Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’-Connor, known by her stage name Lorde, is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. Her debut album, Pure Heroine, was released in September 2013. Her first single, Royals, debuted at number one in the New Zealand Top 40, and also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, making het the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States.
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At the age of five, Lorde followed her friend into a drama group and discovered a love of singing and acting. Lorde has said she enjoyed how she had to “switch on a different side to myself and become a different me”. Lorde was encouraged to read books by her mother, a prize-winning New Zealand poet.“I started writing songs when I was 13 or 14, because I’ve always been a huge reader. My mum’s a poet and we’ve always had so many books, and that’s always been a big thing for me, arguably more so than music.”
Lorde attended Belmont Intermediate School, where in 2009 she and friend Louis McDonald participated in, and 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 hit song Warwick Avenue and Pixie Lott's Mama Do to various talent scouts. Later, when Lorde was 13, A&R scout Scott Maclachlan signed her to Universal and at the age of 14, she began working with their songwriters.
On 12 August 2013, Lorde announced on her Twitter profile that her debut album Pure Heroine would be released on in the US on 30 September 2013. The album's release was preceded by a New Zealand advertising campaign, with its lyrics displayed in classified ads, shop windows, posters and fax broadcast to media offices.
Lorde's musical style has been described by AllMusic as a "stylish mix of arty, confessional bedroom pop and club-ready electro-rock". Her work has also been compared to Grimes, Lana Del Rey, and Sky Ferreira. Musically, Lorde's debut album Pure Heroine followed in the same vein as the The Love Club EP, incorporating influences of ambient, art pop, dark wave, electronica, indietronica, minimal and synthpop. Lyrically, the album was primarily inspired by her youth and critiques mainstream culture.
- Lorde revealed that she had declined an offer from singer Katy Perry to be a supporting act on Perry's world tour
- Her cover of Tears for Fears' hit song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was included on the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire film soundtrack.
- Lorde cites the unusual vocals of Grimes, the band Sleigh Bells and producer SBTRKT as prominent influences.
- Time placed Lorde on their list of The 16 Most Influential Teens of 2013.
- Following the release of "Royals" in the United States in June 2013, 85,000 copies were sold during a single week in July.
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