She had one of the biggest albums of the year with the chart-topping Melodrama and was nominated for Album Of The Year at the Grammy's as a result. However, Lorde wasn't scheduled to perform onstage, much to the dismay of viewers.
Lorde was in town for the week and even performed in the preceding days. First, she appeared at Jack Antonoff's Ally Coalition event. The two performed a stunning rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Run Away With Me," and even battled a heckler in the process, who called out the New Zealand singer for canceling a recent trip to Israel in the wake of political unrest.
Then, on Friday night, she took on Stevie Nicks song "Silver Springs" at the MusiCares tribute to Fleetwood Mac, to much acclaim. However, for some unknown reason, Lorde wasn't scheduled to take to the biggest stage of all at the Grammys.
According to sources close to the situation, Lorde was offered the opportunity to perform at the show, but only with other artists. She wasn't given the option to perform solo. Lorde was allegedly given the chance to perform "American Girl" as part of an ensemble Tom Petty tribute, but she declined the offer.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that, of the five Album of the Year nominees, Lorde is both the only one who's female and the only one not to be offered a solo spot to perform songs from the nominated album.
Lorde's mother, Sonja Yelich, took to Twitter to highlight the discrepancy in women being nominated over the years.
— Sonja Yelich (@sonjayelich1) January 26, 2018
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and the Grammys' longtime executive producer Ken Ehrlich spoke to the LA Times backstage at the show, about the issue.
"It's hard to have a balanced year and have everyone perform. We can't have every nominee perform," Portnow argued.
"These shows are always a matter of choices. She had a great album, but there's no way we can deal with everybody. Maybe people get left out who shouldn't, but we do the best we can to make sure it's a fair and balanced show," Ehrlich said.
Fans took to Twitter to voice their annoyance with Lorde's absence. They pointed out how there seemed to be plenty of air time for Sting, for example, who appeared in two separate on-air segments, one of which was a live performance.
#GRAMMYs Watch: Lorde is the only album of the year nominee who was not invited to perform a solo set. Sting got to perform twice, including a song from 1987. And James Corden has been onscreen 157 minutes. Expert opinion: This is messed up. pic.twitter.com/443Bf9qysc — Aidin Vaziri (@MusicSF) January 29, 2018
things we apparently had time for that made there not enough time for Lorde to perform solo: -Scientist Sam Smith -45 minute long James Cordon subway trash -Comedy Grammy presented live -Sting? — kelsey mckinney (@mckinneykelsey) January 29, 2018
Back in 2014, when Lorde was just 17 years old, she was nominated for four Grammy Awards, ultimately winning two: Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for her song "Royals," which she also performed that year — solo.
Lorde wore a feminist essay sewn into her gown for the night, as a not-so-subtle dig at those in charge.