Is Lorde's song Royals a rock song?
Lorde made history at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday but her inclusion in the rock video category has shocked and confused even loyal fans.
The 17-year-old New Zealander took out the "moonman" trophy for best rock video for her song Royals, beating Linkin Park, Arctic Monkeys, Imagine Dragons and The Black Keys. She is the first female and first solo artist to win that category in the VMAs' 30-year history.
But both her own fans and rock fans were soon expressing outrage, confusion and general bewilderment that she had even been nominated, let alone won, an award for rock music.
Don't get me wrong, I love Lorde and I think she's really cool, but how in the world is she considered rock? #VMAs
— Jessica Jones (@JustJess26_) August 25, 2014
I'm not trying to rain on Lorde's parade, I'm just trying to figure out if MTV knows what rock music is.
— bainard (@bainard) August 25, 2014
Editor-in-chief of Australian Rolling Stone Mathew Coyte said the difference between Lorde and the other artists in the rock category was like "chalk and cheese".
"Royals is by no means a rock song by anyone's definition, it's an electronic track. It seems odd that it wasn't in a category against Katy Perry and Ariana Grande.
"It seems like they wanted to give [Lorde] an award and Ariana Grande an award and decided to put her in rock," he said, adding that the VMAs appeared to be a "bit loose" with their categories.
"I can't think of any situation where I watched the MTV VMAs and not been surprised by a category."
Ariana Grande won the award for best pop video for her song Problem.
Even Lorde herself seemed confused when she collected her trophy.
"Is there like a specific place I'm supposed to be looking?" she said when she went on stage. "This is super crazy and I'm super grateful."
Royals also won the best rock category at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.
But as for the claims that Lorde's win heralds the end of rock as we know it, Coyte reckons the VMAs remain a bit of an oddity. "Every time somebody says rock's dead, something comes along to disprove it," he said. "It'd be pretty hard to make that call."
- Sydney Morning Herald
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