Lana Del Rey faces backlash over album cover reveal, clarifies comments on Donald Trump

Jenna Ryu and Charles Trepany, USA TODAY
·7 min read

Lana Del Rey is facing backlash after revealing the art for her new album.

On Sunday, the "Summertime Sadness" singer took to Instagram to share the cover for her highly-anticipated album "Chemicals Over the Country Club." The post featured a black-and-white photo of a group of women seated at a table.

"There’s always turmoil and upheaval and in the midst of it- there’s always beautiful music too," she captioned the post. "Introducing my new album chemtrails over the country club."

Del Rey then added a comment to further explain the group of women in the photo.

"These are my best friends," she wrote. "As it happens when it comes to my amazing friends and this cover yes there are people of color on this records (sic) picture and that's all I'll say about that but thank you."

Del Rey wrote about her friends calling them "a beautiful mix of everything" and noted that she has "always been extremely inclusive without even trying to."

She continued: "My best friends are rappers my boyfriends have been rappers. My dearest friends have been from all over the place, so before you make comments again about a WOC/POC issue... , I'm not the one storming the capital, I'm literally changing the world by putting my life and thoughts and love out there on the table 24 seven. Respect it."

Though many fans were excited about her new music, some expressed disappointment with some of her comments.

User @a_leesha1 called it "the worst comment I have ever seen from a celebrity."

"Lana Del Rey, in response to people criticising the lack of diversity on her album cover, substituted PoC for 'I have had rapper boyfriends and rapper friends' and ended it w how she’s changing the world?"

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"The rapper comment was racist and ppl can't just forget about it. I mean how else were we supposed to interpret that," user @honeyvain1 wrote.

One user, @LilithWolf, called the singer's remark "a dumb thing to say," while others urged her to delete the comment altogether.

One user even criticized Del Rey's labeling of the group, pointing out the lack of inclusivity.

"first of all - none of these women are darkskin, plus size, trans????" user @katheter_beer wrote.

However, other fans defended her, pointing out that she may have had good intentions despite poor phrasing.

"I’m sure that she wasn’t expecting backlash over the album cover and the comment she made was done hastily and without much thought. There’s a better way she could’ve worded it, but you can not blame her for feeling the need to defend herself quick," user @cinnamonnboii explained.

Another fan @discomerboy noted that "her intention was not to place black people in a box," and urged others to stop vilifying her, adding that "she can be dumb but not evil."

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In the midst of backlash over her album cover, Del Rey took to social media Tuesday to clarify comments she made about President Donald Trump and the recent riot at the United States Capitol.

During a BBC interview with Annie Mac on Monday, Del Rey described what she sees as "the madness of Trump" and the "disassociated rage" of the rioters.

"We really needed a reflection of our world’s greatest problem, which is not climate change," Del Rey said. "It's the problem of sociopathy and narcissism, especially in America. It’s going to kill the world. It’s not capitalism. It’s narcissism."

The singer also said that Trump "doesn’t know that he’s inciting a riot" and that the rioters "want to (wild) out somewhere."

"It's like, we don't know how to find a way to be wild in our world," she added. "And at the same time, the world is so wild."

Complex ran an article about the BBC interview with the headline "Lana Del Rey Doesn’t Believe Donald Trump Purposely Incited Capitol Riot." The singer responded to the article on Twitter, calling it "(expletive) up," and accused the outlet of "inferring that I thought it was right to storm the capital." In an Instagram video, Del Rey further explained her comments.

"I said, 'When someone is so deeply deficient in empathy, they might not know that they're the bad guy,' " she said. "That may be a controversial opinion, but don't make the controversy that I don't think he meant to incite a riot."

She continued: "The general point is the wider-ranging issue of sociopathy and narcissism that's being reflected in our government right back to us."

This isn't the first time that Del Rey has faced backlash for her comments. In May 2020, she was criticized after pointing out what she perceived to be a double standard in the music industry, name-dropping a few fellow artists. However, many pointed out that Del Rey appeared to be singling out women of color.

"Now that Doja Cat, Ariana (Grande), Camila (Cabello), Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, (expletive), cheating, etc. — can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money — or whatever I want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse?" wrote Del Rey.

In a six-minute response to the controversy, she again took to Instagram to address her critics.

"I’m sorry that I didn’t add one 100% Caucasian person into the mix of the women that I admire, but it really says more about you than it does about me. And I think that what’s interesting is, the very first time I decided to tell you anything about my life, or the fact that I’m writing books that chronicle that fragility, that 200,000 hateful, spiteful comments come in."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lana Del Rey criticized for album art receal, clarifies Trump comments