Wikipedia:This article is about the New Zealand singer-songwriter. For other uses, see Lorde (disambiguation).Not to be confused with Lordi.
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor (born 7 November 1996), known by her stage name Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. Born in Takapuna and raised in Devonport, Auckland, she became interested in performing as a child. At age 13 she signed with Universal Music Group and was later paired with songwriter and record producer Joel Little. Her debut work The Love Club EP was commercially released in March 2013 and included the song "Royals", which became an international crossover hit and won two Grammy Awards. Her first studio album, Pure Heroine, was released in September 2013 to generally positive reviews and commercial success."Here Is Lorde's Birth Certificate". The Hairpin. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
ContentsLife and career1.1 Early life1.2 2011–13: The Love Club EP and Pure Heroine1.3 2014–present: Second studio album
Life and career
Yelich-O'Connor was born on 7 November 1996 in Takapuna. She was born to poet Sonja Yelich and civil engineer Vic O'Connor. She was raised in the nearby suburb of Devonport with two sisters and a brother. She is of Croatian and Irish ancestry. At age 5, Lorde followed her friend into a drama group and discovered a love of singing and acting. Lorde's mother, a poet, encouraged her to read books.
Lorde attended Belmont Intermediate School, where in 2009 she and friend Louis McDonald won the school's talent show. After seeing her performance at the talent show, McDonald's father sent out recordings of Lorde covering Duffy's song "Warwick Avenue" and Pixie Lott's "Mama Do" to various talent scouts. When Lorde was 13, A&R scout Scott Maclachlan signed her to Universal Music Group (UMG) for development. UMG hired vocal coach Frances Dickinson to give her singing lessons twice a week for a year and she began working with a succession of songwriters but without success. Maclachlan told HitQuarters: "Fundamentally I think she understood that she was going to write her own music but would ultimately need someone to help with the production side of it."
2011–13: The Love Club EP and Pure Heroine
In December 2011, MacLachlan paired Lorde with Joel Little, a songwriter, record producer and former Goodnight Nurse lead singer. The pair recorded five songs for an EP at Little's Golden Age Studios in Morningside, Auckland, and finished within three weeks. In an interview with New Zealand Listener, Lorde explained the EP, "It was basically all me, that stuff. I've always been frustrated with that misalignment, because with a pop star you know everything about them all the time [...] Whereas you get someone like Burial – you don’t know what he looks like, but it’s awesome his music can be such a big thing but it’s only the music... and it frustrates me that those two can’t mesh at all. It was more like ‘I don’t really want to do a photo shoot yet’, and then everyone made a big deal of it". Lorde chose her stage name because she was fascinated with "royals and aristocracy", but feeling that the name Lord was too masculine, she added an 'e' to make it more feminine.
In November 2012, Lorde self-released The Love Club EP through her SoundCloud account for free download. After being freely downloaded 60,000 times, UMG decided to commercially release the EP for sales. On 8 March 2013, The Love Club EP was released digitally in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The release peaked at number two in New Zealand and Australia. It was eventually certified septuple platinum in Australia and platinum in New Zealand. On 7 June 2013, Lorde released her second EP, Tennis Court EP, comprising four songs.
"Royals" was released as a single from the EP on 3 June 2013. In August 2013, with "Royals" became the first song by a female lead artist in 17 years to top the US Alternative Songs chart since Tracy Bonham's "Mother Mother" in 1996. The song became a crossover hit and topped the US Hot 100 chart in October 2013. With "Royals", Lorde became the youngest artist in over twenty-five years, and the first solo artist ever from New Zealand, to top the US Hot 100. It also topped the UK Singles Chart and the Canadian Hot 100. "Royals" was critically well-received, as it won the 2013 APRA Silver Scroll Award, a New Zealand songwriting award, and the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year at the 2014 ceremony. Lorde became the third youngest winner in Grammy history and the youngest winner from New Zealand. She also became the youngest person to be nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
On 27 September 2013, Lorde released her debut studio album, Pure Heroine. The album peaked atop the charts of New Zealand and Australia and reached the top five of charts in Canada, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom. In the United States, Pure Heroine peaked at number three on the Billboard 200, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having sold 1.33 million copies. The album was well received by music critics, and was nominated for a Grammy, and sold 1.5 million copies by the end of 2013. "Tennis Court" was released as her second single and reached number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart. Third single "Team" reached the top ten of singles charts in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US.
Her cover of Tears for Fears' single "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was included on the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire film soundtrack. In November 2013, Lorde signed a publishing deal with Songs Music Publishing worth a reported $2.5 million after a bidding war between various companies including Sony and her label Universal. The agreement gives the publisher the right to license Lorde's music for films and advertising.
