Lana Del Rey Talks New 'Freak' Video, Summer Festivals at Grammy Event

There will be no “Summertime Sadness” for Lana Del Rey.

The “Ultraviolence” singer will spend the summer playing festivals in Europe and Russia, including the Park Live Festival in Moscow on July 10, and she couldn’t be happier about it, she told Billboard at The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing’s tribute to Rick Rubin.

Lana Del Rey, Rivers Cuomo, Josh Groban Gather to Fete Rick Rubin at Grammys Event

“The festivals are the most fun. It’s open air, there are no bouncy walls so the sound is amazing and everyone is there to party,” she said. “Everyone is in a good mood.”

For now, there are no U.S. tour dates on Del Rey’s docket. Her last stateside trek, a 20-date amphitheater leg, ended last June in West Palm Beach, Fla. It preceded the release of her latest album, September’s Honeymoon, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

Earlier this week, Del Rey released her new video for Honeymoon track, “Freak,” featuring Father John Misty.

California Dream With Lana Del Rey and Father John Misty in 11-Minute ‘Freak’ Video

“I wanted Father John Misty to do something with me and he was nice enough to agree to be my leading man,” she said of the 11-minute video that includes Misty’s character dropping acid and going on a dreamy trip, draped in white-clad women.

“The whole thing was inspired by a moving Monet,” Del Rey said, adding that she recruited her sister and her sister’s friends for the clip. “We were shooting with a couple of special cameras and shooting everything in slow motion and taking a lot of time to color it.”


The former One Direction member launches on top with his first solo single. 

Zayn blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100(dated Feb. 20) at No. 1 with “Pillowtalk,” his first solo single after departing One Direction. The pop singer/songwriter (full name: Zayn Malik) makes his first trip to the top of the Hot 100 after peaking as high as No. 2 with 1D (with the group’s 2013 single “Best Song Ever”). He also earns an honor not achieved since a former Beatle more than 45 years ago (read on).

“Pillowtalk,” released Jan. 29 on SYCO/RCA Records, is just the 25th song ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It’s the first since Adele’s “Hello” arrived at the summit on the Nov. 14 chart.

“Pillowtalk” also opens atop the Digital Songs and Streaming Songs charts, with 267,000 first-week U.S. downloads sold and 22.3 million U.S. streams (the fourth-largest streaming start ever) in the week ending Feb. 4, according to Nielsen Music. It also bows at No. 1 on the subscription services-basedOn-Demand Songs chart (12.7 million on-demand streams), while also boasting 17 million in radio audience.

The sultry “Pillowtalk” is from Zayn’s debut album Mind of Mine, due March 25, the one-year anniversary of his departure from One Direction.

Ten more key facts regarding the Hot 100’s new leader (the 1,051st No. 1 overall dating to the chart’s 1958 launch):

  • Zayn, born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, is the first U.K. artist to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with a first charted single. He’s thethird U.K. act to start at the summit overall, following Adele (“Hello,” 2015) and Elton John (“Candle in the Wind 1997”/“Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” 1997).
  • Pillowtalk” marks the first No. 1 debut for an artist’s first Hot 100 hit since Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” (March 2, 2013).
  • Zayn goes where One Direction hasn’t: to No. 1 on the Hot 100. Before he left the boy band, 1D tallied four top 10s, rising as high as No. 2 with “Best Song Ever” in August 2013. (Without Zayn, the group has landed two more top 10s: “Drag Me Down” and “Perfect,” which reached Nos. 3 and 10, respectively, last year.)
  • Zayn Go-Go’s where One Direction hasn’t: by reaching No. 2 with 1D and No. 1 as a soloist, he is the first artist in 28 years to peak as high as No. 2 with a group (excluding one-time-only charity acts) and then command the Hot 100 as a solo artist: the Go-Go’s reached a high of No. 2 with “We Got the Beat” in 1982; lead singer Belinda Carlisle then led in 1987 with her own “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.”
  • While the definition of “boy band” leaves room for interpretation, Zayn’s coronation of the Hot 100 places him in elite company. If we consider the Beatles a founding pop music boy band, Zayn is the first one-time member of a Hot 100-charting boy band to score a No. 1 with a debut single on the survey since George Harrison. The Quiet Beatle launched with the four-week No. 1 “My Sweet Lord”/“Isn’t It a Pity” in 1970, following the Fab Four’s split earlier that year.
  • Other prominent one-time boy band members have crowned the Hot 100 solo, but not with their debut Hot 100 hits. On the list: Bobby Brown (apart from New Edition), Michael Jackson (Jackson 5), Ricky Martin (Menudo), Donny Osmond (the Osmonds), Justin Timberlake (*NSYNC) and, the other three Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
  • Zayn scores his first Hot 100 No. 1 not just as an artist, but also as a writer. He co-wrote “Pillowtalk” with Anthony and Michael Hannides and Levi Lennox.
  • The SYCO imprint, founded in 2003 by Simon Cowell, scores its second Hot 100 No. 1; its first entry, Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” led for four weeks in 2008. The RCA label notches its first leader since Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” (featuring Bruno Mars), which reigned for 14 weeks and became the year-end Hot 100 No. 1 for 2015(and a highlight, among many, of last night’s Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show).
  • Despite their ubiquity in daily (or rather, nightly) life, pillows have never been central to hit songs. “Pillowtalk” brings the word pillow to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the first time, besting the previous No. 3 peak of Sylvia’s “Pillow Talk,” which reached No. 3 in 1973. Of course, pillows are associated with sleep … aka, getting some zzz’s. Speaking of the letter z…
  • Zayn is the first artist whose first name starts with a Z ever to top the Hot 100. (Zayn is actually a reworking of his birth name, Zain.) And, with Adele having recently reigned, Billboard editors, please feel free to pencil in (and, ahem, thank me for) this future year-end headline: The Year in Music 2016: From A(dele) to Z(ayn).


The first time I spoke to Jimmy Iovine, it was on a 5 a.m. conference call with my management team and the top guys at Apple. Earlier that day, Father’s Day to be exact, I had written a blog post criticizing Apple Music, the new streaming service Jimmy had worked tirelessly to create and cultivate. The ‘Apple Letter’ went viral. I remember thinking, ‘Jimmy Iovine must hate me right now.’ But to my surprise, the voice I heard on the other end of the phone was jovial and thoughtful. He told me that he thought those of us in the industry speaking up about this were right. Later on I would learn that Jimmy was one of the voices that advocated in my favor, and in favor of fairly compensating all music creators for Apple’s three-month free trial period.

“Since that day, I’ve gone on to work with Jimmy and [Apple Music original content director] Larry Jackson on a concert film of The 1989 World Tour. The brainstorming sessions and meetings about this project were electric, with ideas being shared and bounced around with such excitement. Jimmy is one of those rare people who is thrilled by doing what he does every day. His energy is contagious.

“I’ll never know what would’ve happened if Jimmy hadn’t been at Apple, factoring his industry knowledge, humility and generosity into the equation. But I do know this: Jimmy respects the people who make music, and in turn, has become one of the most loved and revered people in the music world.


Taylor Swift for Billboard on Jimmy Iovine, favorite #Power100 Executive (x)

It amazes me how Michigan’s state government is still telling its citizens to purchase water filters that have already proven not to work. People are quite literally being poisoned as we speak, and nothing is being done about it. Where is Attorney General Lynch? Why are people still being poisoned after all this time has passed?