Lorde (real name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor) was born on November 7, 1996 in Auckland, New Zealand. At the tender age of 12, she was discovered by A&R scout Scott Maclachlan after he saw a video of singing in a talent show at her school, Belmont Intermediate. When Yelich-O’Connor was only 13, Maclachlan signed her to Universal Music and she began working with songwriters the following year.
In November 2012, Lorde self-released The Love Club EP through her SoundCloud for free download. After being downloaded 60,000 times, UMG decided to commercially release the EP for sales in March of 2013. It features five tracks, including the number one hit “Royals.” On May 27,2013, the song was covered on the New Zealand version of The X Factor by the all-girl group Gap 5, mentored by Melanie Blatt of the All Saints. “Royals” debuted as a single at number 1 on the New Zealand Top 40 that month and remained in the top spot for the following three weeks. In the United States, it peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, both Alternative charts (making Lorde the first female artist to reach the top since Tracy Bonham, and on the Rock charts (making her the first female artist to top as a lead singer).
The Love Club EP debuted in the number 2 spot on the album chart in May 8, 2013. In August of that year, she became the first woman to take the number 1 spot on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in the U.S. since Tracy Bonham in 1996. After the release of “Royals” in the U.S. in June of 2013, 85,000 copies were sold in the spam of a week in July. In an interview, Lorde stated, “I had a sneaking suspicion it might do all right.”
In late 2013, her track “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” along with songs from artists such as Christina Aguilera, The Weeknd, Sia, Coldplay, Of Monsters and Men, Imagine Dragons, and more.
The “Tennis Court” single was released in New Zealand on June 8, 2013 and the Tennis Court EP was released physically on June 22. On June 14, 2013, the track debuted at number 1 on the New Zealand Top 40 singles chart. During that same week, Lorde became the first New Zealand artist to have four songs simultaneously in the top 20 tracks of the New Zealand Top 40.
On September 29, 2014, the singer released “Yellow Flicker Beat” as the first song from the soundtrack of the film “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.” Lorde curated the album’s contents, in addition to providing vocals to several tracks.
She was featured on “Magnets,” a track from Disclosure’s second studio LP Caracal, released in September 2015.