Lana Del Rey Gives Emotional Speech While Accepting Variety Hitmakers’ Decade Award: ‘I’m Grateful for All the Criticism — I Get a Lot’

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  • Lana Del Rey
    Lana Del Rey
    American singer-songwriter

Lana Del Rey was presented with the Decade Award during the Dec. 4 Variety Hitmakers brunch held in Los Angeles. After being presented the award by her “Wildflower Wildfire” collaborator Mike Dean, she thanked many of the people who helped her on her journey.

“My managers helped me up the stairs,” she said. “I still haven’t mastered the art of walking in heels. I’m super grateful for them, Ben [Mawson] and Ed [Millett], and for this award. I’m really glad that they’re here with me. They picked me out of the bar scenes, lounge singer scenes that I was singing in for about eight years before I met them. They got me out of a deal I made for 11 records for nine grand while I was working at a restaurant and living in a trailer park. Ben did that in one hour and then the next day he flew me to London and let me live with him. In a year, I wrote ‘Video Games,’ and I was ready to make good records, I was ready to make a lot of records.”

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“Thank you, Variety,” the singer continued. “I’m really always grateful for any acknowledgement and also super grateful for all the criticism — I get a lot. What’s good about it is I really believe what’s reflected back to you is in some way a mirror to what’s going on in your inner life. It’s given me a huge opportunity to look inward and to look at my family of origin and look at my lineage, see what’s going on up there.”

“I want to take a minute and think about my grandma, who fell ill two days ago,” she continued. “Any of the lightness and funniness and goodness in me I pretty much specifically got from her, so I’m really hoping she takes a turn for the better back in the North Country before I get there. I’ve been very lucky to follow my muse for the last 18 years, since I was 18. Sometimes that has taken me super far away from music into other mediums and other job opportunities that have nothing to do with the arts at all. I’m very flexible and what I’ve come to understand is that if you follow what you’re interested in, you’ll end up being the most creative in that field. Even if you get a 9-5 after you got the decade award, you need to do what feels right. I always like to say that the way I live my life is my poetry, my lovemaking is my legacy, and I get to make music in between.”

Del Rey was honored with Variety’s Decade Award at this year’s Hitmakers event. In an interview with Variety for the annual issue celebrating music’s biggest stars, Del Rey reflected on her career from “Video Games” to “Blue Banisters.” “I can’t say to what extent I’ve influenced anything,” Del Rey said. “But I can say all of my creative cosplay — aka notes from my real life — did widen up the sound in popular music for people to make a departure from a pure pop sound to something more diarist.”

Watch the full speech below:

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