Lana Del Rey channeled American icons Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe in her new music video, "National Anthem."
In the eight minute video, which also stars rapper A$AP Rocky in the role of John F. Kennedy, the 25-year-old singer takes on both roles with aplomb. The video opens with Del Rey serenading her JFK in a Monroe-esque rendition of "Happy Birthday," reminiscent of the Hollywood legend's performance at a 1962 Democratic fundraiser. The remainder of the video portrays the glamorous life of Jackie and John F. Kennedy.
Del Rey and A$AP are shown picnicking with their brood of children, yachting with friends, popping champagne bottles, shooting dice and getting frisky on Air Force One. The video ends with the former president's 1963 assassination, during a Dallas motorcade trip.
Director Anthony Mandler told MTV, "There's a kind of micro-commentary of 'This is the new royalty,' you know, A$AP and Lana, trying to pick two people to maybe represent the next generation of something, I think even with an African American president, it's still controversial to see him sitting and playing JFK, it's still taboo, even if it shouldn't be."
Rocky told Billboard magazine that he and Del Rey joined forces after realizing that they have a mutual respect for each other.
"I first had had a crush on her from seeing her on the Internet - I fell in love with her voice the first time I heard it," said the rapper. "Mind you, we never even spoke to each other, and then in Complex [magazine], when she said I was her favorite rapper, I was like, 'Oh [expletive] no, man. I gotta work with her! My dream girl acknowledges me!"
Del Rey, who drew criticism after a disappointing "Saturday Night Live" musical guest stint, rose to fame with her hit singles "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans." Many believed that she failed to live up to the internet buzz created before her debut album "Born to Die," which nevertheless peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 List after its release in January.
Del Rey was recently romantically linked to 50-year-old 'Guns N' Roses' singer Axl Rose. They have not commented on the rumors, but were seen together, leaving the Chateau Marmont, a hotel and celebrity hot spot in Los Angeles in April.
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