THR's Music Issue: Lorde, Phoenix, Ellie Goulding Headline Global Pop Icons Portfolio
A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Being "big in Japan" was once a punchline for fame-grubbing also-rans. No more. Today, music scenes outside the U.S. are mined like vinyl crates for the next hit.
New Zealand's Lorde is a prime example of a perfectly executed import. Her song "Royals" cut through the EDM clutter, topping the charts and racking up four Grammy noms. A year ago, the lead-up to music's biggest night had a similar picture with an outsider smash from Down Under: Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know."
No matter what melodic magic is in the water on the other side of the Earth, social music discovery and the speed with which fans can hear the latest buzzy track has opened the floodgates for foreign acts; borders have gone from being redrawn to simply erased by the $16.5 billion global jukebox. To wit: The current Top 10 includes a Cuban rapper (Pitbull), a Swedish DJ (Avicii), a British boy band (One Direction) and that inescapable Kiwi talent. Oh, Lorde-y.
Click below for artists' profiles:
More to come. In the meantime, you can see the full list in this week's edition of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.