Sometimes we can discern the ethnicity or nationality of some people just by looking at their names.
For instance, Olivia Rodrigo’s surname hints at her Asian-Pacific Islander heritage while it may also be strange to assume that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Latino name.
With that said, many believe that Lana Del Rey may have Hispanic roots, as her name in Spanish literally means “King’s wool” in English.
But what if I told her that Lana Del Rey isn’t her real name? In fact, the Video Games singer was actually born as Elizabeth Woolridge Grant – which, to be honest, doesn’t sound Hispanic at all, right?
To make things even more interesting, she’s been known to dabble in multiple cultures such as Native American and Latino culture.
All too often, we’ve heard people accuse her of cultural appropriation, and that her brand’s inauthenticity in terms of cultural representation makes her a ‘problematic white woman’.
So, if you’re wondering what exactly is Lana Del Rey’s ethnicity, we’ve got your back. We’ve studied her family ancestry and we’re here to give you all the answers you need.
Lana Del Rey’s Ethnic Heritage
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (A.K.A. Lana Del Rey) was born to parents Patricia and Robert Grant. They both have Scottish origins, making Lana a Scottish descent. Apart from that, it is also reported that Lana has the following ethnicities:
With that said, Lana’s ethnicity mostly comprises of celtic heritage. The artist seems to be proud of her ethnic roots as she has opened up about planning to visit her relatives in Lanarkshire. On top of that, she also replied this when asked which place she calls her ‘permanent home’:
“I don’t have one… but when I have any time I go to Glasgow, that’s where I’m happiest.”
It’s heartwarming to see how Lana embraces her Scottish roots. Some celebrities tend to be very indifferent when it comes to their ethnic heritage – especially those who have spent most of their lives in America, just like Lana has. In fact, her maternal grandmother and father were born in New York.
Is Lana Del Rey American?
As mentioned earlier, Lana Del Rey was born and raised in New York City along with her younger siblings. With that said, her nationality is American. The same can also be said with both of her parents.
Lana’s American pride has been pretty obvious throughout her career. She once wrote a song titled ‘American’ and even showed off the country’s national flag in one of her music videos.
However, she has also done her part in helping to preserve the Native American heritage. She recently pledged half of the sales she makes off of her poetry books to Native American charities.
In 2020, she revealed that she will be donating $350,000 from her book sales to the Dig Deep Water organization – a charity organization dedicated to providing Navajo communities with clean and drinkable water.
Why Did She Name Herself Lana Del Rey?
Now, here comes the million dollar question: what’s the story behind Lana Del Rey’s name? Is there a deeper meaning behind it or is it just another case of cultural appropriation?
According to Lana in an interview with Vogue, the reason for the name change is this:
“I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba – Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.”
So, there you have it. As we learned in today’s article, looks aren’t the only ones that can be deceiving, but also names. Lana Del Rey is a Hispanic-sounding moniker, but that’s just it – at the end of the day, Elizabeth Woolridge Grant will always be of Scottish descent.