Lorde's hit 'Royals' inspired by an unlikely sports icon

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 20: Hitting coach George Brett #5 of the Kansas City Royals signs autographs prior to the game at against the Detroit Tigers Kauffman Stadium on July 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Image by Getty Images

Lorde's hit 'Royals' inspired by an unlikely sports icon

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Dec 19, 2013

The pop hit "Royals" by New Zealand-bred teen star Lorde conjures up thoughts of crowns and thrones, but it turns out to have actually been inspired by baseballs.

"In an interview a few months ago with VH1, Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor) explained how she 'had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs,'" reports The Wichita Eagle. "'He was a baseball player and his shirt said, "Royals."' the paper quotes Lorde as saying in the VH1 interview. “It was just that word. It’s really cool.”
Turns out, she was referring to a 1976 photo of the uniformed baseball Hall of Famer George Brett (pictured above in more recent days) signing baseballs for fans. It was taken by photographer Ted Spiegel on assignment for National Geographic.
After a bit of research, National Geographic has confirmed it was, in fact, their photo that sparked Lorde's songwriting.
"How the 17-year-old songstress . . .  saw a copy of a 37-year-old magazine is a mystery," the Eagle reports. 
Click here to see the image that inspired the song.
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Scripps Media.