Universal’s after-party a chance to celebrate the success of its teenage star.
It was the after-party everyone wanted to attend, appropriately held at Everybody's in Auckland's Fort Lane, but for record label Universal Music the private bash with a staggering $80,000 bar tab was a chance to showcase how well they've done this past year - thanks largely to a teenager from Takapuna.
Lorde's album Pure Heroine has sold more than 2.7 million copies with a combined 17 million singles, including more than 10 million for Royals alone. She has earnings of $11 million to date, according to Herald reckoning, which means lucrative returns for her label.
On Thursday night, she won no less than six gongs at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. No wonder it was celebration time.
Universal put down the credit card and the party doors did not close until 4am. The booze flowed very freely - a rumoured $80,000 worth or more.
"I'm not sure of the final tab," promotions manager Matt Offord told The Diary, "but, yes, it was right up there. I'll have to ask our accounts director, he'll pay that bill. It'll be a big one, for sure."
Dozens of people tried to blag their way in, all eager to rub shoulders with the label's top acts: Lorde, Broods, Sol3 Mio, Ladi6 and Six60.
Rivals Warner Music upped the ante at their after-party with French champagne Moet et Chandon on tap. If music is a dying business, the labels certainly weren't showing it.
It was a celebratory end to a very special Music Awards this year, thanks in large part to a more diverse range of performers, heart-warming acceptance speeches and a more familial feel overall.
Labour luvvie Jacinda Ardern made a surprising presence hand-in-hand with her new man, George FM DJ Clarke Gayford. It was the first high-profile public outing for the pair now affectionately dubbed "Clacinda".
Ella Yelich-O'Connor (aka Lorde) looked stunning in a blush pink suit and red bralet. And high heels, even. At last year's ceremony the awkward, shy teen wore stompy school shoes and a long, black Zambesi gown in the manner of Elvira.
There's no doubt she has grown up a lot in a year. Lorde is a global superstar with a hoard of awards and tributes and an enormous bank balance to boot. Even her speech is affected, with a more international-sounding accent and Americanisms thrown in freely.
She is more confident, more poised and more self-aware of the media's role in her meteoric rise in pop stardom.
Only months ago she complained about the "lecherous gaze" of the music industry and media intrusion. Now she's waltzing around in a bra top and confident in her own success - and we applaud her for it.
Her family, who accompanied her en masse on Thursday night, looked just as happy to be there as she did. Pity her boyfriend, James K. Lowe, rarely cracked a smile.
Sol3 Mio (also Universal artists) performed on stage and brought the house down. The crowd honoured the family opera trio with a prolonged standing ovation. They won the gong for Highest-Selling Album and thanked their families "for buying up all the albums ... we sold it cheap for this reason."
The eternally cheery Stan Walker was a crowd-pleaser, too, scooping two popularity gongs - NZ on Air Radio Airplay Award and People's Choice Award. He wore a see-through white shirt and drew plenty of self-deprecating attention to it when accepting his gongs on stage. "I have to suck in my stomach because my guts is hanging out. I'm hanging my hat in front of my gut. For real."
Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, who presented an award, drew plenty of oohs and ahs for her look - a plunging micro-mini dress. She split from her AFL footy star boyfriend not so long ago.
Senior rockers slip in
The Rolling Stones slipped into Auckland aboard their private plane with little fanfare. News media, focused on the Music Awards in the CBD, didn't send paps to snap their arrival. Quite the contrast from eight years ago, when the band last toured here and media outlets thronged the airport and their hotel, The Langham (this columnist included).
The plush penthouse suites of the Langham are playing home to the septuagenarians again. They have been using the loading dock to come and go inconspicuously.
Their concert at Mt Smart Stadium tonight is their last on a long international tour juggernaut that has had more than its share of tragedy. This week, Sir Mick Jagger, 71, told the BBC that spending time with his band-mates had a healing effect on him when he learned of the tragic death of his girlfriend L'Wren Scott in March.
"It was a very difficult time for me, obviously. And for all my family as well," he said. " I think getting back on tour in Europe helped me a lot. You concentrate on your work, and I had a great time touring."
When he jets home to Europe his focus will be preparing Christmas. The rocker is cooking Christmas dinner for his ex-wife Jerry Hall and their family.
He's in charge of organising the Christmas tree, cooking the turkey and sorting out the stockings and presents. Hall has asked for a fridge freezer with an ice maker.