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(Credit: Instagram/@lanadelrey)

Music

Lana Del Rey’s six favourite singers of all time

@notmyyaztattoo

Lana Del Rey is someone that plenty of people would consider to be a modern legend. She’s put out so many incredible songs and worked with so many icons, it’s clear that her presence will be forever solidified in the cultural consciousness. 

In addition to being a legend herself, Del Rey has also made a habit of alluding to other artists that she respects and admires in her own work frequently. Whether mentioning them by name, covering their music, or even hiding little Easter eggs all around for true fans to find and pick up on, there’s always a sense of history lingering around.

Specifically, as a singer, there are plenty of vocalists that she admires and looks up to, and while some of them are contemporaries, others are historical figures that she holds in high esteem. With a timeless sound and sultry cool dripping from every note she’s ever sung, Del Rey pays tribute to the foundational stones of her unique view on pop.

Below, we’ve got six of the singer’s favourite vocalists of all time.

Lana Del Rey’s favourite singers:

Leonard Cohen

It’s clear that Lana Del Rey has an affinity for Leonard Cohen. When he passed away in 2016, she paid tribute to him by covering one of his songs, ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’, and wrote a heartfelt caption about how deeply he impacted her.

She said, “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t kind of break my heart that I never got to tell you how much you changed me. Not that it would’ve mattered to ya, it’s just that other than Bob and Joan you were the only person I ever really felt spoke my language. I love you as a real fan and I always looked for a little bit of you in all of my future friends. God bless.”

Amy Winehouse

It makes so much sense that Del Rey would have an affinity for the incredible songstress. Her music was artful and amazing, let alone the fact that Lana Del Rey holds an admitted fascination with those who die tragically and young.

Del Rey even considered quitting music altogether after Winehouse passed away, such was the mammoth impact of her life and death. The ‘Video Games’ singer actually got her first review the day Winehouse died, and it upset her enough to reconsider. Luckily, though, she kept pushing on.

Father John Misty

If you were looking for a male equivalent of Lana Del Rey then you’d do well to listen to Father John Misty. The smoking gun of FJM’s impeccable delivery is a deeply affected and cultured sound. It’s something that can be easily transposed into Lana Del Rey’s musical stylings. The pair have collaborated, and she’s even covered his music on more than one occasion.

One beauty of this exchange is that it seems to be reciprocal. He appeared in one of her music videos, after which, he said, “It was a dream, I’d do anything she told me to. That’s what I enjoyed about the video, just being her puppet. I like being told what to do by a woman in that position.

Kurt Cobain

Lana Del Rey actually got in a little bit of hot water a while back over some comments she made romanticising the Nirvana singer’s early death. She even had a bit of a heated exchange with Frances Bean Cobain regarding the interview in which she claimed she “wished she was dead already.” 

However, Del Rey has made it clear that she loves Cobain for his talent, not for his tragedies. She said, “When I was 11, I saw Kurt Cobain singing ‘Heart Shaped Box’ on MTV, and it really stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought he was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Even at a young age, I really related to his sadness. I never revisited his music again until I was about 17 or 18, and then when I did, it still meant just as much to me then. It’s continued to be my primary inspiration – in terms of not wanting to compromise lyrically or sonically.”

Joni Mitchell

Lana Del Rey has long since been inspired by the classics, so why would Joni be any different? The singer has referenced Mitchell in her own music in addition to stating her personal affection for the legendary folk singer’s canon of work. She’s even covered Mitchell on one of her albums, which is a considerable feat, considering she doesn’t usually release covers on her albums.

Of covering ‘For Free’, she said, “The way things started off for me in the way I was portrayed was that I was feigning emotional sensitivity. I really didn’t like that. Because I didn’t even get famous ’til I was, like, 27 and until then, I sang for less than free. And I loved it. I really was that girl who was pure of soul. I didn’t give a fuck.”

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley is about as legendary as it gets no matter who you talk to. And Lana Del Rey echoes the sentiment every time she mentions him in her lyrics or makes a visual nod to him.

She even wrote a song about him, simply titled ‘Elvis’, to show her love for the singer. She’s even mentioned before that she feels like she’s friends with him, stating, “knew then, really, that my closest friends would be people I have never really met before. I was different and I didn’t know many people who felt about mortality how I did. As a result, I do feel a personal connection with the icons: John Wayne, Elvis.”