A few years ago, Lorde was a loveable teen pop queen with a stylish hit, stylish name and stylish fans. "Royals," the New Zealander's 2013 global smash hit, or the album it was on, Pure Heroine, was not an empty accomplishment: The album was rightfully hailed by critics as insightful and wise beyond her years, and it went on to sell over 3 million copies in the United States alone.
But the ditches of pop's platinum road are all too populated with promising young talent who failed to graduate to the A-List. Any doubts surrounding Lorde's ability to keep her music and career on the road were dramatically put to ease last year with the release of her latest album, the forcefully imaginative, impeccably crafted Melodrama.
It hasn't set the sales charts on fire as her debut record did, but Melodrama was nominated for Album of the Year at this year's Grammy awards, and in a glowing, high-rated review, Pitchfork described the album as "a masterful study of being a young woman, a sleek and humid pop record full of grief and hedonism, crafted with the utmost care and wisdom."
In 2018, Lorde is a full-on adult pop-culture presence. Google her and you'll find links detailing her tour fashion, concerts, maybe/maybe not celebrity boyfriend (Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, who produced Melodrama and has been instrumental in recent efforts from Taylor Swift and St. Vincent) and even an article from Billboard devoted to her sister's first book of poetry due out soon.
She finds herself in her most grown-up spotlight yet after her December 2017 decision to cancel a June 2018 concert in Tel Aviv. A Florida lawmaker has recently proposed canceling her upcoming April shows in Miami and Tampa as a result of what he feels was an anti-Israel decision.
Lorde may never be a royal, as she sings in that fateful first hit. But she's all grown up and making waves all her own.