Originally posted on Variety:
Yes, Katy Perry boxed on the VMAs. Miley Cyrus showed everything but her box. But the woman with the most infectious track, who neither looks like a model nor acts like one, who has not taken off her clothes, who has not worked with the producers du jour, has trumped them both.
Credit the Internet. Now a 16-year-old in New Zealand can become a worldwide smash just as easily as a denizen of L.A. The action online motivated Jason Flom to fly down and sign her. But it was the song, the record, and not manipulation. There’s been none.
Lorde’s debut is even more impressive than Alanis Morissette’s in the ’90s. Morissette was helped by a ton of video airplay. Ditto with Nirvana. Morissette was overwhelmed by her success and never equaled it. Kurt Cobain offed himself as a result. It’s not only a long way to the top if you wanna rock ’n’ roll, it’s hard to stay there. It’s even hard to stay alive — just ask Bon Scott.