Joanna Dunk, 37, is a creative consultant from East London and writes, "So many people I know were utterly seduced by Video Games, the first single from Lana Del Rey, when it first came to their attention.
The mystical, doom luxe production, the longing in her vocals, the simple yet infectious chorus. And the slight air of mystery around this David Lynch-esque, Hollywood looking lippy beauty who sang like Chris Isaak with a suicidal leaning.
Many of the same people are now up in arms as questions are raised about the authenticity of her appearance, her back story, and her abilities. But aren't all pieces of entertainment some kind of fantasy? Lady Gaga, for example, you don't see people outraged with her because they discovered that when she claimed the horns on her head were real they were in fact prosthetic. The Only Way Is Essex - ostensibly a "reality" show, as scripted, edited and airbrushed as any Beverley Hills teen drama. Journalists work with facts but inevitably have their own take on events. Even documentaries are edited to fit a vision, and in most cases that can't help but present only one version of a story.
Why then is Lana Del Rey so controversial? Possibly because the people that believed in the official story consider themselves to be too hip to be duped and are now angry about it? That's one of my theories. The other is that she is just too damn pretty and when we thought she was poor and had scraped and scrabbled her way into our collective consciousness, we could live with that. But now we hear rumours that the background story might have been part of Lizzy Grant's reinvention, we hate her for being beautiful AND privileged.
I ask this question. Do you like her music? Did you like it before you knew anything about her? If the answer is yes, then she is entertaining you. Are you drawn in to this mystery and uncertainty surrounding her? Yes? Then she is entertaining you. Chill out and enjoy her. Does any artist, in any discipline, need to be required to be candid about their own lives in order to entertain us? Of course not.
I don't think most people who are offended by Lana Del Rey would see Banksy as trying to get one over on them simply because he remains a mystery. Nor would they call out Gilbert and George for their fantasised, bizarre way of living out their relationship and feeding only details that they are happy with to the public domain.
"Reality culture seems to have conditioned us to think that if we spend 79p on a download that gives us a right to have access to family history and dental records."
Entertainers are there to entertain. If they achieve this, can we ask for more? The reality culture seems to have conditioned us to think that if we spend 79p on a download that gives us a right to have access to family history and dental records. Where is the mystery, the allure of being charmed by an enigma. Why do we, these days, seem determined to rip all of the theatre away from every form of entertainment so we can joylessly bleat that, why, these are just PEOPLE after all!
Now more than ever wouldn't a little bit of romance and magic be a nice thing? I'm not coming out batting for Lana Del Rey per se. Don't like this lady's records? Don't buy them. But I'd counsel against leaping on the baying bandwagon that wants her blood simply for wanting to reinvent herself and present an image, as almost every other musician or artist in the world does. It smacks a little of bullying the new girl in the playground because she's just too beautiful. She either threatens you, or will never fancy you. So you're ripping her to shreds.
Pictures: Rex Features and Caroline Potter