She’s best known her for her smash hit “Royals” but superfans know the words to every Lorde song. No biography is complete without mentioning her talented family and her interesting upbringing in New Zealand.
But, even though she memorably shared the stage with Taylor Swift, the artist isn’t crazy for her squad. Oh, and she has an obsession with one particular fried food. Whether you’re a casual fan or a die-hard, there are plenty of cool stories about her that will surprise any fan.
She Was Born In Takapuna, Auckland On November 7, 1996
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor is the second of four children. She’s the daughter of poet Sonja Yelich and Vic O’Connor, a civil engineer. At five years old, Ella joined a drama group and developed her public speaking skills. Her mother would encourage her to read a range of genres, which became a musical influence on her daughter.
More specifically, she cites the novel Feed by M.T. Anderson as one of her influences for songwriting.
Her Parents Didn’t Get Married Until 2017
Sonja Yelich announced on Instagram that her and her partner Vic O’Connor had finally gotten married in May of 2017. Ella wore her dark locks out and over her shoulders and had her hair neatly straightened, while her mother, Sonja Yelich, skipped traditional white and wore classic black trousers and a blazer.
Despite having kids and tying the knot years later, it was a wonderful family event that they wouldn’t soon forget.
Her Stage Names Comes With An Obsession
The pop star’s moniker is an ode to a fascination with aristocracy.
The Grammy winner talked with Interview about her stage name. “When I was trying to come up with a stage name, I thought ‘Lord’ was super rad, but really masculine—ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals and aristocracy. So to make Lord more feminine, I just put an ‘e’ on the end!”
Her Musical Tastes Are Diverse
When it comes to Lorde’s musical preferences, they’re pretty much all over the map. Lorde has an admiration for bands like Arcade Fire, and even going back to the days of Fleetwood Mac and The 1975.
However, her other tastes also include genres like hip-hop and R&B. According to her Twitter page, she’s also a fan of singer Kehlani. She would add dancehall star Vybz Kartel to her Spotify playlist as well.
She’s A Beyoncé Fan
Lorde had an interview with Rookie and talked about Queen B’s music.
“I was just blown away by the creativity. I would cry if I had to make that much visual content for an album! Just on that level, it’s phenomenal. But it also just feels like the album that I have wanted to hear from Beyoncé for such a long time, and I’m so happy that it has happened.”
She Got Her First Record Deal As A Teenager
In May 2009, Lorde and a friend, Louis McDonald, won the Belmont Intermediate School talent show. A few months later, the pair made a guest appearance on Jim Mora’s show Afternoons on Radio New Zealand.
But, it was McDonald’s father who sent both a home recording to Universal Music Group. The duo’s cover of “Warwick Avenue” by Duffy would be enough for Scott Maclachlan to sign her to a record deal.
In 2011, UMG Hired Vocal Coach Frances Dickinson
Dickinson was hired to give Lorde singing lessons twice a week for a year. During this time, she began writing songs while she was set up with a succession of songwriters, but didn’t find much success. At fourteen years old, Lorde started reading short fiction and learned how to “put words together.”
She would perform her own original songs for the first time at The Vic Unplugged II on the Devonport Victoria Theater main stage.
In 2012, She Released Her Debut Record
The Love Club EP peaked at number two on the record charts in both New Zealand and Australia. In June of that year, the song “Royals” was released as a single. Eventually, the single would become a crossover hit, peaking atop the US Billboard Hot 100 for nine consecutive weeks.
Lorde would become the youngest solo artist to achieve a number one single in the US, all thanks to “Royals.”
Lorde’s Royals Was Banned In San Francisco
“Royals” became one of the best selling singles of all time, but one city wasn’t playing the single. The San Francisco Giants were set to take on the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series. A pair of San Fran radio stations removed the song “Royals” from their playlists until the series was over.
Meanwhile, radio stations in Kansas City responded by playing the single once every hour on the radio.
A Year Later, Pure Heroine Was Released
After numerous unsuccessful sessions with songwriters, Lorde was paired with Joel Little by A&R rep Scott Maclachlan. He would assist with the album’s production, and it was worth it. The album was praised for its songwriting and production, with the New Zeland native taking home a Grammy for Best Song and Best Pop Solo Performance.
