Teen singer songwriter Lorde seemingly came out of nowhere with the 2013 chart topper Royals. But it might surprise music fans to know that Universal Music carefully developed her for several years. Is she the next big thing or a flash in the pan? She was born Ella Yelich-O'Connor Nov. 7, 1996 in Takapuna, New Zealand which is a suburb of Aukland. Her mom is a poet. Ella is fascinated by the Royal Family thus the Lorde stage name and that is the subject of Royals. She performed as a child and by 2009 she was singing on local radio with guitarist Louis McDonald as Ella & Louis. Universal Music's Scott Maclachlan signed her but did not record her immediately. She performed in local clubs and went to school. Universal ramped things up in 2011 when they hired a vocal coach for her and then they hired producer Joel Little to help her with her songwriting. Little was leader of the band Goodnight Nurse and he ended that band in 2010 to concentrate on production. Lorde released the EP The Love Club through her Soundcloud account in Nov. 2012. After 60,000 downloads, Universal released it on CD in Mar. 2013. Then Royals was released as a single in June and it became a worldwide smash hit. Lorde became the youngest solo artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 since Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now in 1987. Lorde won a couple of Grammys including Song Of The Year. Her first full length CD Pure Heroine was released Sept. 2013 and it sold over a million copies. I think the notable thing about Lorde is how carefully Universal sold her. Releasing her EP to her Soundcloud got a raised eyebrow from me. Very shrewd. For me, she sounds like a lot of other female singers. She is frequently compared to Lana Del Ray. Adele seems to be an influence too. The big difference is that Lorde is only 18. She has been on tour for 2014 and is currently writing songs for her second album. She claims the second album will be completely different from the first. Except maybe her fans and record company don't want her to be different. Maybe they just want more of the same. Establishing her identity is a key to longevity and that could be a big struggle for Lorde. That's a lot of pressure for a kid. We'll see how she handles it. Here's the video for Royals by Lorde.