2014–present: Second studio album
In the first half of 2014, Lorde headlined various festivals, including Laneway, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. In April 2014, Lorde performed "All Apologies" with the surviving members of Nirvana during the band's induction ceremony at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.
In December 2013, Lorde announced that she had began writing material for her second studio album. In June 2014, Lorde revealed that her second studio album would be "totally different" from her debut album, continuing to reveal her writing style had changed and that she is working on new music and "it's definitely still at the beginning."Lipshutz, Jason (25 September 2013). "6. Lorde: 21 Under 21 (2013)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Ehrlich, Brenna (17 June 2014). "Lorde's Parents Finally Got Engaged — After 30 Years". MTV News. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Shahlin Graves (20 March 2013). "Inside The Mind Of... Lorde". Coup De Main. Retrieved 13 May 2013. "Lorde First Woman in 17 Years to Top Alternative with 'Royals'". Billboard. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014. Cite error: The named reference CoverStory was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Lorde's little sis releases song". Stuff.co.nz (Fairfax New Zealand). 21 January 2014. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014. "Lorde — Beginnings (VEVO LIFT): Brought To You By McDonald's". Vevo. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. Cite error: The named reference Weiner was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Bernadette McNulty (8 November 2013). "Lorde interview: Dream Teen". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 14 November 2013. Etheridge, Jess (2 August 2013). "Singer now on centre stage: Shore kid makes good at Splendour in the Grass". North Shore Times (Fairfax New Zealand). Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. "Lorde returns to Belmont Intermediate School to judge talent show". Herald Sun. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. Greive, Duncan. "Lorde-Pop's new ruler". http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/headliners/lorde/. Missing or empty |url= (help); |accessdate= requires |url= (help) Cowley, Pip. "Lorde Q & A". http://www.vmusic.com.au/pages/main-menu/news/interviews/lorde-q-a. VMusic. Missing or empty |url= (help); |accessdate= requires |url= (help) Blumentrath, Jan (21 January 2014). "Interview with Scott MacLachlan, manager of Lorde". HitQuarters. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Cardy, Tom (10 May 2013). "NZ newest pop star". The Dominion Post. Fairfax New Zealand. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Thorne, Richard (October–November 2013). "Joel Little – Rings Of The Lorde (page 2)". NZ Musician 17 (9): 2. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. Cite error: The named reference NZListener was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Weber, Lindsey (6 November 2013). "Lorde 101: Who Is This 16-Year-Old Singer?". Vulture. Retrieved 16 December 2013. "The Love Club EP". Australia: iTunes Store. Retrieved 26 May 2014. "The Love Club EP". New Zealand: iTunes Store. Retrieved 26 May 2014. "The Love Club EP". United States: iTunes Store. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. "The Love Club EP". ARIA Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 July 2014. "The ARIA Report" (1263). Pandora Archive. Australian Recording Industry Association. 12 May 2014. p. 4. Retrieved 20 May 2014. "Top 20 New Zealand Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014. "Tennis Court – EP". Belgium: iTunes Store. Retrieved 12 January 2014. "Future Releases on Triple A (AAA) Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Trust, Gary (2 October 2013). "Lorde's 'Royals' Crowns Hot 100". Billboard (New York). Retrieved 12 June 2014. "Lorde – Chart history: R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved 12 June 2014. "Lorde's Royals becomes first track from New Zealand solo artist to top US Billboard chart". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013. "2013 Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive". Official Charts Company. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014. "Lorde: Team". Charts.org.nz (Hung Medien). Retrieved 12 June 2014. Jenkins, Lydia (16 October 2013). "Lorde's Royals wins APRA Silver Scroll award". NZ Herald. Retrieved 15 October 2013. "Grammys 2014: Winners list". CNN. 27 January 2014. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 2014 Grammy Snubs, Scores & Surprises | Yahoo Music – Yahoo Music "Lorde takes home two Grammys". Stuff.co.nz (Fairfax New Zealand). 27 January 2014. