Lorde Becomes “Lord Of The Road” Beginning March 3
When your parents call you “Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor,” and you want to be a famous singer, you have to change your name. I mean, who can become an international pop star with a name like “O’Connor?” As a nod to her fascination with aristocrats (the ruling class not the joke), Ella adopted the stage name “Lord.” Believing it was too masculine sounding, she added an “e.” Thus the singing sensation “Lorde” was born.
You can almost say the rest is history even though her recording career only started in March of 2013. But the seventeen-year-old singer-songwriter from New Zealand has already made history. She’s up for four Grammy Awards; her song “Royals” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100; and she recently found herself on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” rundown. That illustrious list also includes Super Bowl halftime performer Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and One Direction.
Lorde Of The Road
In 2014, Lorde will begat her first tour of North America. The “Royals” singer hits the road March 3 with a concert in Austin, Texas. Her musical odyssey ends March 26 in Oakland, California.
The absolute highlight of her itinerary is a three-night stand at the Big Apple’s legendary Roseland Ballroom. Lord tickets will be collected in New York City from March 10 through March 12.
Other big time stops on her route include a Lorde performance in Boston, Massachusetts on March 14; a Lorde show in Toronto, Ontario on March 15; and a Lorde concert in Chicago, Illinois on March 18.
She Was Just Seventeen…
Come to think of it, Ella Yelich O'Connor’s nom de plume isn’t much younger than she is. Lorde was born on Nov. 7, 1996 (I have MP3 files older than that). To state the obvious, Lorde doesn’t turn 18 until late 2014. To put it mildly, she’s young.
Lorde was signed to Universal Music Group when she was just 13 years old. Her first ever release was the EP, The Love Club. It was available for download via SoundCloud beginning in November of 2013. It was officially released in March of 2013. Lorde was 16 at the time.
I don’t think she’s as young as people say. In most photographs and videos I’ve seen of her she looks like a 30-year-old in bad makeup. Her record company would love her to stay 17 for the rest of her career. Remember LeAnn Rimes? She was a teenager for like a decade.
Of course, Lorde is from New Zealand. Being a 17-year-old in New Zealand is like being 25 in America.
Don’t Call Her A “Teen Hottie”
I’m far away from my teen years. So there’s no way in hell I’m going to call any 17-year-old girl, even one as mature as Lorde, “hot.” No matter your age, you shouldn’t call Lorde a “hottie” either. Why? You might make her sick.
"The phrase 'teen hottie' literally makes me want to throw up. I'm a pop princess at heart,” Lorde told the New York Times during a recent interview.
She went on to say that she’s “sex-positive” (whatever that means) but doesn’t think dancing around in her underwear will help her sell records (it couldn’t hurt).
Obviously, Lorde isn’t one of those artists that need to prance around like a harlot to sell concert tickets and studio albums. She’s more Adele than Kesha. She’s more Pink than Beyoncé. In the long run, she might be more “Carole Bayer Sager” than anyone else.
In December of 2013, Lorde signed a $2.5 million publishing deal with Songs Music Publishing. The executives at Songs are huge fans of Lorde’s songwriting ability. They believe she’ll make her biggest mark with her pen and not with her voice (kind of like an alternative music version of Taylor Swift). That’s saying something because Lorde has a fabulous set of pipes.
Lorde is a New Zealander. Specifically, she was born and raised in the Auckland suburb of Devonport. Her father was a civil engineer and her mother was a prize-winning poet.
The crooner rose to prominence, at least Down Under, thanks to her song “Royals” being covered on both the New Zealand and Australian versions of The X Factor.
The dark-haired songbird is beloved in her homeland. Her first two singles, “Royals” and “Tennis Court,” went to number one in her native nation. Meanwhile, her debut album, Pure Heroine, top charts in both New Zealand and Australia.
“Royals” is one of the biggest songs of 2013. It not only summited the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. but analogous charts in Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
In the United States, “Royals” held down the number one position for nine consecutive weeks. That made Lorde the first New Zealand solo act to ever reach the apex of that chart. Not to belittle her accomplishment but that’s like saying you’re the most beautiful girl from Cleveland or the best quarterback on the New York Jets roster.
Before Lorde, New Zealand’s chief music exports were the Finn Brothers (Split Enz and Crowded House) and Flight of the Conchords.
56th Annual Grammy Awards
Besides the tremendous chart success (it’s been certified four-times platinum), “Royals” has also won over critics. It’s been picked as one of 2013’s best songs by publications like Rolling Stone, Spin, and Time. The song also garnered three Grammy Awards.
“Royals” is up for Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the upcoming 56th Annual Grammy Awards (Jan. 26). Remember, Song of the Year is for songwriting and Record of the Year is for artist. The ditty is also nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Lorde also picked up a fourth Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Who cares about the last two awards, but I can see Lorde winning both Song and Record of the Year. Not because “Royals” necessarily deserves it, but other songs in the respective categories may split the vote—Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
For some reason that only the Grammy people know, Lorde wasn’t nominated for Best New Artist. Kacey Musgraves, James Blake, and Kendrick Lamar were nominated even though they’ve been releasing albums for years (Musgraves has five LP to his name).
According to the singer, David Bowie is a fan of her music. In a recent interview with Rookie magazine, the teenage minstrel recalled her meeting with the Thin White Duke and having him tell her “that listening to you felt like listening to tomorrow.” I don’t know if that’s a compliment but it definitely made Lorde’s day. Heck, it made her life. She went on to say: “I could creatively die and just be happy forever.”
It’s no feather in anyone’s cap if I listen to your music but it’s certainly a triumph if you’re in David Bowie’s iPod. Now, if Lorde could just use some of her influence over Ziggy Stardust to make him tour again!
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