Lorde can officially no longer say that she’ll never be a royal. The 17-year-old You Oughta Know artist has officially cemented her place as a pop princess with her understated, yet outstanding, Grammy Awards performance of “Royals” tonight. Lorde kept true to her roots with her performance and gave us a simple stage, a simple outfit and absolutely bonkers dance moves. HASHTAG CLAW HANDS!
A year ago, no one could have predicted that a teenaged girl from New Zealand would share the Grammy Awards stage with the likes of Beyoncé and Katy Perry, but Lorde took everyone by storm this year. We first spied her in her first North American concert at Le Poisson Rouge, and while the size of the venues that she’s performing in have certainly changed, Lorde’s performance style hasn’t.
The only “set” involved in Lorde’s performance was a projection of a stone angel overlooking the Staples Center. Lorde was only backed by two other musicians and refused to resort to pyrotechnics or slick dance moves. Of course, Lorde did move…in her own special way. Lorde’s jittery dance moves have become almost a punchline, but she didn’t rein them in. In fact, her fingers might have looked even weirder tonight than they usually do.
Rather than wear a sexy bustier like Beyoncé did to open the show, Lorde wore a simple white sleeveless button down and baggy black pants. Her fingers were ink stained and she had slightly goth-inspired make up. Back when we spoke to Lorde in September, she revealed that she is a fan of fashion, but that her style icon was Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace–whose iconic style is a white shirt and black pants.
The biggest surprise of the night? Lorde tamed her mane. Rather than let her famous curls run free, her hair was slicked down in glamorous waves.
It may have been one of the simplest performances the Grammys has ever seen, but judging by the enormous cascade of applause in the Staples Center, it was certainly crowd-pleasing.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
Later in the night, Lorde picked up her very first Grammy for Best Pop Vocal performance for “Royals.” The pop star was visibly overwhelmed by the honor. She gave a shout out to her fellow nominees and said that she had never expected it to happen. She finished her acceptance speech by saying, “I can’t,” and walked off stage.
She seemed just as surprised, but a little more collected, when she and her “Royals” producer, Joel Little, picked up the Grammy for “Song of the Year” for “Royals.”
Okay, so maybe we were quick to anoint her as pop’s new poised and polished princess. Yes, her Grammy win confirms that she’s a royal, but her adorable and authentic teen reaction to the award suggests she’s still an alternative to the usual diva that we see on stage.
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