Lorde's rocket ride to this year's Grammys

21:08, Jan 26 2014
GRAMMY HOPE: Kiwi teen Lorde will perform tonight at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

Just over a year ago, Lorde did not exist - at least not outside the mind of Ella Yelich-O'Connor, a 16-year-old Auckland schoolgirl.

This afternoon, the Kiwi pop star is one year older and in Los Angeles, as a nominee and performer at the Grammys.

Lorde, the unlikely latest mouthpiece for teenage angst, has been nominated for four awards at the American music industry awards: song of the year, record of the year, best pop solo performance and best pop vocal album.

With an estimated television audience of 30 million people, her performance will be in a lineup that includes Daft Punk, Stevie Wonder, Pink, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons.

She missed out on a nomination for best new artist, despite her potential for success in that category.

But although Lorde's rise to fame seems to have happened at light-speed, Yelich-O'Connor was producing music long before the world knew her name.


In 2009, the then 12-year-old won her intermediate school talent show, which a friend's parent recorded and sent in to Universal Music Group, the biggest label in the world.

After being approached by Universal, Yelich-O'Connor signed a development deal, and so began a chain of events that led to her chart-topping glory.

On November 20, 2012, Yelich-O'Connor and her manager, Scott Maclachlan, launched Lorde online via social media.

Her first EP, The Love Club, (co-written with Auckland-based Joel Little) was free to download from SoundCloud before it was released for digital sale in March 2013.

In September last year, shortly before Grammy nominations were made, the album, Pure Heroine, was released.

Since then, her accolades have been numerous and record-breaking, making her the most acclaimed new artist of the year.

A win today, however, could top all that.

After the nominations were confirmed on December 7, Little tweeted: "A song that Ella & I made to give away for free just got nominated for 3 Grammys & the album got one too. Whaat.

"So proud of @lordemusic."

Fairfax Media