa, play Born To Die again.
Is your ticket into a Lana Del Rey concert a flower crown? Like shit.
— Cubby O’Brien (@SalmonKnife) May 15, 2014
The Tumblr takeover
Before there was Instagram or TikTok, millennials got their kicks from posting sepia-filtered photos on Tumblr. Though usually filled with pictures of plants, emotional quotes and bruised legs in bathtubs, it was Lana Del Rey who turned Tumblr into the pastime we lovingly remember. From the iconic shot of a bee crawling across her lips, to still images scribed with her dark lyrics, Lana Del Rey transformed her generation into deep, emotional soul-searchers. And no, we haven’t been okay ever since.
listening to too much lana del rey…i can feel my tumblr era coming back pic.twitter.com/iwOsCRRXoM
— ♎︎ (@venuslocket) January 27, 2022
Yes Queen, give us nothing
i want a lana del rey documentary so badly, she’s actually one of the fewest celebrities that has an interesting life pic.twitter.com/2Lr9LeoSXr
— ً (@bingeonvogue) October 14, 2020
One of the many reasons Lana Del Rey managed to garner such a devoted fanbase was because there was absolutely no artist like her. Her soundscape was unique and individual, and her personal life and background remained mysterious and impenetrable — so much so, that the world was desperate to know all about her. In 2013, the first ever documentary of the artist was released: Lana Del Rey: The Greatest Story Never Told. Rather fittingly, and in true Lana Del Rey fashion, the documentary did not divulge any personal stories or unknown details. Nine years later, people are still very, very mad about it, as the petition for her own biopic continues. Where do we sign?
That time she owned Twitter
Sorry, we can’t come to the phone right now, we’re reading Lana Del Rey’s old tweets.
The invention of sad girl winter
If there is one mood we have kept firmly through the recent winter months, it’s our sad girl winter vibes. For this, we have Lana Del Rey to thank, whose craft for combining her haunting vocals with devastatingly relatable lyrics plummet her listeners straight into their feels. One night of crying into a pillow with “Sad Girl” on full blast proves more effective than any therapy session out there. Thanks to Lana, it is the tenth birthday of our sad girl personality traits.
Before there was sad girl winter, however, there was “Summertime Sadness”. Released in 2013, the track was a momentous display of Lana’s coveted style. As it blasted through every radio station, and was covered by the likes of Miley Cyrus, the single had us mourning the ex’s we hadn’t even met yet. With her latest track “Watercolour Eyes” premiering during a recent episode of Euphoria, audiences have submerged themselves back into the Lana effect, with the almost decade old track climbing the top 100 once again.
An icon within her own right, we can’t think of any collaboration too out of reach for the timeless artist. Yet one partnership we never saw coming, was Lana Del Rey with the US army. Taking to twitter in hopes to recruit aspiring young soldiers, the official US Army account quoted Lana Del Rey, “Being brave means knowing that when you fail, you don’t fail forever.” With the tweet coming just days before the albums tenth anniversary, it would appear Lana Del Rey’s impact has penetrated more fields than we thought. We can’t wait to see where she goes next.