Pure Heroine was one of 2014’s best selling albums, and it went certified platinum in the United Kingdom.
Her Second Album Was Nothing Similar To Her Breakout Debut
This time, the second album, Melodrama, which was released in 2017, was inspired by her real-life heartbreak. Lorde and her longtime boyfriend, James Lowe, split up in 2015.
The Grammy-winning artist expressed her intense music on the album. “I think I’ve had a real emotional renaissance in the last 18 months of just being like, ‘Wow, it hurts,’ and letting myself feel all of those things, which has been kind of transcendent.”
One Particular Icon Was Fond Of Lorde’s Work As A Musician
David Bowie was a big fan of Lorde’s. Bowie’s pianist, Mike Garson, shared an assessment of the young singer. The pianist told The Guardian: “David really liked Lorde, and he felt like she was the future of music, and they had a few wonderful moments together.”
As a thank you of supporting Bowie’s management and family after his passing, Lorde participated in a tribute to him at the 2016 Brit Awards.
To Promote Her First Two Albums, Lorde Embarked On An International Tour
The first leg of the “Pure Heroine” tour began in North America in 2013. With stops at events like Coachella, eventually, Lorde would announce the Australian leg would be the following summer, and the second leg would return to North America.
On 22 April 2014, Lorde announced that she was sick with a chest infection and general ill health. Unfortunately, she postponed the planned Australia Tour from April to July.
She Provided The Lead Song For One Of The Hunger Games Films
Lorde released “Yellow Flicker Beat” for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. On July 31, 2014, it was announced that the musician would be the curator for the soundtrack. Eventually, Lorde and Kanye West would produce a version of the song named “Flicker (Kanye West Rework)”. The track incorporates a variety of sounds and production.
There’s also a stripped-down production with “creepy textural”synthesizers, plus “booming, echo-laden” beats and does not feature West’s vocals.
Lorde Joined the Living Members Of Nirvana For An Unforgettable Moment
Four female rockers, Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent, and Lorde joined Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Together, they sang songs by the grunge pioneers at their Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2014.
Jett sang “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Gordon took on “Aneurysm,” St. Vincent performed “Lithium” and Lorde covered “All Apologies” with bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl in an iconic bridging of two generations.
Before Releasing Her Sophmore Album, Lorde Posted A Message On Her Facebook Page
From her post, the artist said: “Writing Pure Heroine was my way of enshrining our teenage glory, putting it up in lights forever so that part of me never dies, and this record – well, this one is about what comes next. …The party is about to start. I am about to show you the new world.”
From those words, Lorde was motivated to bring new music to her devoted fans.
Forbes Placed Lorde On Their 30 Under 30 List
Lorde was the youngest name in the music category. The musician would out hustle Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber. Her entry says: “New Zealand’s biggest star has rocketed to mainstream acclaim with debut album Pure Heroine and unexpected hit Royals. She’s already cashing in with a (US) $2.5 million publishing deal, and more is undoubtedly on the way.”
Lorde also topped Time magazine’s most influential teenagers in the world.
Despite The Album Being About Heartbreak, Melodrama Was Met With More High Acclaim
The album was on various year-end lists. Metacritic named it the second-most ranked record of 2017. It also received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. Singles from the album included “Perfect Places” and a remix to “Homemade Dynamite.”
Several certifications were eventually awarded to the album, such as gold in Australia, Canda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Plus, it reached double platinum in her native New Zealand.
One Of Her First Songs Was A Diss Track
To figure out your sound, you have to experiment a little bit, which is what Lorde did when she was a teenager. When she was writing out songs, one of the first ones she wrote was about a girl in her year.
Her classmate was taking drugs and had fallen off the rails. Making light of her would come back to haunt Lorde. She was not happy about given her year a bad name.
There’s A Feud Going On Thanks To Lorde Breaking The Girl Code
Lena Dunham and Lorde became friends after they met through Taylor Swift. In an interview with Dazed, Dunham brought up the fact that Swift made it her job to bring the ladies together. Lorde replied: “I mean, she definitely brought me into this amazing world of supportive female friendship.”
However, shortly after Dunham and Jack Antonoff split in January 2018, Lorde was spotted hanging out with him in New Zealand.
