Thanks to her innovative songs, Lorde became one of the defining superstars of the 2010s. Her influence can be heard on numerous subsequent pop stars like Billie Eilish, Halsey, and Alessia Cara. Despite this, the singer had very few major hits. Here are her five biggest hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. ‘ Glory and Gore’
If you’re familiar with “Glory and Gore,” you’re either a hardcore Lorde fan or a fan of the History Channel drama Vikings, which appropriately featured this track in advertisements. Although the song has a sonic palette similar to other Lorde songs, it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the Pure Heroine album on a thematic level. “Glory and Gore” is about how violence can lead to power and notoriety, whereas the rest of the album largely focuses on teenage life. At the very least, the song is an interesting detour. Largely thanks to its role in the Vikings franchise, “Glory and Gore” peaked at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100.
4. ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’
Here’s another Lorde song that got a major boost from its role in a media franchise. “Yellow Flicker Beat” was the tie-in single for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. One would think that the combination of The Hunger Games and Lorde would be commercially potent, however, the song only reached the thirty-fourth position on Billboard charts. Perhaps this was because it’s one of Lorde’s more avant-garde songs and was a little too moody for the radio in 2014. Some fans prefer Kanye West‘s remix of the track to the original.
3. ‘Green Light’
After conquering the world with her album Pure Heroine, Lorde took over three years to release her sophomore record, Melodrama. The lead single from Melodrama was “Green Light,” which saw Lorde embracing modern dance music to a greater degree than she ever had before and was much more upbeat than her previous hits. The song’s composition combined with her previous success led many to expect her to rule the radio with the song, yet it only reached the nineteenth position on the Billboard charts. Despite its commercial under-performance, “Green Light” is one of the most beloved Lorde songs among the singer’s fans.
Upon the release of her first hit, “Royals,” many expected Lorde to become a one-hit wonder. It’s not hard to see why, as “Royals” is so much stranger than most pop hits of the day that many wondered if its success was a fluke. Lorde proved her naysayers wrong with “Team,” an anthem for all high school outcasts. While “Royals” sounded icy and remote, “Team” is a beautiful electronic ballad that sounds warm and inviting. It reached the third position on the Billboard Hot 100.
No one saw it coming when the song was first released, but “Royals” became one of the most influential songs of the 2010s. The singer’s only number-one hit moved the pop zeitgeist away from the candy confections of Katy Perry to a moodier sound influenced by hip-hop and electronic music. It also paved the way for a more ambitious breed of pop stars willing to tackle heavy topics and experiment with pop’s boundaries. So far, this is the Lorde song that most defines her legacy.