Lana Del Rey makes chart history with debut album Born to Die 12 years after release

A still from Lana Del Rey's Born To Die music video.

Legendary singer-songwriter and “West Coast” star Lana Del Rey has made US chart history with her debut album Born to Die, a staggering 12 years after its release. 

2012’s Born to Die, the now critically-acclaimed and era-defining debut album by the singer, has spent an entire decade inside the US Billboard 200 chart.

According to music news site Chart Data, it’s the first ever major label debut by a female artist to spend an entire ten years in the US charts.

Upon its release almost 12 years ago to date, on 27 January 2012, Born to Die managed to reach number two in the US and hit number one in countries including the UK, Ireland, Norway, Australia, Germany and France.

It spawned hits including the wistful “Video Games” and melancholic “Born to Die”, as well as “Summertime Sadness” – which became a summertime smash in 2013 after it was remixed by DJ Cedric Gervais.

However, at the time of its release, the record received largely mixed reviews and was shunned by all major music awards. Yet it has been retrospectively re-reviewed by a number of publications, namely Pitchfork, which upped its score from 5.5 to 7.8 out of ten.

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Lana Del Rey has gone on to release seven full-length LPs since Born to Die, including 2023’s Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which is nominated for five awards at the 2024 Grammys.

The 38-year-old singer is largely recognised for paving the way for a generation of indie pop singers to dominate the charts, with artists including Billie Eilish, Halsey, Lorde, Taylor Swift, and Olivia Rodrigo having cited her as an influence.

Fans of the esteemed songstress have responded to Born to Die making chart history by reminiscing about its long-term impact on the music industry.

“10s where 10s are due, Lana MOTHERED with this,” wrote queer music producer MNEK on social media, with one fan replying: “The blueprint that everyone is still following.”

“This was for the sad hotties and the sad hotties only. Some of us got on meds and stopped being sad, but never forgot our roots,” another joked.

“Vindication for those of us that were there at the beginning and persevered through the criticism and backlash,” a third wrote, as a fourth added: “Most influential indie album of last decade and I’m being serious.”

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