Some Wonder If Lorde Got Off Easy
While most of the criticism was directed towards Antonoff, there’s something to be said for the girl code. The worst part of all of this controversy was Lorde’s casual response to all of the drama unfolding.
When US Weekly asked her about the dating rumors, she responded via Instagram Live: “I love him. He’s awesome, but we’re not dating!” That might be enough to say that something might be going on between the two.
The Rumors Led To An Awful Fall Out
It’s no surprise that Dunham was upset over the rumors. In an interview with The Cut, Dunham admitted the situation was awful.
“I don’t think anything happened between them. I can never know someone else’s life,” she said. “I have never spoken to Lorde about it. We haven’t talked since Jack and I broke up. It was awful, and I couldn’t do anything about it except trust that what he was saying to me was true.”
Lorde Caught Heat When She Made A Comment About Taylor Swift
Lorde is supposedly a treasured member of Swift’s famous squad. The sentiment was put into question when the “Green Light” singer compared the Grammy-winning artist to a disease.
In June 2017, Lorde opened up about what she meant. “It’s like having a friend with particular allergies. There are certain places you can’t go together. Certain things you can’t do.” It’s possible Lorde isn’t being malicious, but to compare someone to a disease sounds a little rough.
Remember That Kanye Collaboration?
Their March 2015 meet up ignited rumors that a potential collaboration is in the works. Eventually, Lorde did cover two of Kanye’s songs at a March 2018 concert in Chicago. Some angry fans of Taylor Swift shared memes and GIFs to express their annoyance over the pair making music.
Of course, this all goes back to 2009. That’s when Kanye got up on stage and embarrassed Swift in favor of Beyoncé.
She Thinks Rap Is Irrelevant
This bit of information comes from a 2013 interview with Interview Magazine. Around this time, she was listening to artists like Drake and Nicki Minaj. She said: “They all sing about such opulence, stuff that didn’t relate to me — or anyone that I knew. I began thinking, ‘How are we listening to this? It’s completely irrelevant.'”
Needless to say, fans were not impressed with her hot take on the changing music scene.
Lorde May Have The Jealousy Bug
The “Royals” envious reaction to Pink performing at the Grammy’s in 2017 was proof that she might be a little jealous. She was even caught on camera showing no enthusiasm while the musician did her performance. Who knows, maybe Lorde’s reaction was due to some pre-Grammy’s drama.
The New Zealand native was supposedly frustrated that she wasn’t asked to perform. Nevertheless, she has a point, but sometimes, the spotlight needs to be shared by other artists.
Her Whitney Houston Reference Was Something Else
“And iii will always love you,” wrote Lorde in a since-deleted Instagram snap of an empty bathtub. This was supposedly a nod to Houston’s infamous recording of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” The post was filled with negative feedback, with people calling the artist insensitive.
Lorde later blamed poor judgment for the controversy to Entertainment Weekly. “I’m so sorry for offending anyone — I hadn’t even put this together, I was just excited to take a bath.”
Is She A Feminist?
The Grammy-winning artist is never shy about feminism. Considering she’s all about female empowerment, it’s kind of bizarre that she seemingly questioned fellow pop star Selena Gomez’s commitment to the cause.
Gomez’s single “Come & Get It” challenges the topic. Shortly after Lorde told 60 Minutes Australia she was “Trying to fight for better conditions for women” fans took to social media to blast her. As for Gomez, the comment didn’t bother her.
She Has An Instagram Account About Onion Rings
Apparently, the “Tennis Court” singer is really into onion rings. During her 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, she came out in the open about the fried snack. She would reveal that she runs an account on Instagram devoted to reviewing onion rings.
Unfortunately, the account isn’t running anymore. However, she did share that she prefers battered onion rings over breading. Also, she likes pickle with the onions too.
She Has An Interesting Painting In Her Bedroom
Once Lorde was making a name for herself, she moved out of her parents home in New Zealand. But, she wouldn’t travel far, owning a home near her mom and dad. Nevertheless, having your own place means you can do whatever you want.
In this case, she hung a painting in her bedroom. She described it to Rolling Stone as a “big, weird, very beautiful, quite saucy.” Lorde thinks the painting is “definitely a vagina.”