In a week where New Zealand singer Lorde has become an international sensation, her biggest fan, Perez Hilton, has expressed his delight at the 16-year-old’s meteoric rise to stardom – and given her a timely warning.
The US celebrity blogger, and new dad to six-month-old boy Mario Armando Lavandeira III (Perez’s real name is Mario Armando Lavandeira Jr), has never been to New Zealand, but it hasn’t stopped him backing us – last week he featured the Chiefs’ Super Rugby victory haka on his website, perezhilton.com, commenting that the rugby team “sure knows how to celebrate”.
Auckland-based Lorde, aka Ella Yelich-O’Connor, became the first woman to top the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in 17 years last week, with her song Royals – the last female to achieve the honour was Tracy Bonham in June 1996.
After hopping on her “first plane”, Lorde played in New York and LA, where queues to see her ran around the block. Her last gig in LA – only her tenth to date – had celebrities such as Demi Moore’s daughter Rumer Willis and actor/musician Jared Leto in the crowd, as well as Perez.
“I’ve been a big supporter of great New Zealand artists, from Ladyhawke and Kids of 88, to The Naked and Famous and Kimbra and more,” explains music-lover Perez (35), who has featured on Britney Spears’ Circus tour and Rihanna’s S&M video, and made several TV appearances.
The blog, which he started nine years ago in a cafe, now has more than eight million visitors every day, and Forbes estimates his net worth at about $37.2 million.
“One of my friends in the New Zealand music world tipped me off to Lorde on March 1, and the very next day I did my first post on her,” he told the Weekly.
“I instantly loved her. It’s captivating and she is fresh.”
Perez has compared Lorde to “Lana Del Rey mixed with old school Lily Allen”, and predicts “massive global success”. Her first album, Pure Heroine, is due for release next month.
Perez is continuing to support the Kiwi teen on his blog, and says he’ll be on hand to help her out in the cut-throat industry.
“Don’t overthink things,” he advises. “Be yourself and don’t try too hard to be cool.”