This is an interesting spin on pop music success. Katy Perry started her musical career as Katy Hudson, a gospel singer. She then underwent a pivot, changing her persona and her fortune.
Basically, Lana Del Rey followed a similar path to Katy’s but with differing results (for now anyways). The trailer park-living Lana is actually Lizzy Grant who has significant backing for her talents. Her past and musical start didn’t begin with YouTube but as a member of Interscope Records. After this was revealed, there was backlash against Lana though her Born to Die album is melancholically good.
I’m not sure why Katy’s change didn’t derail her popularity. Maybe it’s Katy’s can’t-be-taken-seriously image she portrays that is the big difference, personified with songs like California Gurls and Last Friday Night. For the seriousness and weight of Lana’s genre, a transgression in her storied past cuts deeper since it questions her pain and angst captured in her music.
Listen to Lana’s music, and you decide for yourself.