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Lorde rules music world

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 09:04 31/01/2014
Lorde
REUTERS
PROUD MOMENT: Lorde with the two Grammy awards she won on Monday.

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Lorde's outstanding success at the world's most prestigious music ceremony has unified New Zealand, a former mentor says.

Leon Jacobs, Belmont Intermediate's rock band teacher, says he "found it quite emotional" watching Ella Yelich-O'Connor take home two Grammys on Monday.

Mr Jacobs teaches the Belmont rock bands, of which Ella was a member when she attended the intermediate.

Lorde won song of the year and best pop solo performance at the 56th Grammys in Los Angeles. She becomes the youngest Kiwi to win at the Grammys.

The 17-year- old beat music industry heavyweights such as Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Pink and Macklemore - a "surreal" feat, Mr Jacobs says.

He says Lorde's talent has always been known but the widespread critical acclaim confirms that.

"You make music to connect with people.

"No matter how good you know students are, this is larger than life."

People from all walks of life know Royals, which sat at No 1 on the US Billboard charts for nine weeks, and Lorde's success has a unifying effect, he says.

"It lifts everyone's spirits, it buoys people up, it gives a common identity."

But fame and fortune haven't changed Ella at all, Mr Jacobs says.

"She hasn't become a prima donna. She always was a standout student" due to her emotional maturity and positive nature, he says.

"I've become quite a fan. It's certainly not a genre I would've listened to in the past, " the rock fan says.

Ella's integrity as an artist, her humility and intelligence is why she has won millions of fans around the world, Mr Jacobs says.

He and his wife watched the Grammys live.

Mr Jacobs believes Belmont Intermediate will celebrate when school reconvenes on February 3.

A special assembly, where students can watch her Grammys performance and acceptance speeches, is to be held, he says. Students may want to sing Royals in the assembly, he adds.

Ella returned to Belmont Intermediate last year to judge the annual Belmont Idol competition which she won at age 12. She sang Royals with the school's more than 500 students.

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