Lorde Texts Taylor Swift for Advice, Opens Up About Cyberbullying of Boyfriend James Lowe

Celebrity News Jan. 22, 2014 AT 7:05PM
Lorde on the cover of Rolling Stone In Rolling Stone's cover story about "Royals" singer Lorde, the 17-year-old texts Taylor Swift for advice and opens up about the cyberbullying she and her boyfriend faced last year Credit: Matthias Vriens-McGrath

Is there anyone who isn't BFFs with Taylor Swift these days? The "I Knew You Were Trouble" chanteuse has been spotted hanging out with everyone from Sarah Hyland and Jaime King to Selena Gomez and Hailee Steinfeld in recent weeks -- and now a new Rolling Stone profile on Lorde reveals that she also texts back and forth with the 17-year-old "Royals" songstress.

At one point during the magazine's interview with Lorde (real name: Ella Yelich-O'Connor), the New Zealander frets over what to buy as a Christmas gift for her manager. She's torn between a hand-shaped brass bowl and a "minimalist globe table lamp," so she texts photos of both to Swift to get her opinion.

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"Taylor's super-good at this stuff," the "Team" singer explains to Rolling Stone. "She's decorated her own houses for ages."

According to the magazine, the two became friends after Swift sent the teen phenom a bunch of roses when "Royals" hit No. 1. "I was floored," Lorde says. The gesture was especially surprising since it came after she had insulted the "Red" singer. "Taylor Swift is so flawless and so unattainable, and I don't think it's breeding anything good in young girls," she had told a New Zealand reporter.

Swift wasn't aware of the diss at the time, but she took it in stride when she found out. "She was like, 'It's fine. If all you've done is call someone perfect, it's not that bad,'" Lorde recalls.

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Swift is one of those rare artists who have what the Grammy-nominated newcomer calls "real teenage voices." "There are very few of us," she tells RS. "There's Tavi [Gevinson] and the Rookie [Mag] group, King Krule, and, to an extent, Jake Bugg. The other teenagers sing other people's songs, which is fine, but it's not an authentic teenage experience." 

Indeed, Lorde has made a name for herself by refusing to conform to any kind of cookie-cutter pop star mold. She has very clearly distanced herself from the likes of Britney Spears and Selena Gomez, whose song "Come & Get It" she dissed as anti-feminist.

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"People around me, who I'm really close to, were like, 'Do you have to express your opinions all the time?'" she tells Rolling Stone, noting that she stands by what she said. "I knew I was right."

That said, there's a difference between critiquing and hating, which is what Lorde experienced when pictures of her with boyfriend James Lowe surfaced online. The couple faced some pretty brutal cyberbullying about their relationship and Lowe's appearance -- his family is of Asian descent -- which Lorde says took its toll.

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Intellectually, she says, she knows that the commenters are usually "the type of people who use the word 'f----t as an insult." But that doesn't mean she's immune to their vitriol. "[I'm] not completely impervious to insult," she says. "I'm a human being."

It's easy to forget that sometimes, given her meteoric rise to fame, but Lorde has moments of insecurity just like anyone else. "I get paralyzingly nervous a lot of times, so I tried bravado," she tells the mag. "The way I dress and carry myself, a lot of people find it strange or intimidating. I think my whole career can be boiled down to the one word I always say in meetings: strength."

For much more from Lorde, pick up the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands now.

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