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Lana Del Rey Transforms Into Marilyn Monroe and Black Dahlia for “Candy Necklace” Music Video

by Ashley Latcha

Lana Del Rey gave fans a treat on Wednesday with the music video release of “Candy Necklace” featuring Jon Batiste. The 10-minute greyscale video showcased a very glamorous Del Rey as she transformed into some of Hollywood’s most famous female icons, including Marilyn Monroe, Veronica Lake, and Elizabeth Short (known as ‘Black Dahlia’).

“Candy Necklace” is featured on Lana Del Rey’s ninth studio album Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.  While this isn’t the first time Del Rey has paid homage to classic Hollywood, this music video features a personal touch as we watch her go from blonde to brunette, from pearls to diamonds. 

The video starts with a natural and excited Del Rey on her way to Los Angeles, symbolizing the start of her career. By the end of the video, she returns to film on the same set, but her appearance is completely different, including the car she’s in, the necklace she wears, and the fact that her career ends up killing her. 

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In her first tribute scene, she wears a classy, Marilyn-coded look with a short, blonde wig to tie it all together. She is shown to be comfortable around the cameras, and she’s no longer in pearls. She’s accepted Hollywood, and based on the flashy diamonds around her neck, Hollywood has accepted her as well. She says to her team “I don’t know how to not be a robot…it’s not working anymore for me” as she is seen on different cameras putting on a show and having fun. The juxtaposition of the scene was a direct tribute to Monroe and could even be attributed to the starlet’s last interview with Life Magazine in 1962.

In the video, Del Rey describes just exactly what the message behind the music video is, saying, “all these women who change their name, change their hair like me—it’s like they all fell into these different snake holes—the whole point is how you learn from that and not fall into your own thing.”

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The behind the scene shots of her as Veronica Lake are among some of the best. At this point, Del Rey is no longer a timid, people-pleaser in the industry. She flips the camera off and yells at the staff to “get out of the shot”. She’s bold, glamorous, and holds the perfect amount of “Hollywood-spoiled”. She becomes the object of the male gaze and then comes the perfect transition to the Black Dahlia which foreshadows Del Rey’s death at the end of the video. Surrounded by the bright camera flashes from the swarm of reporters, Jon Batiste is shown grimacing at the casket referencing Black Dahlia’s mutilated death. 

All of these women that Hollywood created and destroyed were perfectly reflected through Del Rey and caught beautifully on camera by director Rich Lee. The video ends with an artistic shot of an actual candy necklace, diamonds, and pearls falling into a pool of blood. Del Rey is seen on the Hollywood Walk of Fame where she gets her own star. Cameras are still surrounding her, and she smiles with the crowd, but her neck is bare which symbolizes her death. The video fades into color and represents her name continuing to live on in the present—like Monroe, Lake, and Black Dahlia.

Top photo by Lana Del Rey on Youtube

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