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Daft Punk and Lorde win top honours at 2014 Grammy awards | Music | theguardian.com "Pure Heroine – Album". Australia: iTunes Store. Retrieved 7 July 2014. "Pure Heroine". Retrieved 7 July 2014. "2013-11-09 Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 July 2014. "Lorde – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 7 July 2014. "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database: Lorde". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 7 July 2014. Caulfield, Keith (2 July 2014). "'Frozen,' Pharrell Williams Lead Mid-Year SoundScan Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2 July 2014. "Pure Heroine". Metacritic. Retrieved 12 June 2014. "2013 Annual Report – Section 4.2 Commentaires sur les performances opérationnelles des métiers" (PDF) (in French). Vivendi. p. 22. Retrieved 25 February 2014. "Tennis Court – Single by Lorde". iTunes Store (Apple Inc). Retrieved 7 June 2013. "Discography Lorde". Charts.org.nz (Hung Medien). Retrieved 12 June 2014. "Lorde – Chart history: Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 12 June 2014. Trust, Gary (26 February 2014). "Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' Hits No. 1 On Hot 100". Billboard (New York). Retrieved 12 June 2014. "Lorde, Coldplay feature on Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack". 3 News (MediaWorks New Zealand). 30 September 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013. Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (13 November 2013). "Lorde signs $2.5m publishing deal, and may write for other artists". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2013. Hampp, Andrew (12 November 2013). "Lorde Signs $2.5 Million Deal with Songs Music Publishing: Inside the Lengthy Bidding War". Billboard. Retrieved 14 November 2013. "Lorde skips Laneway for Grammys, offers free make-up show". The New Zealand Herald (APN News & Media). 9 December 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014. Ugwu, Reggie (8 April 2014). "Lollapalooza Brazil 2014: Phoenix, Arcade Fire, Lorde Rock São Paulo". Billboard.com. Retrieved 17 April 2014. Ugwu, Reggie (14 April 2014). "Coachella 2014: Lorde Makes Desert Debut". The Hollywood Reporter (HollywoodReporter.com). Retrieved 17 April 2014. "Nirvana Joined By Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, Lorde at Rock Hall Ceremony". Billboard.com. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. "Lorde Working on New Material, Australian Tour Being Planned". Billboard. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2014. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a575623/lorde-my-next-album-will-sound-totally-different.html
ContentsArtistry1.1 Influences1.2 Musical style1.3 Public image1.4 Impact
Lorde grew up listening to soul musicians Etta James and Otis Redding, as well as her parents' favourite records by the likes of Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac. She cites the unusual vocals of Grimes, band Sleigh Bells and producer SBTRKT as her prominent influences. Musically, Lorde is inspired by Lana Del Rey, James Blake, Yeasayer, Animal Collective, Kanye West and Prince. She cites rapper J. Cole and electronic producers as influences, which she praises for the use of using "their vocals in a really interesting way, whether it might be chopping up a vocal part or really lash or lairing a vocal."
Lorde also stated that she was inspired by the initially hidden identities of Burial and The Weeknd, explaining, "I feel like mystery is more interesting". Lorde describes short story writers Raymond Carver, Wells Tower, Tobias Wolff and Claire Vaye Watkins as lyrical inspirations – particularly noting their sentence structures. Lorde stated her music is also inspired by authors, citing Tobias Wolff, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman and Leonard Cohen as influences on her writing.
Lorde writes her music vocally, and does not play musical instruments on record or stage. Lorde's music draws from alternative rock, art pop, dream pop, electropop, electronic rock and electronica. Her work has been compared to Grimes, Lana Del Rey and Sky Ferreira. Pure Heroine criticises mainstream popular culture, yet examines ideas typical of teen pop music, such as "social anxiety, romantic yearning, debilitating ennui [and] booze-soaked ragers", according to Jonah Weiner of Rolling Stone.
Lorde's music and image is noted for challenging present day pop and for challenging the music of artists including Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. Forbes placed Lorde on their '30 Under 30' list of young people "who are changing our world". Lorde was also featured and topped Time magazine's list of the most influential teenagers in the world, with Time commenting that she was "forging her own path." She was also praised as one of the most prominent artists in the "post-millennial" era that has made such an "impact in popular music." Lorde described her public image as coming "naturally" to her.
