Who says it's lonely at the top? Fresh off her Jan. 26 Grammy wins for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year, Lorde stepped out with boyfriend James Lowe in Auckland, New Zealand, on Thursday, Jan. 30.
The precocious "Royals" songstress, 17, dressed casually for the outing in black pants, a black T-shirt, and chunky black shoes. Her beau, a 24-year-old photographer, wore jeans and a printed button-down left open over a black shirt; he also carried a camera on one shoulder.
The couple's relationship has been something of a hot topic for both fans and critics of the "Team" singer, ever since they were photographed on a beach together in December. Twitter users slammed Lowe's appearance and Asian heritage — "some pretty nasty s–t," Lorde (real name: Ella Yelich-O'Connor) told Rolling Stone earlier this month.
"You almost wonder about humans," she added, noting that interracial relationships are common where she grew up. "That's why the reaction came as such a surprise to me. No one I know would even think this was a big deal."
Some other people have taken issue with the seven-year age difference between the chart-topper and her boyfriend, but Lorde's parents aren't worried.
"I didn't say, 'Yeah, sure, go date a 24-year-old,'" her mom, artist Sonja Yelich, told Rolling Stone. "But her dad and I met James and we liked him. When Ella was much younger, her first boyfriend was older — four years or something."
Indeed, Lorde — who counts fellow prodigy Taylor Swift among her confidantes — has never been a typical teenager. "The way I dress and carry myself, a lot of people find it strange or intimidating," she told Rolling Stone. "I think my whole career can be boiled down to the one word I always say in meetings: strength."
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