By now you’ve probably heard singer Lorde’s hit song, “Royals”:
But what many don’t realise while listening to the mature vocals is that Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is just 16-years old.
Last week, the The New Zealand singer became the youngest performer in 26 years to take the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Subsequently, she also became the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States.
Claiming the top spot means Lorde took the title from Miley Cyrus, whose “Wrecking Ball” held the number one position for two weeks prior.
Billboard calls the ascent of “Royals” “stunning.”
In fact, Lorde is the youngest solo artist to perch atop the Hot 100 since Tiffany, who was 16-years-old old when “Could’ve Been” took over at No. 1 the week of Feb. 6, 1988.
Additionally, Lorde is the first woman to take a debut Hot 100 hit to No. 1 since Carly Rae Jepsen led for nine weeks with last year’s top song of the summer, “Call Me Maybe.”
“It feels like a combination of my birthday, Christmas and washing my hair after a month of not doing so,” Lorde told Billboard upon learning of her coronation. “[I’m] very, very grateful for everyone’s love and kind words.”
But Lorde hasn’t always been quite as gracious.
First the feisty teen admitted she turned down a profitable gig opening for Katy Perry, then she g
ave a seriously back handed compliment to Taylor Swift, saying, “Taylor Swift is so flawless, and so unattainable, and I don’t think it’s breeding anything good in young girls. ‘I’m never going to be like Taylor Swift, why can’t I be as pretty as Lorde?’ That’s f—ing bullshit.”
So how did Lorde rise the ranks to the point where she can be turning down Katy Perry?
Lorde was discovered at just 12-years-old, when an A&R scout saw her singing in a video of a talent show that was held at her school.
By age 13, the agent signed her to Universal and, at the age of 14, she began working with their songwriters.
Her big break came when she was called in last-minute to replace singer Frank Ocean at the Australian music festival, Splendour in the Grass. Lorde’s American TV debut on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” helped to raise her profile in the U.S.
On September 30, Lorde debuted her first full-length album “Pure Heroine” and it’s already set for a No. 3 launch on next week’s Billboard 200.
And to add to her sudden popularity, Lorde is covering Tears for Fears’ hit song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on the “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” film soundtrack.
“Culturally, Lorde is hitting a chord,” said music mogul Jason Flom, who signed her for Lava Records. “People are hungry for something different.”
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