The single shot straight in at No.1 all over the world – including in the UK Singles Charts and the Billboard Hot 100 – thanks to its minimal finger-snapping hook and rebel-rousing lyrics that remind teenagers everywhere they’re unlikely to bald prematurely or have to endure endless years of media scrutiny.
And then she released her debut album, Pure Heroine, which was equally as well-received. Even Kanye West liked it. And he never likes anything.
So chances are, you’ve already heard about the 16-year-old singer from New Zealand.
If not, you’ve probably just been introduced after her big International Female Solo Artist win at the BRIT Awards, which saw her beat the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga into second and third. Or even before that, when she won the Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance Grammys in January.
Brits Awards 2014: Red carpet in pictures
Brits Awards 2014: Red carpet in pictures
1/15 One Direction
One Direction arrive on the red carpet. The band are nominated in the British Group and British Single categories
2/15 Jessie J
Jessie J is nominated for British Female Solo Artist
3/15 Arctic Monkeys
The Arctic Monkeys are nominated for British Group and Album of the Year
From left to right: Dan Smith, Chris 'Woody' Wood, Kyle Simmons and Will Farquarson, collectively known as 'Bastille' are nominated for British Breakthrough Act, British Group and British Single
5/15 London Grammar
From Left to Right: Dot Major, Hannah Reid and Dan Rothman of London Grammar attend The BRIT Awards 2014 at the 02 Arena. They are nominated in the British Breakthrough Act category
6/15 Tom Odell
Tom Odell is nominated for British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist
7/15 Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding attending The Brit Awards 2014. She has been nominated in the Best Female Solo Artist and British Video categories
8/15 Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger on the red carpet
9/15 Neon Jungle
The band members of Neon Jungle attending The BRIT Awards 2014
10/15 Boy George
Boy George is in attendance at this evening's BRIT Awards
11/15 Laura Mvula
Laura Mvula, left, is nominated in British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist categories. Arriving with Tinie Tempah
12/15 James Corden
James Corden is hosting tonight's BRIT awards
Katy B is in attendance at this evening's BRIT Awards
14/15 Kylie and Dannii Minogue
Kylie Mingoue, right, with sister Dannii, arriving at the BRIT Awards
15/15 Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams (pictured with his wife Helen Lasichanah) is performing at the BRIT Awards with Nile Rodgers
But what do we really know about her? These vital stats are probably entirely useless, but may crop up in a pub quiz or an edition of Trivial Pursuit at some distant point in the future:
Her real name is…
A real mouthful, actually. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor. Which would differentiate her slightly from Finnish metal band Lordi who ripped off Gwar and stormed to Eurovision success in 2006.
She’s obsessed with “royals and aristocracy”…
Hence the stage name. She also knows she’ll never be one. Hence the song.
But Lord was too masculine so she made like the French and added an ‘e’…
Because she’s super literate like that.
She actually got signed to Universal at the age of 13…
They like to grow them young, apparently.
And grow them they did…
The figures speak for themselves. “Royals” has gone Gold in the UK, quadruple platinum in the US and six times platinum in Australia at last count. In October 2013, she also became the first woman to top the Alternative Chart in the US in 17 years.
Her nickname at school was “Dusty” or “Casper”, apparently, because she’s so pale…
She said it, not us.
She’s not about to snuggle up to Justin Bieber or Harry Styles like almost every other female pop star her age…
“Yuck! They can have each other, I’ll book the honey moon,” she’s been quoted as saying.
And she doesn’t like Selena Gomez, either…
In fact, she blasted her in Rolling Stone and called her song “Come & Get It” an “anti-feminist” mantra. Gomez struck out, saying she still liked her. Which will probably go down in history as the worst comeback of all time.
But she loves Kanye West…
And regularly performs “Hold My Liquor” live. And he loves her, too. Says he likes her messages. Not massages. Messages.
Her mum, Sonja Yelich, is an award-winning poet…
And that’s where she gets her lyrical prowess from. Or something. Last collection she wrote was about a US marine.
She hasn’t graduated from high school yet…
Priorities, woman! Maths is really important. When you’re counting your millions in a mansion in Auckland somewhere.
Like the $2.5million she just pocketed after signing a publishing deal with Songs Music Publishing…
Can we count them?
New York mayor-elect Bill de Blasio used “Royals” as his walk-in music for his victory speech…
He really did. Maybe that’s why…
“I want people to stop hearing Lorde on the radio all the time,” she told V magazine, thoughtfully. “Because it’s kind of crazy at the moment.” She went on to add she’s going to give us all a bit of breathing space before she releases anything else. Which is nice.Reuse content