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Lana Del Rey got her start at 18, when she was still known as Lizzy Grant and moved from Lake Placid to New York City to write songs and perform in clubs. In 2008, under her given name, she produced and released the EP Kill Kill independently. In 2010, her first album — the doubly eponymous Lana Del Ray [sic] a.k.a. Lizzy Grant — came out and was quickly pulled from circulation, though it'll be reissued this summer.
Late last year, Del Rey's breakthrough song "Video Games" became a YouTube sensation, and her major-label debut, Born to Die, came out in January, as she was making high-profile appearances on Saturday Night Live, Late Show With David Letterman and the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
A summer tour is sure to attract strong opinions; Del Rey's persona and performances have been lightning rods for criticism since before most people knew who she was. But in the meantime, on this episode of World Cafe, she talks to host David Dye about her SNL appearance and plays songs from Born to Die live in the studio.
This segment originally aired on June 1, 2012.
By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.