One Song Turned Lorde From A Normal Teen Into A Global Star

She's in her grown up "Solar Power" era now, but Lorde was just 16 when she shot to fame.
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Lorde just dropped her third album, Solar Power, after fans spent years begging her for new music.

Her first two albums, Pure Heroine and Melodrama, already have huge fanbases and there’s no doubt Solar Power will have a massive impact on the music scene too.

WATCH: Lorde performs Solar Power in beachy music video

That means plenty of new fans will soon be flocking to follow Lorde on social media and keep up with her every move.

And many of them won’t be familiar with how the 24-year-old New Zealander rose to fame with one iconic song in 2013.

So for those who aren’t across Lorde’s incredible backstory, or the fans who just want a refresher, here’s everything you need to know about the solar-powered songstress.

Who is Lorde?

New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde is one of the hottest artists to emerge from the Southern Hemisphere in recent years.

The Auckland native rose to fame in 2013, when her song Royals took over just about every chart around the globe almost overnight.

This was the edgy Lorde we first met in 2013, when her song Royals topped charts. (Credit: Getty)

You seriously couldn’t escape the song for months on end and it made Lorde the first female solo artist to top the Billboard alternative chart in almost 20 years.

The singer told The Irish Times of her sudden shot to fame at 16: “It’s such a tender time, being a teenager. You are changing so rapidly. Everything about me was changing.”

“And to have that scrutiny—it was no joke […] I had extremely healthy boundaries around it as a teenager.”

She released her debut album Pure Heroine at the end of the year to massive success and followed it up with her sophomore album Melodrama in 2017.

After a four-year hiatus where she gave few hints about her upcoming projects, Lorde dropped her third studio album Solar Power in August 2021.


What is Lorde’s real name?

Lorde’s real name is actually Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor– it’s a pretty unique mouthful!

She decided to take on a stage name after she signed onto a development deal with Universal Music Group when she was just 12.

The singer chose the name Lorde because she had been fascinated with nobility and royalty for years, adding the ‘e’ to make it more feminine than the classic title “Lord.”

“It was actually a really quick decision. It’s quite funny, because I’m like, wow, if I’d known I would be having that name for the rest of my life I probably would have spent more than two days on it,” she told 60 Minutes of the decision in 2017.

“It was a good spontaneous choice, I think. I’m quite proud of my 16-year-old self for not messing that one up because if I’d given myself a cool, weird, hip name that I hated now that would be super annoying.”

Lorde performs Solar Power, the first single from her album by the same name. (Credit: Getty)

How old is Lorde?

Born on November 7, 1996, Lorde is only 24 and already super accomplished for such a young artist.

In fact, she was only 16 when her first hit Royals topped the charts in 2013.

Her birthday in early November makes her a Scorpio, and she actually included a cheeky reference to her star sign in her song Mood Ring.

“Ladies, begin your sun salutations / Pluto in Scorpio generation,” she sings in the song’s second chorus. Her Pluto is actually believed to be in Capricorn though.

Lorde appears in a blonde wig in her new music video for the song ‘Mood Ring’. (Credit: YouTube)

Does Lorde have a boyfriend?

The singer is pretty private about her love life, but all signs point to her and American music producer Justin Warren being an item.

He’s a promotions director for Universal Music in New Zealand, the label Lorde signed with back in 2009.

Rumours of a romance between the pair began in 2016, when the pair were spotted on a beach date in Auckland.

Justin denied the claims, but they were spotted again sharing a few kisses and some PDA in 2020.

Now there’s talk that Justin, who is reportedly 17 years Lorde’s senior at 41 years old, was the muse behind some of her Solar Power tracks.


Lorde likes to keep her love life private. (Credit: Getty)

As for previous relationships, Lorde famously dated photographer James Lowe in her teens before the couple split around the end of 2015.

It’s believed that some of the more heartbreaking songs from Melodrama were based (at least in part) on their breakup.

“After your heart is broken, music enters you on a new level,” Lorde told The New York Times after releasing the album. “It was my first major heartbreak.”

There were also rumours that Lorde had a fling with music producer Jack Antonoff, whom she has collaborated with several times.

WATCH: Lorde sets the record straight about her relationship with Jack Antonoff

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What are Lorde’s biggest albums and songs?

In 2014 Lorde won two awards at the Billboard Music Awards, taking home the award for New Artist of The Year and Top Rock Song, for Royals.

The track also scored her two awards at the Grammys, one for Song of the Year, while the music video for Royals won the award for Best Rock Video at the MTV VMAs in 2014.

Lorde took out the Brit Award for International Female Solo Artist twice, once in 2014 and again in 2018.

She did it again at the MTV Europe Music Awards, where she took home the award for Best New Zealand Act in 2013 and 2014.

Her more recent albums and singles have scored a few awards two, with Green Light picking up a New Zealand APRA Award and a New Zealand Music Award.

While the awards speak for themselves, fans and critics alike have been divided by the 24-year-old’s latest album.

Solar Power has a very different sound to Lorde’s first two albums and while many fans adore the shift in her music, some are unconvinced by her new direction.

Lorde has embraced a new sound – and style – for her third album. (Credit: Getty)

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