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British media on Lorde's trail

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 13:45 04/02/2014
Fairfax NZ

Pupils at Lorde's old school watch a performance of when she was their age and sing along to her break-out hit Royals.

Lorde at Belmont
DANIEL GALVIN/ Fairfax NZ Zoom
Famous talent judge Lorde on stage when she helped judging a talent contest last year.

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UK tabloids are keeping a close eye on Kiwi superstar Lorde with the Royals singer a daily fixture for the British media, CNN International reporter Neil Curry says.

A lot about the teenager, from Grammy wins to her security entourage at Sydney Airport, had been presented to Britons in the past week, he said.

The London-based executive editor is visiting New Zealand for a series of stories for the global news channel, including a piece about Lorde's roots.

Curry said his story, which would feature Lorde's former schools Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar, would be broadcast in the lead-up to her appearance at the BRIT Awards on February 20 (NZ time).

The story will be shown on CNN International, which is watched by more than 260 million people around the world.

The 17-year-old, real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor, will perform at the music awards with British duo Disclosure.

She is nominated for international female solo artist.

Curry said his 11-year-old daughter was a big fan of Lorde and she and all her friends knew the words to smash hit Royals.

He wanted to explore Lorde's history, something he had done for the likes of David Bowie, whose old school included Bowie's music in the curriculum, Curry said.

"I saw the lovely video of Ella visiting Belmont last year and wondered whether there might be some kind of similar post-Grammy reaction," he told Fairfax Media before flying into Auckland.

Curry and his cameraman were this morning greeted by more than 500 Belmont students, many on their first day at intermediate.

He said he "found it very emotional" when students sang the national anthem and "the Lorde's prayer", referring to Royals.

Lorde's achievements showed people "anything's possible", he said.

He has interviewed several Kiwi artists previously, including Scribe and Nesian Mystik.

Honesty and humbleness were the common qualities he had found among New Zealand musicians.

Kiwis were much more open about talking about their music and expressing themselves.

Lorde resonated with people around the world because of the message in her music, not where she was from, Curry said.

Belmont students watched a video of Lorde performing with the school's 2009 rock band before singing Royals.

Many did not need assistance from the karaoke lyrics projected onto the hall's big screen.

Lorde returned to Belmont in November to judge the annual talent contest, which she had won at age 12.

Belmont principal Nick Hill said her achievements would be an inspiration to new students. It was hoped Lorde would return to judge the contest again this year.

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