It’s official, 2013 is the year of the Lorde.
The New Zealand neo-pop sensation born Ella Yelich-O’Connor has already been catapulted to the global stage off the back of her breakout single ‘Royals’, but now the single has earned the 16-year old even more record-breaking accolades as it graces the top of the US charts.
‘Royals’ has hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, dethroning Miley Cyrus’ two-week reign with ‘Wrecking Ball’ and marks Lorde as the youngest solo artist to sit atop the US Chart since 1987, just one month out from the singer’s 17th birthday (she was born November 16th, 1996 fans).
Tiffany was the last tween sensation to hit #1, when ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ topped the charts in the week of 7th November, 1987 when she was 16 years and one month old, though she was not the youngest solo artist to achieve that feat.
Stevie Wonder holds the overall record, just 13 years of age when ‘Fingertips – Pt2′ (then credited as Lil’ Stevie Wonder) reached #1 in 1963, while 15 year old Little Peggy March topped the chart with ‘I Will Follow Him’ in 1963.
The news of ‘Royals’ reaching the charts summit arrived as Lorde was preparing to make her US network television debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (which you can watch below), performing the hit single and new song ‘White Teeth Teens’ from her debut LP Pure Heroine (which you can win a copy of via Tone Deaf here).
The singer excitedly tweeted “get the fkouttahere” in response to the Billboard #1, while also earning a national commendation from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
Congratulations to @lordemusic on reaching no. 1 on the US Billboard charts – what a fantastic achievement for a young Kiwi talent.
— John Key (@johnkeypm) October 2, 2013
Lorde can add the NZ PM to her long list of celebrity fans (that includes Grimes, Moby, Backstreet Boys, and Selena Gomez) gained as she continues to gain huge international exposure, including in Australia following her surprise turn at Splendour In The Grass as a late addition to the bill following Frank Ocean’s cancellation.
The US #1 follows on from Lorde breaking chart records after ‘Royals’ seven week reign of the Billboard Alternative Songs chart marked the Kiwi musician for the longest #1 reign in the 25-year history of the Alternative Songs chart by a lead female, surpassing the previously held victor, Alanis Morisette and her breakout 1995 single, ‘You Oughta Know.’
News which in turn followed on from Lorde being the first woman in 17 years to top the Billboard Alternative Songs chart – breaking a drought that’s lasted since before she was even in nappies – when it first hit #1 back in August.
As well as unseating Morissette, Lorde’s ‘Royals’ also surpasses the likes of Sinead O’Connor, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, and Tracy Bonham – all #1 scoring lead solo women in the Alternative Chart’s quarter century history, additionally putting Lorde in an exclusive club of female solo artists, who collectively have posted just 10 #1 hits in that 25 years.
Lorde is also the first act from New Zealand to crown the chart as a solo artist, although fellow neo-pop maverick and NZ native Kimbra spent a record-breaking reign atop the charts last year as the guest vocalist on Gotye’s world-conquering ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’. Other solo acts have come close to glory, with Neil Finn peaking at #2 with ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, while OMC’s 90s hit ‘How Bizarre’ never made it to #1 despite topping the Top 40 chart, because it wasn’t officially released as a retail single.
With a touted Flume collaboration also on the horizon, it’s unlikely that Lorde’s star is set to descend any time soon and her success is only set to continue with the recent release of her debut album Pure Heroine.
Australian fans will enjoy a four-date tour from the 16-year-old sensation this month in support of the new album. Lorde is then set to return Down Under next February as part of the strong female contingent on the Laneway 2014 lineup, alongside the likes of Haim, Savages, Adalita, CHVRCHES, Warpaint, The Jezabels and more.