In the video for "High By the Beach," her Billboard Hot 100 hit from August, Lana Del Rey shoots down a paparazzi helicopter while wearing a nightgown. This is a fitting depiction of the 30-year-old's persona in 2015, a character of effortless cool and capricious self-protection who's just as likely to declare admiration for Scarlett O'Hara as she is for one of the world's leading Alzheimer's researchers. This year, Del Rey released her fourth LP, Honeymoon, which landed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and showcased her disparate interests by referencing "Rapper's Delight," The Eagles and Billie Holiday. "The most encouraging thing about the climate for artists right now is there's not such a narrow lane for what is considered 'pop,' " says Del Rey. "I feel like anything goes -- and hopefully pop songs will continue to have a little more depth and texture behind them."
"I love the discussions I had with Elon Musk this year, and I enjoyed my talk with [geneticist/molecular biologist] John Hardy, who is trying to understand what causes Alzheimer's."