“Royals,” the dreamy, anti-bling hit by 16-year-old singer Lorde, is the new go-to song for pop star and karaoke wannabes, spawning cover performances all over YouTube, and even a haunting, operatic Samsung ad sung by street urchins and featuring soccer superstar Lionel Messi.
So what makes “Royals” so slyly addictive? For one thing, it uses minimal instrumentation, unfolding in a typical blues chord progression of D-C-G with just finger snaps, female harmonies and the winking lyrics, “But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom / Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room / We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.”
It just reached Billboard’s No. 1 single spot, making its singer, a New Zealand teenager with curly brown hair and big blue eyes, the youngest artist to reign since Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” in 1987.
Is it any wonder groups like “The Sing-Off” ‘s Pentatonix and the six-sister teen ensemble Cimorelli want to take a crack at it? Choose your favorite from the videos below, and spin the album Pure Heroine in our MyMusicCloud music store (yours for just $5).
Pentatonix sings “Royals”
Cimorelli’s version …
Samsung’s Street Urchins with Lionel Messi