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This article is about the New Zealand singer-songwriter. For the civil rights activist, see Audre Lorde. For other uses, see Lorde (disambiguation).

Lorde Live at GOODGOD Small Club
Lorde performing live on 18 May 2013(Goodgod Small Club in Sydney, NSW, Australia).
Background information
Birth name Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor
Born 7 November 1996 (age 17)

DevonportNorth Shore,AucklandNew Zealand

Genres *Art pop*indie pop*minimal
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2012–present
Labels *Universal*Republic*Lava

Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor[1] (born 7 November 1996), known by her stage name Lorde (/ˈlɔrd/),[2] is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. Her first EPThe Love Club, was released on 22 November 2012, and her first single, "Royals", débuted at number 1 on the New Zealand Top 40 and also reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States. Her début album, Pure Heroine, was released on 27 September 2013.[3]

Early lifeEdit

"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 speaking of her songwriting technique


Ella Yelich-O'Connor was born in Auckland, New Zealand on 7 November 1996 to Vic O'Connor, a civil engineer, and Sonja Yelich,[5] a prize-winning New Zealand poet.[6][7] She was raised in suburban Devonport, Auckland[8][9][10] alongside three siblings, including a younger brother and an older sister.[11][12] She is of of Dalmatian and Irish ancestry.[1]

At the age of 12, Lorde was selected by A&R scout Scott Maclachlan, who saw her singing in a video of a talent show that was held at her school, Belmont Intermediate.[13] Later, when Lorde was 13, Maclachlan signed her to Universal and at the age of 14, she began working with their songwriters.[14] Lorde began writing songs with her guitar at "about thirteen or fourteen".[15][better source needed]

As of July 2013, Lorde is a Year Twelve student at Takapuna Grammar School.[16][17]


2013: The Love Club EP and Pure HeroineEdit

Officially released digitally in March 2013 and on CD in May 2013, The Love Club EP features five songs, including the number one hit "Royals". On 27 May 2013, "Royals" was covered on national television on the New Zealand version of The X Factor by all-girl group Gap 5, mentored by Melanie Blatt.

"Royals" débuted as a single at number 1 on the New Zealand Top 40 on 15 March 2013 and remained in the top position for three weeks.[18] It also peaked number 1 in the U.S. on theBillboard Hot 100, as well as the Alternative charts (making Lorde the first female artist since Tracy Bonham to reach the top) and the Rock charts, making her the first female artist to top the charts as a lead singer.[citation needed]

On 8 May 2013, The Love Club EP débuted in the number 2 position on the album chart. In August 2013, Lorde became the first woman to top the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in the United States since Tracy Bonham in 1996.[9] Following the release of "Royals" in the United States in June 2013, 85,000 copies were sold during a single week in July. In a subsequent interview, Lorde stated, "I had a sneaking suspicion that it might do all right".[19]

The "Tennis Court" single was released in New Zealand on 8 June 2013.[20] The Tennis Court EP was released digitally in the UK on 7 June (due to the timezone difference) and physically on 22 June.[21][22] It was played during the BBC Sport coverage of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships – Women's Singles final. On 14 June 2013, Lorde's second single "Tennis Court" débuted at number 1 on the New Zealand Top 40 singles chart. In the same week, she also became the first New Zealand artist to simultaneously have four songs in the top 20 tracks of the New Zealand Top 40. Previously, Titanium held this record with three songs.[23]

Tennis Court EP was released 22 July.[24]

Lorde was the replacement for Frank Ocean, who cancelled because of illness, at the 2013 Splendour in the Grass festival. She was contacted on 26 July 2013, the Friday immediately prior to the weekend of the festival, while she was at a party with friends in Auckland, New Zealand. She performed before 10,000 people in northern Byron Bay, Australia, where the festival is based in 2013.[19]

On 12 August 2013, Lorde announced on her Twitter profile that her début album Pure Heroine would be released on in the US on 30 September 2013.[3] The release of the album was preceded by an advertising campaign which saw lyrics to her songs displayed in buses, shop windows and even sent via fax machine to media outlets.[25]

In early September 2013, Lorde and co-writer Joel Little were shortlisted for the 2013 Silver Scroll Award—the award honours outstanding achievements in the writing of original New Zealand pop music songs—for "Royals".[26]

In a September 2013 interview for TV3's 3rd Degree, Lorde revealed that she had declined an offer from singer Katy Perry as a supporting act on her world tour.[27][28]

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.[29]

Musical style and influencesEdit

Lorde's music draws from electropop and she cites soul singer Etta James and producer SBTRKT as two prominent influences.[30] 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".[10] Lorde called American musical artist Nicki Minaj an "important female in pop",[31] and is also a fan of the FoalsJai PaulAlt-J and Bon Iver.[citation needed] Lorde describes short story writers Raymond CarverWells TowerTobias Wolff and Claire Vaye Watkins as lyrical inspirations, particularly by their sentence structures.[32]

During the writing of The Love Club (2013), Lorde was particularly influenced by Kanye West and she performed a cover version of West's song "Hold My Liquor" at her Auckland concert on 7 September 2013.[33][34][35]


Lorde discography
Studio albums 1
EPs 1
Singles 3
Music videos 2

Lorde has released one studio album and six singles. She made her chart debut in 2013 with "Royals" which reached number one in New Zealand and US Billboard Hot 100 making her the first New Zealand artist to reach number one in that region. It was followed by the release of her debut studio album, Pure Heroine (2013).


Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales








Pure Heroine 1 1
  • NZ: Platinum[40]

Extended playsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales








The Love Club EP
  • Released: 22 November 2012
  • Label: Universal
  • Format: CD, download
2 2[A] 22 23
  • US: 60,000[44]


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
















"Royals" 2013 1 [A] 1 46 88 3 45 1 The Love Club EP and Pure Heroine
"Tennis Court" 1 20 194 83 197 115 Pure Heroine
"Team" 3 19 90
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Promotional singlesEdit

Title Year Album
"Buzzcut Season" 2013 Pure Heroine

Other charted songsEdit

List of other songs, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


[ US

Rock] [54]

"The Love Club" 2013 17 18
  • RMNZ: Gold[55]
The Love Club EP
"Swingin Party" 10
"Bravado" 29
"Million Dollar Bills" 29
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videosEdit

Title Year Director(s) Ref
"Royals" 2013 Joel Kefali [56]
"Tennis Court" [57]