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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Lana Del Rey recently played at the 2024 Coachella Music Festival on April 12th and 19th, where she debuted a familiar auburn hairstyle reminiscent of her “Born to Die” look. She made her entrance by riding in on the back of a man’s motorcycle, recreating the scene from the Americana-inspired “Ride” music video from the era (“Born to Die” is Del Rey’s first officially released album in 2011.) These callbacks urge some reflection on how far the renowned artist has come from her humble beginnings. 

Along for the Ride

Back in the “Ride” music video, Del Rey describes how her dreams of being a poet burst into a million stars in the night sky; “Sparkling and broken.” It is nice to see that her dreams of being a poet have come true since millions of listeners connected with her lyrical genius and many were able to see her perform at the renowned music festival. She brought out famous artists like Billie Eilish and Camila Cabello to do collaborative performances with, showcasing her mature, reflective style.

The artist is getting positive recognition for her work, though Del Rey has received large amounts of criticism over the years, starting with her infamous SNL performance of “Blue Jeans.” A fan explains that 12 years ago, “Lana Del Rey rubbed many people the wrong way. Her persona was too cultivated.” 

The media ridiculed her old Hollywood twang and old money aesthetic as described by Billboard; “Born to Die was widely trashed by music critics, with many taking aim at the perceived inauthenticity of her glamorized Americana aesthetic or disparaging her for glorifying violence and objectification.” Del Rey explains that nevertheless she persisted and created more music, poetry, and albums.

Rise to Fame

This is astonishing to think about since all of the things she was hated for then are what audiences admire most about her now. In 2024, her audience feels as if she is not appreciated enough — fans are disappointed every year that she has not received a single Grammy for her work. Her reach is becoming wider and wider, shown by how she is headlining one of the biggest music festivals in the United States.

Her Coachella performances were chock full of her greatest hits, showcasing her different eras or albums, like “Lust for Life,” and “Chemtrails over the Country Club.” One of my favorite performances was her live version of “Young and beautiful.” She sang, “will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?” softly and without the pain of her younger years. 

“Born to Die” was based around the artist’s struggle with the existential idea that everyone around her would eventually die. Now, she sings with love for her fans who have stuck by her throughout the years. She has reclaimed these songs as the anthems that many audiences have connected with.

Lana Headlines Coachella

The cool thing about this generation is that we see artists gain successive popularity throughout the years and break through stigma and rejection. When you learn about fine arts, you see artists that are appreciated after their time, but now, there is a skyrocketing embrace of uniqueness and what is camp. “Camp” or the “eccentric, ridiculous, unexpected, striking, out-of-the-ordinary” allows artists to understand and connect with art on a deeper level. 

Lana Del Rey is more than a caricature of the Old Hollywood aesthetic; she is a symbol of artistic womanhood, feeling out of place, and finding inspiration in what ails you. Transparent vulnerability and glamor are what Lana stands for, and what audiences expect from an “A” tier performance at Coachella. This is why across media platforms, Lana has been applauded for her beautiful performances and has been the highlight of the 2024 Music Festival.

Hello! My name is Ella Bailey and I am a Freshman at UCSB. My pronouns are she/her. I am an English major with an interest in the Arts and Culture. I love painting, visiting museums and coffee shops, and discussing music with my friends. This is my first year as a Her Campus editorial intern, and I am so excited to learn from and be surrounded by other writers and creatives!