Lorde has an impact on American singer Britney Spears, who named Lorde as an influence and commented that Lorde is "really different and cool [...] It's inspiring for me, and it makes people eager to listen to music, which helps everyone". In an interview with USA Today, English singer-songwriter Elton John praised "Tennis Court", describing it as "one of the most touching, beautiful things on earth." Lorde was named "The New Queen of Alternative" by Billboard.Lorde (20 August 2013). Lorde In-Studio with Kennedy. Interview with Lisa Kennedy Montgomery. KYSR. 2:58. Lachno, James (11 September 2013). "Lorde – New Music". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 September 2013. Pinckney, Jim (3 October 2013). "Lorde moves in mysterious ways". New Zealand Listener. Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Lewis, Casey. "Get to Know Lorde, the 16-Year-Old Pop Star Everyone's Talking About". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Leah Simpson (5 November 2013). "Lorde 'I relate to Kanye West and I feel intimidated by teenage girls' – Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 November 2013. "Lorde Q&A". VMusic. Retrieved 16 December 2013. Michelson, Noah (24 July 2013). "Lorde, 16-Year-Old New Zealand Musician, Talks 'Royals' Video, Feminism And More". Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2014. Lipshutz, Jason (6 September 2013). "Lorde: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved 20 June 2014. Lorde (18 September 2013). ZMTV – Lorde Interview (Polly Speaks to Lorde Before The iHeartRadio NZ Launch). Interview with Polly Gillespie. ZM. 2:18. Selby, Jenn. "Lorde Royals Pure Heroine Interview Music Videos – Entertainment (Glamour.com UK)". Glamourmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2013. Ortiz, Edwin (13 September 2013). "Listen: Lorde 'Team'". Complex. Retrieved 20 September 2013. Patrick, Ryan B. (30 September 2013). "Lorde – Pure Heroine". Exclaim!. Retrieved 10 November 2013. Ryzik, Melena (20 May 2014). "Mutual Admiration, Across the Sea, Across the Years". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2014. Cite error: The named reference behindsuccess was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Wheeler, Brad (7 October 2013). "In an age of manufactured stars, Lorde is a refreshing change". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 June 2014. Sawdey, Evan (10 October 2013). "Lorde: Pure Heroine". PopMatters. Retrieved 1 July 2014. Harris, Aisha (September 23, 2014). "Stream Lorde’s Beguiling Debut, Pure Heroine". Slate. Retrieved July 13, 2014. Lester, Paul (7 June 2013). "New band of the day: Lorde (No 1,528)". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2014. Monger, James Christopher (7 November 1996). "Lorde | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 December 2013. Interrante, Scott (10 October 2013). "Gold Teeth, White Teeth, and Lorde's 'Pure Heroine'". PopMatters. Retrieved 4 November 2013. Ehrlich, Brenna (18 July 2013). "Lorde: More 'Real' Than Bieber, Cooler Than You – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 16 December 2013. Weiner, Jonah (28 October 2013). "Lorde: The Rise of Pop's Edgiest Teen". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 December 2013. "Lorde – Pure Heroine | Reviews | Clash Magazine". Clashmusic.com. Retrieved 10 March 2014. "Lorde is 'changing our world' says Forbes – Entertainment – NZ Herald News". Nzherald.co.nz. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2014. "themoodofmusic.com". themoodofmusic.com. Retrieved 22 May 2014. Harvey, Sarah (29 December 2013). "Lorde keeps it real about sex appeal". Stuff.co.nz (Fairfax New Zealand). Archived from the original on 27 June 2014. Cava, Marco (29 December 2013). "Who inspires Britney? Beyonce, Bruno and her ex JT". USA Today. Retrieved 3 June 2014. Blum, Haley (25 September 2013). "Lorde storms toward the throne of pop music". USA Today. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
Lorde is a self-identified feminist. She attended Takapuna Grammar School from 2010 to 2013, completing Year 12; she chose not to return in 2014 to complete Year 13.
In January 2014, media articles revealed that Lorde is in a relationship with 24-year-old New Zealand-born photographer James Lowe, whom she met before her music career.Overell, Rosemary (31 January 2014). "Lorde makes feminism a class issue". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Blake, Emily (11 July 2013). "Selena Gomez Hits Back At Lorde: 'That's Not Feminism'". MTV News. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Ryan, Charlotte (2 May 2013). "Lorde: Behind the success story". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 May 2013. Ihaka, James; Jones, Nicholas (12 March 2013). "Kiwi songbird with Universal appeal". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2013. "She's still our Lorde, say friends". Radio New Zealand National. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014. Angela Barbuti (12 December 2013). "James Lowe, Lorde's Boyfriend: 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know". Heavy. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
In April 2014, it was announced Lorde would be releasing two-piece make-up limited edition collection in collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, consisting of a lipstick titled after her debut album, Pure Heroine, and an eyeliner.
Lorde's song "The Love Club", was included on the compilation to raise funds for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, with the proceeds from the song being donated to the Philippines for the relief efforts of the Philippines Red Cross. She is working with the Electoral Commission to increase the voter turnout of young people at the 2014 New Zealand general election, despite the fact she is seven weeks too young to vote in the 20 September election herself."Want lips like Lorde? Pop star launches limited edition MAC collection featuring her signature deep plum lipstick". Daily Mail. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014. "Lorde features on Typhoon Haiyan charity album". 3 News (MediaWorks New Zealand). 26 November 2013. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. Bilby, Lynley (22 June 2014). "Lorde wants youths to make themselves heard". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014.