Lorde hits number one in the US

By Hayden Donnell

Lorde. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Lorde. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Lorde has made Kiwi music history by leapfrogging Miley Cyrus to hit number one on the US Billboard charts.

The 16-year-old's debut smash Royals had been sitting at number three on the Top 100 chart.

It jumped past Katy Perry's Roar and Cyrus' Wrecking Ball to hit the number one spot today.

The achievement makes Lorde the youngest solo artist to top the Hot 100 since Tiffany, whose song I Think We're Alone Now took over at number one on November 7, 1987, when she was 16 years and one month old.

Lorde turns 17 on November 16.

Pauly Fuemana from OMC.
Pauly Fuemana from OMC.

She is now the only New Zealand artist to hit the top of Billboard's Hot 100 list.

OMC's song How Bizarre made number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in 1997.

However, it did not make number one on the Hot 100 because it was never released as a retail single.

Neil Finn's Don't Dream It's Over had a top chart placing of number two, while Kimbra was a guest vocalist on Australian artist Gotye's number one hit Somebody That I Used To Know last year.

Lorde posted her shocked reaction to the news on Twitter this morning.


According to Billboard, Royals had a 22 per cent lift in popularity to 128 million in all-format audience.

The song's ascent had been stunning, the website said.

Its success was driven by a 22 per cent lift in its radio play, alongside continuing chart-topping digital sales figures of 294,000 downloads in the last week, Billboard said.

Royals also set the mark for the longest reign atop the Alternative Songs chart by a lead female artist - taking over from Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know.

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Meanwhile, Lorde's first album, Pure Heroine, is getting rave reviews in the US.

Billboard concluded the album would usher in the "age of Lorde", in a track-by-track review of its 10 songs.

Reviewer Jason Lipshutz said Pure Heroine mixed the "shadowy sonics" of Massive Attack and the XX with an intuitive pop sensibility.

"September has been a profoundly great month for new female vocalists in popular music, but Lorde is easily the most vocally striking and lyrically thought-provoking. Pure Heroine is honest and addictive. Welcome to the age of Lorde."

Grantland's reviewer Emily Yoshida said Pure Heroine was the work of a "future superstar".

"It just so happens that Pure Heroine, as its title cheekily implies, is wall-to-wall pop pleasure and very possibly the best album of the year."

Lorde recently bore the ire of Miley Cyrus fans after Royals overtook Cyrus on the iTunes Charts.

Lorde told her fans on Twitter: "#1 on US iTunes. Even if it lasts an hour I feel HAPPY. Downside is all these Miley fans telling me they're gonna stab my rotting corpse."

She has also been caught up in a well-publicised spat with fellow pop sensation Selena Gomez after calling herself a feminist and saying she disagreed with the way women were portrayed in some songs.

"I love pop music on a sonic level. But I'm a feminist and the theme of her song [Come & Get It] is, 'When you're ready come and get it from me'.

"I'm sick of women being portrayed this way," she said.

- nzherald.co.nz and APNZ

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